These are no ordinary pirates. You won’t find them boarding frigates or hoisting the Jolly Roger, and the treasure they seek is not gold doubloons. These are the Story Pirates, a group of improv artists, musicians, educators, and professional actors who excite and inspire creativity in children all over the country.
Founded in 2003 by ten graduates from Northwestern University, The Story Pirates are an education and media organization with permanent branches in New York and Los Angeles. They have over 300 cast members who travel from coast to coast performing at schools, festivals, art centers, museums, and bookstores, taking original stories written by children and bringing them to life as wild sketch, musical, and comedy shows.
The mission of the Story Pirates is “to celebrate the words and ideas of young people and to create confident, literate students equipped with a variety of tools for written, verbal, and artistic self-expression.” They believe that “desire drives learning” and that “there is a powerful link between literacy and confident self-expression”. Their entertaining educational programming has helped thousands of students find their voice – and fall in love with writing.
The Story Pirates perform a few different kinds of shows: a greatest hits show (where they perform sketches and musical numbers based on some of their favorite stories by kids); a new story show (where brand new, original stories are featured); and create-a-show (where the cast takes suggestions from the audience and makes up the story on the spot). Whatever the type of show they’re putting on, kids and their thoughts or suggestions are the star.
But the Story Pirates are more than just silly sketches. They provide educational value, too. According to their website, “the cornerstone of our educational philosophy is that great teaching goes hand in hand with great storytelling.” They have created their own writing curriculum and professional development tools, which they take to schools to help teachers learn how to teach writing in a different way.
“Teaching artists” put on engaging and entertaining workshops and master classes where they creatively teach students elements of composition and narrative structure. Workshops are usually bookended by performances – one at the beginning to get students excited about writing their own stories, and one at the end to celebrate the hard work the students have done – and are aligned with English Language Arts standards.
At a Story Pirate show, there’s never a dull moment. In any given show there could be a zombie, a bowl of Jell-o named John, flying cats, ninja babies, talking hot dogs, or puppets singing and dancing. Each show is different, and you never know who might stop by. Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal, and many other famous comedians and artists have popped up on stage or in the audience.
Come Celebrate Kids’ Creativity
The Story Pirates are coming to Torrance with an all new show with all new stories written by local kids. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind performance!