Tonight is the first performance of the biennial Child Health Association play and the cast and crew are ready to perform “A Pirates Life For Me,” as part of a longstanding tradition.
"It's a tradition that started 60 to 70 years ago," said Alisa DiTommaso, Child Health president. "It's such a worthwhile cause and a special tradition that’s worth carrying on."
The play begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Edgeworth Club, 511 East Drive. Both clever and funny, the play features a scurvy band of pirates in hot pursuit of a stolen map. The unlikely thief takes up residence in an even more unlikely place - a quaint little river settlement called Sewickley.
DiTommaso said the musical comedy, a spoof on Sewickley, is an original script written and directed by Marguerite Park of Sewickley Heights, an active Child Health member. DiTommaso said this is the third script the "incredibly talented" Park has written and directed for the organization. Some of the roles are even written with certain people in mind, she said.
"That’s the idea of the play," DiTommaso said. "Every year it makes fun of Sewickley, of course, with takes on current events happening in town or generally in our culture."
Amy Jackson is the choreographer of the comedy, which includes 39 cast members, none of them professional actors.
Janet Kovac, past president of Child Health, said the play features a cast from all walks of life, from lawyers and doctors to business executives.
All of the cast members are either presently active in Child Health or part of the associate membership or spouses.
"These are all just regular people who live in Sewickley, the people in your neighborhood," DiTommaso said.
Money raised goes to Child Health’s grant program, supporting child-related activities of western Pennsylvania's non-profit organizations. The Sewickley-based nonprofit organization, headed into its 90th year, is run exclusively by volunteers and has helped hundreds of organizations over the decades.
“It goes to so many different organizations,” Kovac said. “If you have had children in Quaker Valley in the last 90 years—private, public or parochial schools—our organization has touched them.”
Tickets are still available at the door for tonight’s public performance as well as the Friday show. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.