Instead of spending their last few days of school before summer vacation cooped up in a classroom, some lucky area students were able to stretch their imaginations at the Reg Lenna Civic Center.
Third- and fourth-graders from Jamestown Public Schools and Southwestern Elementary School had the opportunity to travel to the Reg Lenna and spend their morning lost in the world of The Story Pirates, an education and media organization based dually out of Los Angeles and New York City.
"We are an educational-theater group. We take stories written by kids and turn them into musical and sketch shows. We visit schools all over the country and perform. We do creative stories, we do shows on the spot that the kids come up with right there," said Jillian Green, cast member.
The show was brought to the area as a treat for students from the Arts Council and the Lucy-Desi Center.
"As a special gesture to the public schools in this area, the Arts Council of Chautauqua County and the Lucy-Desi Center came together to bring The Story Pirates here while school was still in session, to do a show for free for the students and the schools," said Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy.
The Story Pirates were a part of last year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. They will be returning in August to perform again for children ages four to 12.
The Story Pirates, dually based out of Los Angeles and New York City, performed a show for third- and fourth-grade students from Jamestown and Southwestern schools.
P-J photos by Liz Skoczylas
"Last year, in planning for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, we wanted to make sure that the festival offers comedy for everybody. We hadn't really done a lot of kids programming before, so we really just spent a few months looking for the right kids comedy show to bring, and came across The Story Pirates," Gunderson said.
Tuesday morning, the Story Pirates performed a show based on their favorite skits. Each of the Story Pirates' skits are based off of short stories submitted to them by children.
"We really cherish the ideas of kids. We think that their ideas are amazing and they should be celebrated," Ms. Green said.
According to Gunderson, the Arts Council was able to come through with educational programming funding for Tuesday's show, which freed up funds from the Lucy-Desi Center to be able to provide busing for Jamestown school students.
Len Barry, Arts Council program director, thanked the Arts Council, Reg Lenna, Jamestown Public Schools, Southwestern Central School District, Cummins Engine, the Sheldon House and the Lucy-Desi Center for helping pay for the show.
The Story Pirates will be returning to the Reg Lenna on Aug. 4 to perform during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. For the Aug. 4 show, The Story Pirates will be performing skits based on stories that area children write. Children ages 12 and under can submit a short story to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1 for a chance to have their stories performed during the show.