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“The Pirates of Penzance”

August 11 - August 20

Fort Salem Theater is thrilled to announce the star-studded cast of their upcoming production of the beloved musical masterpiece, “The Pirates of Penzance.” Audiences are invited to set sail on a high-seas adventure filled with comedy, romance, and unforgettable melodies, as this timeless Gilbert and Sullivan classic takes center stage from August 11th to August 20th, 2023.

Directed by the FST’s Artistic and Executive Director Kyle West, with music direction by Berry Ayers and scenic design by Charles J.I. Krawczyk, “The Pirates of Penzance” promises to captivate theatergoers with its hilarious antics and breathtaking music. The production showcases the exceptional talent and dedication of Fort Salem Theater, known for their commitment to delivering outstanding entertainment.

Starring in the production are several accomplished actors, including Christopher Bischoff as The Pirate King, Lisa Franklin as Ruth, Drew Davidson as Sergeant of Police, Michael Burns as Fredric, Marissa Sophie Rackwitz as Mabel and Peter Bailey as the Major General. 

Christopher Bischoff, portraying the role of The Pirate King, has a special connection to Fort Salem Theater. In 1977, Chris’s mom was cast as Hodel in the theater’s “Fiddler On The Roof.” For the next 11 years, Christopher spent his summers at the theater. After decades of living, acting, and producing in NYC, he will now trod the boards in Salem for the first time since his performance in “Edwin Drood” in 1988. Christopher brings his wealth of experience and passion to his role, promising a captivating portrayal of The Pirate King.

Lisa Franklin, in the role of Ruth, brings her extraordinary talent and extensive stage experience to “The Pirates of Penzance.” Lisa has performed all over the United States and Germany, leaving a lasting impression with her captivating performances. With notable Broadway concerts such as “The Secret Garden” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Lincoln Center, Lisa’s talent has shone on the grandest stages. Her credits span from regional productions such as “Lombardi” at the Palace Theatre in Wisconsin to “Sister Act” at Arizona Broadway Theater, to numerous acclaimed performances with CapRep, Mac-Haydn Theatre, Park Playhouse, SLOC, and Tri-Arts. Lisa’s impressive musical education and teaching experience, including her faculty position at Russell Sage College, further contribute to her remarkable skills as a performer. Audiences can expect an unforgettable portrayal of Ruth from Lisa Franklin.

Drew Davidson, taking on the role of Sergeant of Police, brings his immense talent and stage presence to “The Pirates of Penzance.” He has captivated audiences across the country as Wilbur Turnblad in the national tour of “Hairspray” and in the ensemble in “The Music Man” first national tour. Drew’s additional credits include Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” with Westfield Theatre Group, Fagin in “Oliver!” at Narrows Community Theatre in Brooklyn, Billy Flynn in “Chicago” with Two of Us Productions, and Jud Fry in “Oklahoma!” with Dorset Players. His talent and versatility have been showcased in shows like “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” and “Hollywood Pinafore,” leaving a lasting impact on audiences.

Real-life couple Michael Burns and Marissa Sophie Rackwitz, students from the State University of New York at Fredonia, star opposite each other as Fredric and Mabel, respectively. Burns recently appeared in Fort Salem Theater’s production of “Spring Awakening,” while Rackwitz makes her FST debut in this production.

Peter Bailey, of the band Simple Beggars, appears as the Major General. He previously starred in Fort Salem productions of “Bright Star” and “There’s No Business Like Snow Business,” and serves as the pastor at Coila Church. Peter attended the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College in Chicago, earning a Bachelor in Music Education with a voice concentration. He has recorded five albums of original songs. 

Rounding out the cast is Xander Holden as Samuel, Maureen Cossey as Edith, Iris Rogers as Kate, Kelly Sienkiewicz as Isabel (understudy Ruth/Mabel/Edith/Kate), Stephen Buntich, Chandler Hansen, Liam Reynolds, Luke Miner and Megan Stacey as Pirates, with Lucy Fornhofer, Kim Crossway, Courtnie Harrington, Kate O’Keeffe and Lily Reynolds as daughters.

“The Pirates of Penzance” promises to be a dazzling theatrical experience, filled with unforgettable performances and moments of pure joy. Join Fort Salem Theater for this spectacular production, where comedy and music unite to create an unforgettable journey.

“The Pirates of Penzance” will be performed at Fort Salem Theater from August 11th to August 20th, 2023. Showtimes are as follows: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Other summer events include Footloose (June 22-July 2), Corn: The Musical (July 7-8), and The Little Mermaid Jr (August 4). Tickets for all events are now available for purchase on the Fort Salem Theater website at www.FortSalem.com or by calling 518-854-9200. 


August 11
August 20
Event Category:


Fort Salem Theater
11 E Broadway
Salem, NY 12865 United States
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