SHARE
Stu­dents rehearse for “The Pirates of Pen­zance” a student opera workshop that pre­mieres this weekend. S. Nathaniel Grime | Courtesy

The classic comedic operetta “The Pirates of Pen­zance” is coming to Hillsdale this weekend. Hillsdale College stu­dents have been busy preparing all fall for this semester’s Opera Workshop pro­duction.

The effort is entirely student-driven, with senior music major Jonathan Hen­reckson directing the per­for­mance for his senior project.

“I thought this was a really good oppor­tunity for people to do Pirates of Pen­zance,” Hen­reckson said. “It’s always been my favorite Gilbert and Sul­livan show, and I just wanted other people to have a chance to be involved.”

The show has three per­for­mances this weekend, beginning on Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m., at McNamara Rehearsal Hall in the Howard Music Hall. Per­for­mances are also Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. Ticket reser­va­tions can be made by con­tacting the Sage Box Office either by phone or email.

Hen­reckson, along with assistant director  senior Elena Creed, are in charge of orga­nizing the set, cos­tumes, lighting, and staging, in addition to directing.

“We wanted to keep the time com­mitment to a minimum,” Creed said. “Being able to fit rehearsal for a full-length show into less time has been a chal­lenge.”

Creed, a theater major, said a typical theater pro­duction involves 15 hours of rehearsal per week, whereas opera workshop has rehearsed only six hours per week.

Opera Workshop allows stu­dents who may not be involved in acting to get an expe­rience on the stage.

“It offers a dif­ferent per­spective from plays,” junior Katie Buursma, a chorus member, said. “It allows people besides the theater department to be involved in a pro­duction.”

Junior Miles Garn plays the part of Frederic, the play’s male pro­tag­onist. Freshman Julia Salloum plays Mabel, the female pro­tag­onist. Juniors Emily Walker and Thomas Ryskamp are accom­pa­nying the entire show on the piano.

“I really love getting to work with the cast,” Hen­reckson said. “As it went on, working with freshmen, sopho­mores, seniors, it’s been really fun getting to know people and getting them to shine on the stage.

Hen­reckson encouraged stu­dents to come to one or more of the per­for­mances, promising it won’t dis­ap­point.

“The show is so enjoyable. It has humor, it has sorrow, it has pirates, it has policemen,” Hen­reckson said. “You get to see a bunch of young actors shine on the stage and see how far they’ve come. You’ll go away, without a doubt, humming, whistling, and singing the tunes.”