In the Community: Savoyards open ‘Pirates of Penzance’ on Aug. 10

Flyer for the Pirates of PenzanceWhen sherry-sipping brigands clash with “nervous Nellie” constables and damsels in distress turn into cheerleaders for martial mayhem, you know that The Pirates of Penzance will be docking again in Broome County. Performances by the Summer Savoyards of Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic comic operetta will be 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and 11 and 3 p.m. Aug. 12 in the Chamber Hall of Binghamton University’s Anderson Center.

Pirates, one of G&S’s most popular shows, features such well-known tunes as “Come, friends, who plough the sea” (aka “Hail, Hail, the gang’s all here) and the much-parodied “I am the very model of a modern Major-General.”

The Savoyards last presented Pirates in 2012, but this is a completely new, fully-staged production, directed by Wm. Clark Snyder and Sherri Strichman, with sets by Jim Ulrich and costumes by Julia Adams.

Featured in the cast will be John Starks as the Pirate King; Darius Fuller as his reluctant apprentice, Frederick; Adam Ruff as the pirate Samuel; Jessica Pullis as “piratical maid of all work” Ruth; John Shelhart as the police sergeant and Nick Tyler as Major General Stanley: Stanley’s wards are Jana Kučera (Mabel), Kaylee Tasber (Kate), Julia Black (Edith) and Alexandra Leslie (Isabel).

Several cast members, including leading man Darius Fuller, are SUNY Broome graduates. The technical director is Professor Mary Beth Donnelly.

General admission tickets at $22 (students/seniors/groups, $20; 12 and under, $12) are now on sale at the Anderson Center box office or by calling 777-ARTS or visiting There also is a link from the Savoyards’ website,, where you also can find out more about the Savoyards’ 57-season history.

Since 1961, the Savoyards have presented Gilbert and Sullivan operettas every July or August. What began as a summer amusement for an ever-changing group of college students has become a cultural fixture in Broome County. Many cast and crew members have been around for decades AND they’ve brought their children into the fold.

NOTE: Funding for Pirates has been provided in part by a project grant from the Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund. The Savoyards also received public funds from the Chenango Arts Council’s Decentralization Grants Program (a re-grant program of the NYS Council on the Arts) and from the Stewart W. & Willma C. Hoyt Foundation.