The Shadowbox Players
Pirate Queens is the true story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, two women who carved their own path through history during a time when men ruled. Masquerading as men, the two of them met by chance when their paths, and swords, crossed on the pirate ship, Revenge. Both Anne and Mary would come to serve aboard the ship together, with very few knowing their true identities.
Pirate Queens is an original show in three acts that depicts the tapestry of their lives, from their adolesence to adulthood the play follows their individual paths through life, to the moment they meet and beyond, to how their story ends. The play is moving and true to their lives, portraying these brave and daring women as truthfully as possible.
There are many historyical figures portrayed through this work as well, not just the two ladies themselves. The likes of James Bonny, a wash-up of a pirate who first convinces Anne to run off with him, but shows his true nature eventually. Daniel DeFoe, author most well known for his work, Robison Crusoe, was present in the Bahamas during the Golden Age of Piracy, and much of what we know of the time is because of him. Woodes Rogers, the governor of Nassua at the time and
scourge to the pirate nation. Assigned to rid the pirate threat from the Bahamas, Woodes Rogers was a capable pirate hunter in his own right and it was because of his work for the crown that the King gave him dominion over the Caribbean. Another pirate hunter, Jonathan Barnet, a man who held tradition and the crown in the highest regard. Captain of the English man-o-war, the Albion, Captain Barnet was one of the most feared hunters on the seas. And then there is Calico Jack, John Rackham, the captin of the Revenge and one of the few who knew the true identies of Anne and Mary. His story was a great one on his own, but when he met and teamed with the two pirate queens, his story became entangled with their legend for all time!
This play has been a project of mine for some time now, perhaps four years or more a this point. And now, I want to bring it to the stage! This is where I need your help; it is not an easy feat to produce a play on your own, the largest cost to such a venture is paying for a stage - space isn't free. To accoplish the task of raising funds for the prodution, I have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the necessary capital to put this show on. This story needs to be told, the lessons in it are as relevent now as they were then.
And trust me when I tell you this show is not being blindly put up. It has been written and rewritten until the script could be as wonderful as it could be to put a show on for you. I have had actors sit in the living room of my apartment and read the script in character so I could hear how my words sound. And I have hosted a seated reading a the Westmoreland Museum of American Art so other people could hear it and leave their honest feedback on what they thought of the script.
"You really care about these characters!"
"I enjoyed it very much! I want to know more about them!"
Rachel Dillinger portraying Anne Bonny in Greensburg Civic Theatre's 2014 production of The Pirates of Treasure Island
In addition to all of this, numerous actors that worked on the seated reading with me have grown to like the script and the characters so much that they have already committed to joining the cast and being involved in the production when it does go up. Among them is Rachel Dillinger, the actor who not only read the role of Anne Bonny for the seated reading, but has already portrayed the lady pirate in another script I wrote, The Pirates of Treasure Island.
In March of 2014, Greensburg Civic Theatre produced my adaptation of Treasure Island, and many of the actors that I worked with on the seated reading got to show off their pirate by taking on the roles of the likes of Billy Bones, Blind Pew, Isreal Hands, Black Dog, Captain Smollett, and of course Long John Silver! The production was very much a success with children and adults! I even had parents finding me on Facebook and telling me the impact it had on their children. One even told me that her sons put the video games down, broke out their Legos, built two sailing ships and played pirates all weekend. Another one was assigned to draw a picture of what they did over the weekend. So he drew a picture of two pirates fighting over a treasure chest. You can go to Greensburg Civic Theatre's Facebook page to see their section on the show.
So we have a script, we have a cast, now all we need is you! With your help we can put this piece on stage where it deserves to be. Please visit our GoFundMe page and see how you can help. And of course we are more than will to reciprocate your generousity! Check out our rewards and see what we're offering in return for your donations. There's some pretty good stuff there!
On behalf of myself and the cast, thank you for your support!