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Students Stage Pirate Comedy
Expect a little bit of swashbuckling, some poison cookies, mistaken identity and even the walking of the plank ... as Escalon High puts on 'Jolly Roger and The Pirate Queen' in performances this weekend.

Co-directors for the comedy are Cara Davis and Matthew Teixeira and overseeing the drama club production is EHS teacher Jason Collinsworth.

"It's definitely a comedy," Davis said.

She takes on one of the lead roles, portraying Roger Goodman, while also helping direct the play.

Teixeira, who has spent the past few years behind the scenes with set decoration and stage crew, decided to step out in front of the curtain this time.

"I wanted to try something new and thought it would be cool to act, rather than watch from backstage," he said.

He portrays Long John Sliver - not Silver - in the comedy.

The main storyline focuses on Roger Goodman and Sarah Huffington, with Roger about to propose. Sarah, however, finds him boring and wishes for a pirate. Emma Baumhauer has the role of Sarah.

Hoping to fulfill her wishes, Roger takes on an alter ego of a pirate but things start to get confusing. Sarah is the 'Pirate Queen' in the title of the play.

Sarah's mother, Lady Huffington, portrayed by Cassie Walker, has a fondness for baking, but adds a little something extra to her cookies, which are laced with poison. It all builds to quite a crescendo, including the walking of the plank.

"There's lots of raiding and pillaging going on," Davis said. "We all end up on Treasure Island and it's pretty chaotic."

Lead actors/directors Davis and Teixeira are seniors this year, while Baumhauer and Walker are juniors.

Rehearsals have been going on for the past couple of months for the cast and crew of more than two dozen and many of the students were involved in developing the elaborate stage sets.

Teacher Collinsworth said it is one of the more challenging productions, with everyone in the cast crowding on stage for one of the scenes. Coordinating it all, he admitted, has been difficult with some students missing time due to illness and trying to work around all the other school activities of the fall. But the show will go on, with performances Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and 14 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $5 per person and the show will be staged in the high school's Performing Arts Center.

The show runs about two hours, done in two acts, with a brief intermission.

With final rehearsals this week, Davis said there are some nerves as curtain time approaches and everyone works furiously to fine tune their performances.

"We'll call it ready," Davis said.