Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 7, 2013.

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A poetic pirate must decide between the greater of two booties: his peerless pirate crew or the land-locked love of his life.

Why this Show is Awesome

The Pirate Laureate of Port Town mixes a unique blend of up beat, animated humor and lyrical tenderness in a realm where piracy and poetry are as inseparable as messages and the bottles that carry them. We have poetry duels, sword fights, umbrella fights, and even live music. It's an event.

But most importantly we have an amazing script that needs a great production to bring it from the page to reality. This is a new work by a talented and underexposed local playwright. Bringing The Pirate Laureate of Port Town to life fills Flying V's mission of producing the best new work by our company of artists.

This production will feature some of DC’s most talented theatrical artists as they bring to life a fantastical world of swashbuckling and verses of varying shapes and sizes.

Now, THAT’S awesome.

The People Who Make this Show Awesome

Not only is a pirate crew family at the center of this tale, but also at the heart of its production. From cast to creative, this theatrical ship is sailing full speed ahead thanks to the mighty sailworthy talents of:

  • Zachary Fernebok: Playwright, and Associate Producer
  • Jason Shlafstein: Director, and Producing Artistic Director of Flying V
  • Adi Stein: Assistant Director
  • Jessica Chinelli: Stage Manager, and Production Manager of Flying V
  • Tracy Sabo: Assistant Stage Manager

  • Alex Vaughan as Finn
  • Matthew Pauli as Grayscale
  • Megan Graves as Sandy
  • Megan Reichelt as Opal and Aurora
  • Doug Wilder as Ruby and LeReif
  • Maggie Erwin as Hue and Cesealia

  • Joseph Musumeci: Set Designer
  • Kris Thompson: Light Designer
  • Zachary Fernebok: Costume Designer
  • Dre Moore: Props Designer
  • Neil McFadden: Sound Designer
  • Jonathan Ezra Rubin: Fight Choreographer & Managing Director of Flying V
  • Andrew Berry: Technical Director
  • Julie Roederscheimer: Props and Carpentry Assistant
  • Alex Li: Costume Construction Artisan

  • Colin Grube: Associate Producer of Flying V
  • Seamus Sullivan: Literary Manager of Flying V
  • Shannon Musgrave: Development Director of Flying V
  • Stacey Sulko: Marketing Director, Pirate Laureate of Port Town

That is an amazing group of talent - we're honored and lucky to have them.

Where the Money Goes

Most pirates bury their riches in the sand. The Pirate Laureate of Port, however, need riches above ground to fund the production. With your donation of coins, jewels, and other treasures, we’ll be able to pay you back with the riches of meaningful, enjoyable, and affordable theatre. Here’s an idea of how your support supports us:

  • $50.00 gets us a backdrop for our set.
  • $75.00 gets us our sail for The Chartreuse.
  • $100.00 funds one actor’s costume.
  • $200.00 supports one team member’s stipend.
  • $600.00 funds our entire costume budget.
  • $1200.00 funds our entire set and props budget.

But of course, all donations below, between, and above those amounts help just as much! And not only does your support bring the play to life, it’s also a great way to receive prizes, as one of our ways of saying thanks to YOU! Check out the list on the right to see what sweet, sweet incentives could be yours. Now that’s some precious booty!

All money goes into our Flying V Company Account for use on this show specifically.

Production History and the End of a Journey

Zachary Fernebok first started writing The Pirate Laureate of Port Town in the Spring of 2009, inspired by a drawing of a steampunk pirate and dirigible. Somehow this doodle led to more doodles and eventually became the beginnings of a play.

In 2011 Zachary was invited to be the Playwright-in-Residence for American Ensemble Theatre. When asked what play he wanted to focus his work on for an entire year, the answer was obvious: a hilarious one.

After many revisions, meetings, and workshops, The Pirate Laureate of Port Town had its first public reading with American Ensemble Theatre in June 2012. And at the same time, a full production was being put on in Los Angeles, California with Mutineer Theatre Company.

From these experiences, the play received its final revisions, and the final piece was read by American Ensemble Theatre through the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival in September 2012.

Now as 2013 begins, The Pirate Laureate of Port Town ends its journey of development and gets its premiere adventure on the east coast!

The Story of The Pirate Laureate of Port Town

In the world of Ephrata, the power of poetry trumps that of any sword, pistol, cannon, or cutlass. That’s why the Pirate Laureate is the most important member on any pirate crew!

This play follows the story of Finn, the Pirate Laureate of The Chartreuse. Under the leadership of the bombastic Captain Grayscale, and with Finn’s brilliant poetry, The Chartreuse is one of the most powerful and notorious ships to ever sail the Ocean Ephrata. Also on board are first-mate Hue, navigator Opal, and Ruby the lookout.

Together this crew has looted and pillaged almost every island and town Ephrata’s seas have to offer. But now, Captain Grayscale seeks to vindicate his one and only failed raid: an attack on the island town of Port. Finn’s home. This pits Finn’s loyalty to the crew against the love he longs for from his childhood friend Sandy, who he’s kept in touch with for over 15 years through poetic correspondence via message in a bottle.

