Blaine Community Theater to make dramatic return

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After a year of inactivity, the Blaine Community Theater (BCT) will return to the stage for their third “Pirates of Penzance” water balloon show.

The water balloon show will be held at Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2’s Pirate Daze event Saturday, August 7. The show has no set time – instead, actors will perform the show three to four times between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. depending on when they can perform without interfering with other events.

BCT will perform next to the playground at Blaine Marine Park.

Pirate Daze runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Blaine Marine Park and the Birch Bay tide flats across from the Birch Bay Vogt Community Library location at 7968 Birch Bay Drive.

BCT president and director Mikael McDonald described the show as the perfect event to return to the stage. While “Pirates of Penzance” is traditionally a three-hour opera, BCT will perform an abridged version with a run time of 25-30 minutes, McDonald said. BCT will sell water balloons for 25 cents each, five for a dollar or also sold by the bucket.

Because the theater encourages the audience to throw water balloons at performers, there is little choreography and loose stage direction. What’s more important is being able to adapt, trust the other performers and have fun, McDonald said.

“There’s a certain chaos element with a show like this that’s really fun and keeps you on your toes as a performer,” McDonald said.

BCT vice president Dana Ruhl, who also plays a pirate, agreed the show is a blast for performers and audience alike, especially after the year of theatrical inactivity.

“Everybody that was at our rehearsal Sunday evening was talking about how good it is to get back into it and get our feet wet,” Ruhl said. “No pun intended.”

The show has a 16-person cast including new and returning actors. BCT drew a broad range of actors this year, ranging from high school students to actors in their 60s, Ruhl said.

Skyler Jones will perform in “Pirates of Penzance” as Frederic, a boy indentured to pirates due to a clerical error, for the third time. He’s excited both for the return to live theater and for the ridiculous nature of the production. Jones has previously performed in shows in Bellingham as well as BCT’s Halloween performance of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

“I’m not here to perform perfectly. I’m here to have fun on stage and get hit by water balloons,” Jones said. “You get to a point where you realize, this isn’t high art. This is a community event, and I love it because it’s audience and actor interaction.”

BCT hopes its Pirate Daze performance will mark an ongoing return to the stage. The BCT board is trying to determine what availability for performance spaces like the Blaine High School black box theater will look like for a potential show in the fall, McDonald said.

A Halloween show might be in the cards if BCT can secure a performance and rehearsal space, McDonald said.

For more information and future updates on BCT’s productions, visit the BCT Facebook page at bit.ly/3i1I3Aq or email  the theater at blainecommunitytheater@gmail.com.

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