Avast Ye! Lady Pirates of the Caribbean

Captain Cath the Crazed (aka Cathy Berghahn, middle school musical director) presents the middle school musical, Lady Pirates of the Caribbean.

‘Ave a seat landlubbers, as I spin ye a tale. Aye, a tale o’ the swashbucklin’st, shanty singin’st lasses and lads ne’er before seen this side o’ the Pacific. On the eve o’ November the 10th, 11th and 12th, the middle school musical cast and crew presented Lady Pirates of the Caribbean. ‘Twas a tale of bravery an adventure. ‘Twas a tale of the Parrot Island orphans. Such a show of merriment these mates performed, the audience began a cheerin’ an a chantin’ along…


The enthusiastic and talented cast of Lady Pirates of the Caribbean included students in 6th through 8th grades, who entertained audiences with singing, dancing and acting. With a full cast of over 45 students and more than 30 crew members, the show was a major fall activity for many middle school students. Keiko Tani (grade 7) played the role of Esmeralda, leading her Lawless Ladies to recover stolen money for the orphans of Parrot Island. But Esmeralda and her band of lawless ladies had to work around governor Don Juan Futon, played by Micah Bailey (grade 7), and his niece Lucretia, played by Helenka Rittenhouse (grade 7), who were definitely not the people they said they were. Our middle school thespians guided the plot with special effects, choreography that included a dance number atop a fog-filled ghost ship, and sword-swinging action.

The list of supporting actors included a team of talented understudies, consisting of Hannah Mendoza (grade 8), Lieke Gerritsen (grade 7), Alexy O’Shea (grade 6) and Lizzy Rekate (grade 7). We also had two fabulous student stage managers, Anokhi Ashwin (grade 7) and Taiga Lewis (grade 7).

The off-stage performance of a great number of people also played a vital role in the production of such a successful show. Mindy Coon (elementary school teacher) worked with students as the show’s music director. Glenn Hoskins (middle school science/design technology) built the beautiful set with assistance from Ed Gilmartin (theater manager), and Olivia Hertrick (middle school art). Lighting and sound design fell under the direction of Ed Gilmartin, with support from a skilled team of high school students. Andrea Johnston (middle school language arts/social studies) and Kathleen Nickle (middle school skills for literacy) led the prop design team and the backstage crew. The costume design was under the direction of Naomi Hoff (alumni parent) with a wonderful group of parent volunteers who sewed the extra pirate feel into the show. Choreography help came from Yoko Krueger (present parent).

A special thanks goes out to middle school art teachers Jessica Swist and Milan Claudio for supporting art work and designs, Anita Gesling (middle school Japanese) for organizing the front of house and ticket sales, and Friends of the Fine Arts (FOFA) for help with concessions, supervision and many production details. Particular thanks goes to present parents Nikita Mithal and Kavita Sonkiya for their leadership with the FOFA team and all our parent volunteers. Finally, thank you to the numerous administrators, teachers and parents who helped made the program a reality.

We hope everyone who came to see the show felt welcomed aboard our ship and left with a song and dance in their step. If you missed Lady Pirates of the Caribbean or would like to revisit the show, you can view the performance on ASIJ TV. Read more about the musical and the dedicated actors, actresses, crew members, families, friends and family that supported it in the middle school musical program.