Ahoy, Maties!

Ahoy, Maties!

Real treasure revealed amid plenty of pirate fun



It’s not surprising that Arts Live has chosen Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” as its next production: Pirates, a hidden island and buried treasure are elements that make the classic tale irresistible to children, whether they’re on the stage or watching from the audience.

“Kids love to be pirates,” says the show’s director and Arts Live teaching artist Natalie Lane. “Several of [my actors] have said, ‘I have a bunch of pirate stuff at home! Can I bring it in?’ A couple of them get to have hook hands and eye patches — it’s really fun, costume-wise. They get to play-fight and pretend they’re on a big pirate ship. This is one of those times when I’ve had kids make character choices on their own, before I’ve had to help with that. It’s easy for them to jump in and say, ‘Oh, I’m this kind of pirate.’”

Lane says that the Arts Live production uses a script adapted by executive director Mark Landon Smith. It opens with the protagonist Jim Hawkins in the present day.

“He’s having a hard day in school,” explains Lane. A group of storyteller pirates helps Hawkins tell his tale. He prefers to live in the world of pirates and adventure instead of being in his everyday life, where his dog eats his homework. He would rather be on the high seas, fighting for gold. The next thing you know, there’s a knock at his door. He thinks his mom is coming to his room to yell at him about not eating his tofu patty dinner, but actually it’s Billy Bones [from ‘Treasure Island’].”

But it’s not all just about swashbuckling pirates and flashy coins of gold. Lane says there’s a lesson to be learned in the fact that Long John Silver’s charming personality masks a devious soul.

“With Long John, it’s the [Stephen Sondheim musical] ‘Into the Woods’ thing where ‘Nice is different than good,’” says Lane. “It’s sort of a ‘Be careful of what you wish for’ kind of lesson — Jim goes from going along for ride to having to be brave and standing up to the villain.”



‘Treasure Island’

WHEN — 7 p.m. May 31 & June 1; 2 p.m. June 1 & June 2

WHERE — Arts Live Theatre, 818 N. Sang Ave. in Fayetteville

COST — $7-$9

INFO — 521-4932

Categories: Family Friendly