GLASGOW — Renee Schuler will be making her acting debut with Far Off Broadway Players' production of the musical, “How I Became A Pirate. ”
She was bitten by the acting bug when she saw FOBP's production of “Steel Magnolias” in March.
“I am a teacher at Glasgow High School and I feel like I am on stage every day,” she said.
When she saw “Steel Magnolias”, she said she thought it seemed like it would be a lot of fun to be part of one of the acting group's productions.
“I showed up for auditions and here we are a couple of weeks from going on,” she said. “It's been interesting.”
Schuler plays the role of Maxine, a pirate, who she describes as being gruff not a “girly-girly.”
“She's very domineering. She has some ditziness about her, but she is completely oblivious to that fact,” Schuler said.
Maxine has a pet parrot named Petie who sits on her shoulder and she is convinced that he is real, but he is not.
Her fellow pirates do not have the heart to tell her that he is fake, so they play along and squawk for him behind her back unbeknownst to her.
“I'm very much in my own little world in the play with me and Mr. Petie,” Schuler said.
She teaches biology and AP biology at GHS. Before school recessed for summer break, she shared with her students about making her acting debut.
“They were all excited at the end of the year when I told them all about it,” she said, adding she has invited them to come see the play. “I expect to see a few of them.”
Bruce Brown also of Glasgow is making his FOBP debut with the show, but this is not his first acting gig.
“I like doing these types of things,” he said. “We just moved here in the fall, but I did some stuff with Market House in Paducah, where we lived previously.”
Brown portrays Captain Braidbeard in the show.
“He's the head captain,” Brown said. “He's pretty abrasive. He's kind of mean to his crew, but he really takes to this little boy, Jeremy Jacobs. He treats the crew differently than Jeremy.”
Brown is not the only person in his family who is part of the play. His wife, Raeanne, is the musical director for the show, which is based on the best-selling children's book of the same name by Melinda Long with illustrations by David Shannon.
Janet Yates Vogt wrote the lyrics and music for the show.
Paul Glodfelter, director of the play, explained that the musical is close to the actual text as far as the storyline and added that any parent who had read the book to their child will be able to relate to the show.
“It is kind of Disney-esque in a way. There's a lot of music in it. There's a lot of dancing. It's very funny, but it's also got a huge amount of heart just like the book did,” he said.
The musical is about Jeremy Jacobs, a 9-year-old who is on the beach one day, but is feeling left out since the arrival of his baby brother.
“He's always wanted to be a pirate. He made this sand castle and he is pretending to be a pirate (when) he hears and sees a pirate ship out in the ocean,” Glodfelter said.
Jacobs tells his parents over and over that he has seen a pirate ship, but they don't believe him.
“Pirates come ashore and they see the great sand castle that he has and they need a digger to help them bury their treasure so they ask him if he wants to be the digger and join their pirate crew,” Glodfelter said. “They teach him about being a pirate and he teaches them a little bit about being a 9-year-old.”
Glodfelter has directed the show once before and has played the role of Captain Braidbeard twice.
“It's just such a fun, fun show. I wanted to kind of bring it here and do it on the Plaza stage so everybody here can see it too and fall in love with it like I did,” he said.
Jacobs is played by Creedance Cross of Glasgow.
“He has never done anything like this before. He came in and auditioned back in March and sang a Bruno Mars song and 'I went, "Wow, this kid can really sing",'” Glodfelter said. “And then when I saw him on stage, for a kid who has never ever done any acting before, wow, he's really, really good. He's just a natural.”
Glodfelter continued that he thinks everyone will enjoy the show.
“Like Disney, even though it is for young people, there is plenty in the show that adults will also find really enjoyable and fun,” he said.
The musical will open at 7 p.m. on July 26, with another evening performance scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 27. The show will be presented as a matinee at 2 p.m. on July 27 and July 28.
Tickets are $10 for 12 and under and $5 for 11 and under.