Think you know the story of Treasure Island? You’re as wrong as Jim Hawkins’ initial judgement of Long John Silver’s inner character!
This year, DCD’s fifth grade class took on the classic tale of pirates and adventure in their incomparable performance of The Pirate Map!
All seems well at the Admiral Benbow inn, if a little dull at times for the Hawkins children. True, that old sailor Billy Bones can be a bit tiresome from time to time, with his unceasing chatter about some kind of map, and his paranoid fears that pirates lurk around every corner, but running an inn is hard enough without stopping to worry about every old sailor’s ravings!
But Billy’s paranoia is soon revealed as prescient forewarning, as a group of raucous and raspy pirates descends upon the small inn, in pursuit of none other than the ex-pirate Billy Bones and the treasure map he stole ten years ago! Among them is none other than that dreadful pirate with her arm in a sling, long-thought to be a fragmented delusion of Billy Bones’ troubled and unexamined psyche!
While the pirates initially attempt to enter the inn through espionage and subterfuge, masquerading as the many children of Billy Bones, they are quickly given away by their pirate hats, parroted-shoulders, and frequent use of the interjection ‘Arrrr!’.
Sensing the coming danger, Billy Bones surrenders his sacred map to the Hawkins children and makes for a hidden rowboat to escape. Now in possession of a treasure map, the Hawkins children do what any reasonable person would in such circumstances— they organize a crew and hire a ship for the treasure hunt. Good thing there are so many eager sailors around to crew their ship… so many sailors with strange hats, and parrots on their shoulders…
Once the ship is out to sea, it’s only a matter of time before the undercover pirates begin to recruit the previously-honest sailors to their dreadful cause with promises of riches and an end to their over-exploitation as a working class. Hyped up on their transformation into pirates, the crew launches a mutiny and captures Billy’s map from the Hawkins children.
The pirates’ victory is short-lived, however; it soon becomes clear that there’s a problem with either the map or the pirates’ reading level, as they find themselves wandering in fruitless circles upon the island. In the confusion, our heroes sneak away from the new, untrained pirates, and encounter a previously marooned Ben Gunn-esque figure who offers to lead the Hawkins party to the hidden treasure, so long as they help to return it to its rightful owners.
Soon, thanks to a helpful bout of hypnosis, the pirates recall the secret location of the treasure, but when they arrive to the hidden cave beside the stream, they find that it contains the Hawkins children, but no treasure. Suddenly, a dreadful, otherworldly voice rumbles from the echoing depths of the cave, come back to haunt the pirates for their misdeeds, and threatening them with the Curse of the Sea. To placate the vengeful spirit, the pirates agree to sail far away and never return, on pain of their teeth falling out and some unspecified pox.
Now safe and in possession of the hidden treasure, the Hawkins children and their party determine to sail for home; no pirate’s life for them!
This incredible performance would not have been possible without the writing and direction from Elisa Sidoli, the costumes by Jane Rothwell, the scenery by Sean Reardon, and the music by Valerie Snow and Maeve Lien. We’d also like to thank the fifth grade teachers and families for their significant support, and of course our fifth grade actors for another amazing performance!