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A Tale of Blackbeard returns to the boards

May 17 025

Amelia Jordan, left, and Caroline Temple, rehearse “A Tale of Blackbeard” with Julie Howard, center, musical director and creator of the play.

By Connie Leinbach

The Ocracoke original play “A Tale of Blackbeard” will have some new twists when the production resumes at 8 p.m. June 29.

The musical, loosely based on the days prior to Blackbeard’s demise on the island in 1718, was written in the 1970s by Julie Howard. After a more than 20 year hiatus, this popular piece about island life was revived last year.

This year, it will be performed Mondays through Aug. 10 in the Ocracoke School gym where it will accommodate a bigger audience than last year when it was in the Ocracoke Community Center.

At least two thirds of the local actors are returning to the show this year though not all in the same roles, Howard said during a lull in a recent rehearsal.

Trish Davis and David Tweedie rehearse the Farthingham roles.

Trish Davis and David Tweedie rehearse the Farthingham roles.

“There are more sailors, a different Blackbeard and a different energy,” Howard, who is the musical director, said.

This summer’s show is in partnership with the Ocracoke PTA, which will provide food concessions and receive a portion of the proceeds with remaining funds designated for Ocracoke Alive community programming. 

Courtney Conner is the director with Desiree Ricker as choreographer/co-director. 

Howard has revised the show a bit, in particular, adding another song for the sailors.

“It just popped into my head three years ago,” she explained, but since the show was only revived last year, it wasn’t added until this year. “I only finished refining it last month.”

Waylon Underwood, who was Richard, the young male lead last year and who is playing the part again this year, said the show is very different this year, although the way he plays his role is not so different.

A new Euphemia, proprietor of the boarding house, will be Megan Spencer.

“I’ve never been in a play before,” Spencer said about the new venture. “I fell in love with the play last year and wasn’t expecting such a big role.”

For cast and ticket information, visit the website here.

"A Tale of Blackbeard" logo.

“A Tale of Blackbeard” logo.