Captian Bree and the Lady Pirates

Anna Hensley, at right, playing Captain Bree during Aspire! Conservatory's rehearsal of Captian Bree and the Lady Pirates. Their performance will be Saturday at 7 p.m. in the JB Sowards Theater at ACTC. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

ASHLAND The TheatreWorks class of Aspire! Conservatory will be presenting its Spring Semester musical “Captain Bree and Her Lady Pirates” this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the J. B. Sowards Theater of Ashland Community and Technical College, 1400 College Drive. The show by Martin A, Follose and Bill Francoeur, is a swashbuckling musical comedy complete with sword fighting, plank walking and a surprise ending. This performance of “Captain Bree and Her Lady Pirates” is open to the public and admission is free.

The class is directed by Auretta Hensley with the assistance of musical director Kayla Harmon and volunteer Barbara Delaney. The class consists of 20 students grades 2-10 who meet once a week to rehearse. The class is designed as an educational theatre program where students learn all aspects of theatre: acting, singing, stage presence and direction, choreography, auditioning skills, costume and set/prop design, back stage management, make-up and lighting. The students, parents and some other wonderful volunteers from the CHEF homeschool group come together to help the directors ensure that the students and the production have everything needed for success.

This is the fourth year for the program at Aspire! Conservatory. The class has continued to grow in size and recently the directors moved rehearsals from the small stage of the church fellowship hall into the church gym to accommodate the size of the group.

Early in the semester DeNeil Hartley, Administrative Director of Aspire!, reached out to ACTC to see if TheatreWorks could use their theater for the performance. “We are so grateful to ACTC for allowing our students the opportunity to perform in their wonderful facility. Performing on a larger stage with room to move, real theater lighting, dressing rooms and such is an invaluable learning experience for our students.”

Hensley said this show is the most challenging the group has tackled to date with a minimum of 19 actors and a run time of 90 minutes. It has more complex humor and characters. To address the challenge of finding a show to match the male/female ratio of the group, they mimic Shakespeare’s era by having females play male roles. Many of the young actors in this production have been a part of TheatreWorks since it began in 2015, and between the two lead roles of Captain Bree and Captain Jennings, a decade of acting training is represented.

Aspire! will be holding a Summer Theatre Workshop July 8-12 for students grades 3-12, and individual acting coaching will be offered throughout the Summer Term June 3rd - Aug 2nd. For more information on Summer Camps and the Aspire! program, visit their website at: www.aspireconservatory.org or call (606) 324-6159.