pirate2A once-in-a-lifetime experience for the family of a children’s book author will play itself out in front of live audiences at LimestoneCollege later this month.

Limestone College Theatre and the Gaffney Little Theatre will join forces on Friday, Sept. 20, and Saturday, Sept. 21, to present three stage productions of “How I Became A Pirate,” which is based upon the book by the same name written by Greenville resident Melinda Long.

And when that book comes to life at Fullerton Auditorium on the Limestone campus, Long will have the opportunity to watch as her son, Bryan, a senior at Limestone, takes on one of the major roles as Captain Braid Beard.


“I can’t wait to see what Limestone and the Gaffney Little Theatre have come up with because the shows are always top notch,” Long said. “I’ve seen this production many times and it’s always special, but this will be a mama’s dream come true.  My son, performing in a play based on one of my books – it’s going to be just amazing.”

Opening night is Friday, Sept. 20, at 7:30.  That will be followed by two performances, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 21.  The lobby will open 90 minutes before each performance, and the auditorium will open 30 minutes before the curtain rises.

Tickets are available at the door. Adult admission is $10, while children 12-under and seniors 65-over are $8 each. Limestone faculty, staff, and students will be admitted for free. Gaffney Little Theatre memberships include one admission to the performance. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.showtix4u.com.

“How I Became A Pirate” follows the adventures of Jeremy Jacob, a boy building a sandcastle on the beach – until the day the pirates came. The pirates were in need of a digger to help bury their treasure. And Captain Braid Beard couldn't help but notice that “He's a digger, he is, and a good one to boot!”  The crew heartily agreed, “A good one to boot!”  And that is how Jeremy Jacob became a pirate.

“The book has been a national best seller, so it’s done really well,” Long noted. “The stage adaptation has been around for four or five years, and it stays true to the book. The music is just fantastic and I believe everyone is really going to enjoy it.

“There’s been talk of bring this production to Limestone for a couple of years,” she continued. “And for it to happen during Bryan’s senior year, and for him to play a role in it, is so exciting for me and my husband, Tom, the rest of our family, and our friends.”

Tim Baxter-Ferguson, Ph.D., the Theatre Department Chair, and also a Professor of Theatre and English at Limestone College., said he just couldn’t pass up a chance to bring “How I Became A Pirate” to the local stage, especially with the author’s son a part of the production.

“At first I was not that familiar with the book when Bryan told me about it,” he said. “I casually mentioned it to a friend one day who said, ‘That’s an amazing book and a wonderful play.’  Then I started hearing that everywhere I went. The book is kind of a big deal, and the play is incredible.

“We really enjoy doing children’s productions, because it’s one of the more noble things you can do in theater,” Dr. Baxter-Ferguson continued. “It’s the first experience some children get to see a play, and it often turns them into theater lovers for life.”

Both Long and Baxter-Ferguson pointed out that “How I Became A Pirate” is suitable for children of all ages.

Long’s book will be available for purchase, for $17, both before and after the play on Friday night, and before the evening performance on Saturday, and she said she will be happy to sign copies.

Songs in the production include “A Good One To Boot,” “Green Teeth,” “I'm Really Just a Sensitive Guy,” “You've Got to Talk Like a Pirate,” “Pirates Dot Aaargh,” and many others.