Pirates! is a bi-national co-commission which Way wrote for theatres in the London and the Washington, DC, suburbs. The protagonist Jim is an eight year old who is fascinated by 18th-century pirate lore. He is also on the brink of being reunited with the mother who left him and his father four years earlier for a life on the road with a new partner. As he struggles to come to terms with whether or not he wants to renew this relationship, Jim dreams that he is caught in an adventure on the high seas in which he must choose between allegiance to the charismatic female pirate Captain Freely or to her arch nemesis – the strict disciplinarian, Captain McGovern. Like most children touched by divorce, Jim’s deepest wish is to force a stop to the fight between his parents. In a moment of striking theatrical imagery, Way has Jim interrupt the duel between the two warring captains and demand that they throw down their swords forever. Instead they pause just long enough to tell him, “This is our fight lad – ours. And you are not the cause of it. ‘Tis time for you to go.” The fantastical journey into history allows Jim to process his fears about his very present dilemma. He gains the courage to speak directly to his father about the past and realizes that he can choose to what degree he wants to allow his mother back into his life. Pirates! was much praised by critics on both sides of the Atlantic for its premiere productions and was nominated for Washington’s Helen Hayes Outstanding New Play Award in 2011 and given the Distinguished New Play Award by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education in 2012.
Acts: 2. Scenes: 10. Roles: Male (4) , Female (0) , Neutral (0)