Two Pirates Die as Six Pirates are Born

Taylor Burke Contributing Writer

    An eerily quiet Friday night on campus had seniors Brock Bubar and Hailey Craig dunking their heads in water during what would be their last show as the Lawn Chair Pirates. Despite the recent closure of the school due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a crowd of over 75 people who came to get a final laugh at Bubar and Craig’s antics during the show. 

    Following the game, which finally ended when Bubar guessed that Craig was acting like a Roomba vacuum cleaner, the two held each other in a heartfelt embrace.

    This act of friendship is telling of just how intimately close the group is, making the sudden conclusion of Bubar and Craig’s time with the pirates so difficult. “We’re all a big family,” Craig said. “The part I’m going to miss the most is just having a space three times a week where I can go in and make jokes and hang out with my friends.” 

    Bubar also felt a sense of comradery during his time in the group. “There isn’t a pirate in the group that isn’t like a broski,” Bubar said sincerely. “Just being in this improvisational headspace and being with a group of people who have your back can really push you up from whatever dark depths you happen to be in that day.” 

    Two days before the show Bubar and Craig realized that it would be their last. “Usually we get a senior video, but we don’t get that this year,” Craig said. 

    Instead, the two gave a speech in which they addressed the crowd, expressing their heartache, and saying goodbye. “We’ve cried about it a lot,” Craig said during the speech. Around the auditorium, the faces in the audience were somber, but after the speech finished, the whole crowd cheered for the two pirates. 

     Craig was thankful that they were able to hold a final show, even though UMF would be closing. “We’re really happy that we still get to hold the show tonight because it’s the last day on campus for a lot of people,” she said. She hoped to provide that last laugh to the audience before they had to leave. 

    The name of the show, “Friday the 13th,” was eerily relevant in such a scary and confusing time for those on campus, especially seniors. The quick turn of events left Bubar and Craig uncertain about what lay ahead, and sad about everything they weren’t prepared to leave behind so suddenly. “I was not ready to just lose everybody so quickly,” Bubar said. “And also I’m not ready to just jump into the professional workforce.”

    Craig nodded in agreement with Bubar as she contemplated her own future, which was quickly becoming a reality. “I don’t really have time to be scared anymore,” she said frankly.  

    As the two senior pirates “died,” six new pirates were “born” to make the show not only about goodbyes, but about hellos as well. In an opening video shown prior to the final performance, the new members were featured telling scary stories around a fire which included existing members of the LCP. 

    Junior Sophie Hendrix is one of the six new members of the group. Hendrix had already been part of theater at UMF, but wanted to expand and try something new. She felt LCP was that opportunity. She’s had to get used to being flexible, because improv is very different from line memorization. This show was her first and last of the semester. “Being my first show I’m like super excited,” she said with a smile. But Hendrix was also upset that it was her last show, especially because the seniors were leaving. “It’s going to be sad without Hailey and Brock,” she said. “I’ll miss their energy.” 

    Sophomore and theater major Paul Riddell is another new member of the group. He has been involved with improv since fourth grade, and was really eager to be a part of the LCP. “It’s really exciting to see all of the potential that the group has,” Riddell said. “But it’s really sad to see two great pirates go and two close friends of mine as well.” 

    Riddell hasn’t been with the pirates for very long, but his bond with the two seniors makes it hard for him to see them leave. “I’m definitely going to miss what they bring to the table and just them as people,” he said. “I’m really close with both of them.” 

    Junior Katie Shupp was in the audience during the show, and was excited about the abundance of new members entering the group. “It’s going to be a full house,” she said. Shupp has been to many shows and watched Bubar and Craig grow and develop as entertainers during her time at UMF. “We’ve been with them for three years now so it was a nice ending,” Shupp said. 

    Bubar was in his seventh semester with LCP and Craig was in her eighth, which made them a big part of the established foundation of personalities that audiences came to enjoy. 

