SHAYLA DAVIS | Scroll Photography

Faculty Member writes new play: Clever Jack and the Pirates

Shayla Davis | Scroll Photography

SHAYLA DAVIS | Scroll Photography

The BYU-Idaho Theatre Department is performing the musical Clever Jack and the Pirates, which was written by faculty member Omar Hansen and is opening on June 3.

Clever Jack and the Pirates is a musical comedy featuring a wide range of characters, including several farm animals, pirates and a love-struck Jack, Omar Hansen said. It is an all-student cast, with the exception of Trevor Hill, a professional actor and faculty member of BYU-Idaho.

The stage managers and the technical crew are all students as well, Omar Hansen said.

The choreographer is Laurie Christensen, a local of Rexburg.

“She has done a great job with the choreography,” Omar Hansen said.

Omar Hansen is co-directing Clever Jack and the Pirates with his wife Lori Prescott Hansen, who does the basic directing. Hansen said he works as the acting teacher.

Clever Jack and the Pirates is an adaptation of the Grimm Brothers’ Bremen Town Musicians, Omar Hansen said.

He said he wrote it about 4 or 5 years ago for the children’s theater. Hansen had always enjoyed Clever Jack’s stories and the Bremen Town Musicians.

Hansen said that with a few tweaks, such as turning thieves into pirates, his musical was born.

Hansen said that when Clever Jack and the Pirates first came out, it was on a smaller scale, and since then, he has gone back and added a lot more songs.

Clever Jack and the Pirates features 10 songs. The play in its entirety is about an hour and 45 minutes long.

“It’s super fun, and we have a really talented, quality cast, and we’ve put a lot of work into it,” said Emily Nixon, a junior studying early childhood/special education. Nixon is the assistant stage manager for Clever Jack and the Pirates.

Nixon said she has been managing plays for 7 years and has had several opportunities to work with Hansen and plays that he has written.

“It’s really cool because he has different insights, being the playwright,” Nixon said.

Alexandra Halterman, a senior majoring in theater studies, said it is interesting to work on a production with the person who wrote it. Halterman said she plays a few different roles in Clever Jack and the Pirates, including a pirate guard and the pig Willard.

The cast of Clever Jack and the Pirates consists of 15 actors and about half the cast plays multiple roles, Halterman said.

Hansen has been a member of BYU-Idaho’s faculty for 19 years, and in that time, he has had seven or eight plays performed here. Alongside plays, he also said he writes novels and poetry.

“I’m interested in all types of writing,” Hansen said.

Hansen said he always has fun when he sees his productions on stage.

People of all ages would enjoy Clever Jack and the Pirates, Hansen said.

“It’s a great, fun performance that everybody should come to, no matter their age,” Halterman said.

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