Pirates of Penzance

Glen the pirate sneers at the camera. In the first act, Glen Newton was a pirate, and in the second, he was the Sergeant of Police (fourth from the right in the picture below).
Glen and seven other policemen look noble.

The Summer Palace of Pullman, Washington, presented Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, "The Pirates of Penzance," in the summer of 1974. With dramatic direction by Charles Wadleigh (third from the right in the picture of the police above) and music direction by Paul Belton, both Washington State University faculty members, the production combined the talents of students and townspeople.

Casting the role of the Sergeant of Police proved problematic, because the only cast member able to sing the low notes was the dramatic director, and his preference was to not have a lead role while he was the director. Paul Belton solved the problem by asking his next door neighbor, Glen Newton, a member of the computer science faculty, to join the cast and sing the role.

Although Glen had considerable singing background and some prior dramatic experience, having played the Stage Manager in "Our Town" and the title role in "Here Lies Jeremy Troy", as well as a few lesser roles, this was his first (and so far only) role in a musical.

He especially enjoyed singing "When a Felon's Not Engaged in His Employment" and imitating Charles Wadleigh's many British dialects (without actually being able to keep one straight from the other).

The cast performed excerpts from the musical at the 1974 World's Fair in Spokane, Washington, giving Glen his one glimpse of a world's fair.

This page was last updated
Monday, July 31, 2017.


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