It’s hard to beat a good story in the summer time. Pensacola Little Theater is bringing a classic to life this weekend with their production of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The show is part of the Treehouse Theater series
Treasure Island is set in the seafaring 1700’s, an appropriate tale for a Gulf Coast summer, and the story follows a band of pirates along with the iconic, one-legged Long John Silver in their hunt for legendary treasure in the South Seas. While treasure-hunting pirates might be enough to grab your attention the real story is the coming of age of young Jim Hawkins, the ship’s cabin boy.
“It’s a great swashbuckling show. It’s part of our Treehouse family theater series but we have amazing pirates of all ages. Jim Hawkins is a 12 year old but all of our pirates are played by young and older adults. Long John Silver is, especially, Jim Hawkin’s good friend, then enemy, then ally again later, depending on how the story goes, but he is in full pirate regalia, including a wooden peg leg.”
That’s Kathy Holsworth, artistic director for the Pensacola Little Theatre. She explained that adapting beloved stories for the stage is part of the mission of the theater.
“Treehouse theatre is our family theater series so we try to make programs and plays that are family friendly. It’s your first theater experience for a whole family. Kids 12 and under are half price and the production values and the show itself are just as rich as our mainstage productions.”
Those productions are led by an all volunteer force from choosing the plays to designing and building sets: the cast are local actors who want to share their love of storytelling with the greater community. Sharing a beloved pirate tale lets those dedicated volunteers stretch their creativity.
Holsworth shares, “We love to do plays that are based on classic literature. So this is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island, and it’s a great retelling, the publisher is plays for young audiences… it’s just really really strong writing the language is clear and the story is clear and there’s lots of great room for contemporary interpretation. In fact, in this one we have an amazing set and lighting where we get Admiral Benbow Inn and we have a full ship with flying sails and rigging as well as great special effects including projections and lights that look like water and great makeup. It’s just the whole spectrum of theater and we love that part of it.”
Show dates for Treasure Island are today and Saturday at 7:30 pm and a Sunday Matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at PensacolaLittleTheatre.com or at the box office an hour before the show. Pirate costume not required- but encouraged.