    As the show came to a close, audience members filed out of the auditorium. The few that stayed congratulated the new members and said their goodbyes and thanks to the seniors. Amongst the loud chatter Craig, covered in a blanket due to her soaking wet clothes, received a bouquet of flowers with a look of surprise and happiness written on her face. Bubar, also drenched in water, hugged fellow pirate Jeremy Tingdahl after announcing that he would lead LCP in the following semester. The pirates mingled with their fans as the night wore on, continuing to fight the looming uncertainty with comedy and humor. 

UMF Theater Presents “A Curious Case of a Dog in the Night-time”

UMF Theater Presents “A Curious Case of a Dog in the Night-time”

By Aislinn Forbes Contributing Writer

The wood creaked under Brock Bubar’s feet as he entered Alumni Theater through the dark hallway that circles around the seating, having arrived a half an hour before rehearsal starts. Bubar stretches, bending in half or standing on one foot, while he studies his script. “You know, just to go over lines,”

Jonas Maines as main character, Christopher. (Photo by Steffon Gales)

Bubar said, chuckling good naturedly. “There’s a couple lines I always mess up so I have to look at them over and over again.”

Hope Lash, the stage manager, is also there early. Lash is small in stature, but has clear focus and command of a room. Lash has a lot of responsibilities before the actors arrive and after they leave. “My job basically involves knowing everything that happens during a production,” Lash said. As the stage manager, Lash is responsible for communication between the various departments; lights, sound, props, costumes, actors, director.

“Stage managers have such value in the rehearsal and performance process because there is a point where the play moves from the director’s hands to the stage manager’s,” Director Jayne Decker wrote in an email. “Hope worked with me on last year’s production of “Hamlet”, and I’m so glad she is back for our current play.”

Lash’s experience with Hamlet has prepared her well for “A Curious Case of a Dog in the Night-time”. “It’s smaller, it’s a lot smaller.” Lash said, relieved, “The cast is only 10 people, in “Hamlet” there was 22.”

Both Lash and Bubar remarked that the experience developing A Curious Case of a Dog in the Night-time has been rewarding because of the many new faces. “I think about half the cast is incoming students,” Lash’s voice dropped with sincerity, “and they’ve been amazing to work with too, and getting to know them.”

   Bubar enthusiastically stated, “That’s one of the best parts about the theater, getting to know everyone you work with.”

The nature of the play and the size of the cast causes most of the actors to play more than one role. Bubar has to portray five separate characters, with two different accents. In order to make costume changes faster between characters, “Everyone has a base of black,” explained Bubar. “And the other stuff is like decoration on top.”

According to Lash, this fits well with the design of the set, “the colors are very muted.”

Decker wrote that she chose the play in order to challenge the actors. “There is great physical work for many of them, including fight choreography and stylized movement.” However, the actor only represent a fraction of the people needed to make the production work.

“One of the great joys in directing a play like Curious Incident is the opportunity to collaborate with scenic and lighting artist, Stan Spilecki,” Decker said, “and sound designer, Michael Diffin because the technical elements establish context for the play.”

Stan Spilecki, in an email interview, described the concept behind the set design. He took the personality of the main character into account when designing the setting, which he calls non-realistic. “Christopher is a mathematics prodigy who needs to order his life,” Spilecki said. “This brings thoughts of order and chaos and thus a version of the Rubik’s Cube.”

Costumes and props are handled by students. Declan Attaway-Murphey and Samantha Wood are responsible for the costume design, the two of them spend hours in the basement of the theater searching through boxes of clothes for things that fit both the show and the actors.

Senior Jessica Leibowitz designs, crafts and organizes the props. “Jess has been working on something all summer,” said Bubar mysteriously. “I haven’t been allowed to see it.”

“A Curious Case of a Dog in the Night-time” opens on Thur., Oct. 18th and will play through Sun., Oct 21st. To purchase tickets students will need to call the UMF box office at (207) 778-7465. Tickets are $5 for students.