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Set sail on the High Seas with NW Children's Theater. 'How I Became a Pirate' runs through Oct. 13

COURTESY PHOTOS  - Heath Koerschgen as Captain Braid Beard and Riley Holmes as Jeremy Jacob in NWCTs production of How I Became a Pirate, opening Sept. 21 and running through Oct. 13.

Northwest Children's Theater and School will present "How I Became a Pirate" Sept. 21 through Oct. 13 with performances at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 1819 NW Everett St. in Portland.

Captain Braid Beard and his motley crew need some help as they search for the perfect spot to bury their treasure. Based on the book by Melinda Long, "How I Became a Pirate" kicks off NWCT's 27th season with a swashbuckling slapstick for the whole family.

Jeremy Jacob (Riley Holmes) is digging in the sand when Captain Braid Beard (Heath Koerschgen) and his mates recruit the young beachgoer to join their crew aboard the Jolly Roger. Adventure awaits as Jeremy learns the ins and outs of pirate life, from throwing food to singing sea chanteys.

Director Andres Alcala will be working in concert with associate artistic director John Ellingson and costume designer Nancy Christy to create project art and costumes inspired by David Shannon's book illustrations. Alcala, a self-proclaimed lover of all-things-pirate, is thrilled to be working with an extremely talented cast for this production, including a few members of NWCT's Interns NW, a program he co-directs.

"This show is special to me for several reasons," he said. "The story has a beautiful innocence. In my eyes, Jeremy's powerful imagination transports them aboard this pirate ship."

Alcala has appeared on the NWCT stage numerous times, a favorite role being Captain Hook in "Peter Pan." He previously won a Portland Area Musical Theatre Award for his projection work on NWCT's "Snow White" and Drammy Awards for his work as director of "Shakespeare's R&J" at Triangle Productions and "The Yellow Boat" at Inside Out Theatre Collective.

This is Koerschgen's NWCT debut, but he is no stranger to Portland theater, having performed with Artists Rep, Portland Center Stage, Lakewood Theatre and many others. Last year he took home the Drammy for outstanding lead actor in a play in "Jason and the Argonauts" at Oregon Children's Theatre.

This is Holmes' fourth appearance on the NWCT stage. Previous roles include a bandit in "Chitra: The Girl Prince" and Gray in "Robin Hood."

"How I Became a Pirate" features the first of four NWCT sensory friendly performances this season. With shorter run times, no intermission, reduced or removed lighting and sound cues, and the constant presence of house lights, these performances are specially designed for children on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities. The sensory friendly performance is scheduled for Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. An American Sign Language interpreted program will be offered Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.

NWCT will offer sensory friendly performances for all four productions in the 2019-2020 season, free of charge. Each production will also include audio described and American Sign Language interpreted performances.

For tickets and more information visit nwcts.org or call the box office at 503-222-2190.


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