FAIRMONT - Captain Jennings is in a bind. Beset by pirates, his crew abandons ship, leaving him to protect his wealthy passengers with only a handful of prisoners and a sailor who can't swim. The pirates are holding three hostages - one who desperately wants to join her captors.
Thirty-two students ranging from fourth through seventh grade play out the comedy this weekend as the Fairmont Opera House Children's Theatre presents "Captain Bree and Her Lady Pirates."
The students will have spent three hours each morning for the past two weeks rehearsing their lines, finding their marks and figuring out their props. They spend another hour after practice in workshops focused on specific aspects of stage performance.
Captain Bree, played by Claudia Bleess, leads her band of pirates in song before a crowd at Fridays in the Park on Friday in Fairmont.
The workshop is the crux of the program, while the show is where the students can practice their newfound talents.
During the course of the workshop, students toured the Opera House, had dancing instruction, got audition tips from high school students, watched a past Children's Theatre play, learned voice projection, and light and set design.
They also had professional portraits taken, and they performed at Fridays in the Park.
The program is led by co-directors Joleen Fink and Ben Fink. Molly Bleess serves as musical director.
Joleen Fink chose "Captain Bree" because it allows the most students the most exposure and is fun for all.
"I chose it because almost all the kids are on the stage all the time," she said. "The audience will have fun with it."
Ben Fink taught the students stage fighting for the action portions of the drama.
Tickets are available at Hy-Vee until noon Saturday. They are also for sale one hour prior to performances at the Opera House. Shows are 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.