Alumna Katie Thomas stars in university musical

The pirate crew of the Crooked Star!

Photo Provided by Katie Thomas

The pirate crew of the Crooked Star!

Allison Lillestol, Copy Editor

Katie Thomas ’22 has blown me away ever since her time at Trinitas Arts Conservatory. It has been almost a year since Katie took the stage as Maria from “The Sound of Music,” but she has since continued theater as a freshman at Chapman University.

This time, she played the role of… a pirate? Well, not just any pirate, a pirate captain.

Back in January, Katie told me that she would be the lead in an upcoming musical “The Crooked Star” at her university. Being a huge “Pirates of the Caribbean” and Katie Thomas fan, I knew this would be the best show I’ve ever seen.

The show was put on by the Chapman Student Organized Production (CSOP) club which invites all students, regardless of major, to participate in the two shows they hold throughout the year.

The crew rehearsing for their show! (Photo Provided by Katie Thomas )

The whole show was written and directed by Chapman University student Feras Halabi with a stage crew and actors of all grades and majors from the university.

The process from auditions to the final show spanned a little over a month with rehearsals almost every day.

Being an original script, the process was a little different. Katie says, “I didn’t get access to the script until much later; towards the end of winter break. And on top of that, it was a live script, meaning that we could edit things at any point in time. And edit we did!” 

With the busy schedules and sorority rushing, Katie mentions, “The process for this show went a LOT faster than the Trinitas shows I’d been in. Rehearsal hours were also much longer and later, but this was of course to accommodate the quicker timeline along with everyone’s unique class schedules.”

I can confidently say all the hard work put into it really made the show incredible.

As soon as you walked in it felt like you were aboard the Crooked Star. The house was decorated to look like a pirate ship and the stage crew was dressed up in pirate costumes.

Katie practicing one of her solos… which was amazing (Photo Provided by Katie Thomas)

As soon as the show started, I was in awe of the set and how immersed everyone was in the show.  

The show follows the pirate Captain Johnny and his secret—  Johnny is actually Joanna— a woman who disguised herself as a man to join the pirate crew. After hiding her secret for a decade, she helps Wendy, who also joins the crew disguised as a man to escape her desolate life, manage living on the ship. 

The actors’ energy and presence on stage were incredible. The choreography and script were so unique and matched every character and the overall mood of the show so well. There were also a few moments where a pirate would balance and walk on a barrel across the stage. Never a dull moment aboard the Crooked Star!

Isabela Guiteriez’ 23 shared, “I LOVED the musical. My cheeks hurt from smiling at the end. I love pirates, musical theater, and Katie Thomas so this was just a win, win, win!” 

As the show wrapped up, I hated having to say goodbye to the amazing pirate crew. The actors did such an amazing job immersing the audience so that I felt like I was aboard the ship myself. 

Although Katie no longer performs for Trinitas, her time there made a huge impact: “The experiences I had in Trinitas absolutely gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to audition in the first place, approach a brand-new musical, and be able to be proud of the result. Having been encouraged and supported

Us after watching the best musical of our lives (Photo Credit: Dayna Sanders)

through Trinitas in high school, I felt totally confident that I could take on this challenge and tackle it well.”

And maybe one day, if we’re lucky, we’ll see Katie’s original work on stage!