E & M Presents Brings Kid-Centric Sketch Comedy to Napa
Kids’ stories - written by kids - come to life when the sketch comedy troupe, Story Pirates, arrives in Napa for two shows of “Greatest Hits,” Saturday, April 21 at 1pm and 3pm, at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center.
Free arts activities take place in the theater lobby one hour prior to each show and include: a best dressed pirate contest; guest “speedcuber” New Tech High freshman Tristan Heartt displaying his competitive Rubik’s Cube skills (and teaching tricks of the trade to “wanna-be” cubers); and for a small fee, a pirate-themed, glitter art image from Face Painting by Cynthia.
Story Pirates is an acclaimed group of actors, comedians, musicians and teaching artists who celebrate the words and ideas of young people. They’ve been dubbed “a mix between School House Rock and Monty Python.”
Founded in 2004 and dually based in New York and Los Angeles, the troupes are best known for their creating writing programs profiled in Education Week, NBC Nightly News and The Today Show. They regularly collaborate with top comedians and actors such as Jon Stewart (who called the Pirates “crazy entertaining”), Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert and many others.
Cast members have performed in lead roles on Broadway, often appear on television and film, publish books for young readers and are on the writing staffs of television shows such as Late Night with Seth Meyers, Workaholics, Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show. The Pirates’ just-published first book, Stuck in the Stone Age, will be available for purchase in the lobby.
“’Greatest Hits’ is a collection of some of the Pirates’ favorite stories written by kids over our roughly 14 years’ collaborating with young authors,” shared Duke Doyle, Artistic and Producing Director. “In terms of how we choose to perform a story, we leave that up to the particular director who is in charge of that show. That way, the show can be tailored to the talents of the cast. So if there is a cast member who plays a particularly hilarious grandma character, the director may decide to perform the story, ‘Super Granny.’ Or, if there is a fabulous monster voice, it’s perfect for the story ‘There is a Monster.’”
The show’s final stories will be performed using suggestions from kids in the audiences! “We believe that kids have the best ideas,” Doyle said. “Adults are very nervous about getting it right. Kids, however, will be silly and unfiltered as a default, which we believe can be the way to find the best ideas. In Story Pirates we like to grant everyone “Permission to be weird!” and kids are not afraid to take us up on that offer, which leads to some really exciting stories.”
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Tickets are on sale online at EandMPresents.Eventbrite.com
Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center
2277 Napa Vallejo Highway, Napa
For information, call (707) 224-4353