Puppets, Pirates And Princesses (Part One)

Remaking History and Disney! On Stage in NYC.

Lady Pirates Take the Stage

History isn’t usually inclusive to LGBTQ people and experiences. We get shut out simply because no one bothers to mention us. It’s the same with women in general — the contributions of female scientists, activists, writers and more are either ignored or placed as the also-ran stories of progress…

….and plunder. I say that specifically to talk about Blood Red Roses: The Female Pirate Project. How cool is that — a play about female pirates!

It just swept into The Waterfront Museum this May and helped the audience understand why these women chose a life on the sea, while having the experience of being on the journey with them.

One of the creators, Gretchen Van Lente, recently she some light on the process of Blood Red Roses and their hopes for the future.

What’s the most exciting thing the audience will come away with from the play? 

We hope they will have an experience like they’ve never had before in the theater: with the shadows all around you and the sounds encompassing you. But I think the most exciting thing is the knowledge of these women’s existence and their extraordinary lives! We hope to open the audience’s eyes to their stories and get them interested in learning more about them.

What was the research process like? 

We spent months simply reading. We would pass books around, give each other homework and then meet and discuss what we had read. It was like a really specific, slightly demented book club!

Then came the hard decisions of which ladies to include and what information about them was the most important to include. Getting the research on its feet in rehearsal really helped us make those hard decisions.

What are you future plans for the production?

Since the show has an educational bent, we love the idea of touring it to other sea-faring towns, possibly doing it on other boats or maritime museums. It would be amazing to take it to international festivals as well, since it is pretty malleable to any site or location, and relies less on dialogue then on visuals and music. Hopefully it will have a long life past these performances on the barge!