20:17 PM

Shiver me timbers! Pirate School comes to Bayou Theater for adventure on the high seas

David Engel

What kid wouldn’t love to sail off on a pirate ship to hunt for treasure with a parrot on their shoulder and no parents to tell them to do their homework? 

But learning about sword fights, plundering, and searching for buried treasure are acquired skills. That’s why Professor Bones, who has been teaching kids exactly these things in his Pirate School, is coming to University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Bayou Theater to share his pirate wisdom with adventure-loving kids on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.

David Engel, who has been playing Professor Bones and “teaching” Pirate School around the country for over 33 years, said his show, “Pirate School: Sea Dreams!” releases the inner swashbuckler in everyone.

“We all love this sense of adventure, the idea of freedom, and the thought of just sailing away from our responsibilities,” Engel said. “We all fancy ourselves a bit of a rebel or a rogue. That’s how Professor Bones and the Pirate School were born.”

Bitten by the performance bug at age 9, Engel said he especially loved the “golden age of piracy,” from Captain Hook on to Peter Pan and Wendy. “We all understood that pirates were the murderers and thieves of the sea, but Peter Pan and Disney romanticized it,” he said. “Now we can sidestep the realities of the historic pirates and go right for the part where they break the rules, have fun, and go on adventures.”

He said the show was structured as though it was an actual pirate school, with the audience engaging in “classes” and activities, while being encouraged to be as boisterous and interactive as possible.

“I’m a solo performer,” he said. “I learned to fill the theater with amazing sounds, all by myself, so the audience has an immersive experience. They’ll experience bubble play, magic, ventriloquism, madcap slapstick antics, and puppetry. And at the end, the kids will have a ‘final exam’ that is a big battle at sea, to show what they learned.”

And when the show is over, Engel said, he’ll exit the theater just the same way he came in: “On the world’s only wearable pirate ship,” he said.

For more information about upcoming Bayou Theater events, and to purchase tickets, go online.