Blair Theatre's Treasure Island offers pirates, action and plenty of excitement
If you were a child, chances are you wanted to be a pirate at some point. The salt air, colorful clothes and sense of righteous rebellion are extremely alluring. But if you, like most children, never got to see your dream come true, Blair Theatre's Treasure Island, directed as always by Kelly and John O'Connor, is a great substitute. The complex story, talented cast and spellbinding set make for an exciting and whimsical pirate adventure.
It's an ambitious play, filled with moral grey areas and questions about who to trust. The action is packed. The characters are complex. Perhaps the most complicated character is Long John Silver (Liam Mendizabal/Conor James), a classic pirate if there ever was one, whose ambiguous loyalties and cleverness are essential to the plot. Both Mendizabal and James bring a reality to this iconic, complicated character that makes him sympathetic and undeniably interesting. Ben Gunn (Ben Holland/Brian Swantkowski) is also a highlight, an insane marooned sailor who has been stuck on the island for years. His antics have a deadly intent, and the Gollum-like portrayal by Holland and Swantkowski make him easily one of the most fascinating characters in the play.
The set, designed by junior Dio Cramer, is perfect. A first glance, it seems like a spidery jungle gym of planks and poles, but it can become anything that the play needs: a ship, a loading dock, a jungle-y island or a room at an inn. The relative bareness of the set is filled with smaller props and brought to life in each scene in a new way. The actors swing across levels and hide in its angles, making it seem lively and fluid. It can fit any mood that it needs to and respond to every aspect of a diverse play.
Kelly O'Connor's costumes are exquisite—lovely 18th century dresses for the very few ladies, neat jackets and breeches for the men. The pirates have colorful clothes that look cobbled together, exactly right for their characters. They bring the time period and the distinct classes to each character, introducing their characters before they open their mouths. Additionally, the script, which was written by John O'Connor and based on the book "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson, perfectly highlights the complexities and nuances of the play--entirely in historical language.
Whether you're looking for some childhood-fulfillment or looking for some entertainment, Treasure Island is a phenomenal production, sure to delight viewers of all ages.
Treasure Island has four more performances, at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 and Saturday, Nov. 8 and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8.
Milena Castillo is the Editor in Chief of La Esquina Latina, the Spanish section of Silver Chips Print.
Sarah Trunk. Hello! I'm Sarah, and I'm one of the managing editors for SCO this year. I like writing about things and reading mystery novels. Enjoy our site! More »