Finn attempts to dissuade the Captain from attacking. But when he ultimately fails, the crew of the Chartreuse finds themselves in an even bigger bind (and it’s not a metaphorical one, so it’s harder to get out of).

Their raid is snuffed out and the crew is held captive by the captain of their rival ship, the fancy pirate LeReif, and his own pirate laureate Aurora. Now Finn, with the help of Sandy, wit, and wordplay, has to free his crew, save his hometown, win a Poetry Duel, harmonize in a lullaby, and break up the marriage between LeReif and Port Town’s inane Governess Cesealia. Phew!

Themes of love, loyalty, and proper grammar set the stage for a humorous escapade on land and sea in The Pirate Laureate of Port Town.

Who We Are

For two years, Flying V has made Awesome theatre in the MD/DC area, with a focus on new, offbeat, and original work not being produced by anyone else. We make theater that makes you want to go on an adventure of your own. We are a two time award winning company (Best Director and Best Acting Ensemble at the Bethesda Play in a Day Competition) and our work has traveled to Baltimore and New York City in the last year. Our focus is on work created by our company of artists and our artistic associates. The Pirate Laureate of Port Town will be our sixth full-length production, and it’s our biggest adventure yet! We're a young company with a great track record, and to help make this show our best yet we need your help.

You can see one of our previous productions - INCURABLE by Seamus Sullivan below, to get a sense of what we do.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As we all know, there are many risks and challenges involved with putting on a full-scale theatrical production. Luckily, Flying V is comprised of a network of professional artists who are used to overcoming such obstacles.

One such risk, as with any live performance, is that one of the artists may no longer be able to participate for some reason. In such cases, Flying V has the ability to ask for help from our tight network of artists. This is also useful in times of creative problem solving (two heads are better than one!) and, of course, it is always nice to know you have a team of people cheering you on to success. When you help fund The Pirate Laureate of Port Town, you aren’t just helping a project, you are supporting an entire community of artists who are dedicated to enriching this community through theatrical performance.

Another challenge of this show is scheduling rehearsals, since we all have “day jobs.” We rehearse 6 days a week for 5-6 hours per day, which can become exhausting when you’re coming straight from an 8 hour work day! The way to overcome this: Dedication and Passion (and a good Stage Manager to run a tight ship! Okay… three ways). These are things that Flying V is not lacking on this project. Everyone involved got to look over the schedule and the script before accepting their positions, and they chose to be a part of this because it is a worthwhile opportunity. The goal on every Flying V Production is to give an equally rewarding experience to the artists creating our projects and the audiences who view the final product.

The Honest Truth:

Our biggest challenge to overcome right now is funding. We have an amazing team of actors, designers, and artisans, we have our rehearsal/performance space at The Writer’s Center, and most importantly, we are building all of this from a refreshing, witty, and hilarious script written by our own, Zachary Fernebok. The only ingredient missing is raising our budget, and we are doing everything we can to raise the money for this project. Flying V is still working on getting our Non-Profit Status (but we are getting close!), and until then we do not qualify for grants or tax write-offs from donations. This is why we are reaching out to you. We believe that this community is as capable and enthusiastic about helping to create quality, meaningful art as we are, here at Flying V. The Chartreuse cannot set sail without you!

If you are thinking of becoming a backer, but you still have questions about our project, please feel free to contact us! You may direct questions to our Production Manager, Jessica Chinelli, at: jessica@flyingvtheatre.com

We hope to see you all at the show! As they say in the Pirating world, “Break a peg-leg!”

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    You will receive all of the above, plus 4 one on one monologue workshops with Flying V Artistic Director, and Pirate Laureate of Port Town Director, Jason Schlafstein. Workshop must be held in the greater Washington DC area.

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    Go on a Date with our villain, The Fancy Pirate Robin Lereif! Actor Doug Wilder will take you on a one of a kind date (dinner and activity) in full character and costume as Robin Lereif, the most manicured mastermind on the Ocean Ephrata. Evening held in the Washington DC Area only. (Includes all of the above, as well)

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    All of the above, plus participation in the Flying V Script Of The Month Club for 2013 - each month this year, we'll send you a copy of a script we're working on or are really digging, with a personal note about why it rules. Be the first one to learn about all sorts of Flying V Awesome before it makes the stage.

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    You will receive all of the above, plus an official Flying V T-Shirt, and a free dinner at Piratz Tavern with the Director, Cast, and Crew. Piratz Tavern is located in Silver Spring, MD. Party like a Pirate!

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    All of the above PLUS Flying V will come to your Home, Office, Party, Event, or Other Engagement and perform a 45-60 minute set list of our original plays featuring work written, directed, designed, and performed by The Flying V Company! You get 3-5 plays, incredible entertainment for your event or fundraiser. Locations in the Greater Washington DC Area Only.

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Funding period

- (30 days)