Arts & Culture

Yo-ho, yo-ho! It's a pirate play for me

This weekend, those who love pirates – and those with really short attention spans – are in luck.

Bryan Willis of Olympia has just the theater piece for you.

“I Love You, Flavilla” is a 20-minute monologue told from the point of view of a pirate – the cliched kind with a hat and an eye patch.

It will be performed every hour on the hour from noon to midnight Saturday, which just happens to be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

“The play is just really silly,” said Aaron Jacobs of Tacoma, one of six actors who’ll be sharing the performance load. (Hey, it’s only 20 minutes, but there are 13 performances in one day.) “It’s a fun and raucous tale of a pirate who falls in love with a girl named Flavilla and does all kinds of crazy things to impress her.

“It’s a pirate monologue, and you shouldn’t read anything more into it than that.”

The play began as a bedtime story, the playwright said. “It started as a story I was telling to my son. He was 8 at the time. Sometimes, a piece takes on a life of its own, and that’s what happened with this.”

But, he said, it’s not necessarily appropriate for young children. “It doesn’t have bad language, and it’s not licentious, but someone gets decapitated with a bowl of oatmeal that has lumps in it with itty-bitty hairs in them.

“This is not the kind of story that you’d probably tell a small child, but it’s really good for immature adults and people who enjoy pirates.”

International Talk Like a Pirate Day didn’t inspire the writing of the monologue, but it is an appropriate occasion for the debut.

“Unfortunately, I wrote this just before the Johnny Depp pirate movie, and so pirates became all the rage and then they became a little too popular,” Willis said. “This is the perfect time to do this monologue where it’s not passe.”

Added Jacobs: “So many times actors take ourselves a little too seriously. It’s been a long time since I got to use the cheesy pirate voice, and that’s why I like doing this so much.”

Asked to demonstrate the cheesy pirate voice, he responds, “Ahh, I’d be happy to, lass.”

As for the venue, dubbed “Olympia Tiny Theatre,” it’s not a theater but a house. The concept, however, is to do small-scale theater — in this case, about 10 people per performance.

In other words, reservations are a good idea.

The noon show will be the play’s official world premiere, but Jacobs did a reading of it last week in Seattle for the Northwest Playwrights’ Alliance.

“They loved it,” he said. “I put on that silly pirate hat and broke into the pirate voice.”

I Love You, Flavilla

What: The world premiere of this 20-minute pirate monologue by Olympia playwright Bryan Willis will be staged on International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Where: Olympia Tiny Theatre (actually a home), 2312 Muirhead Ave. N.W., Olympia

Tickets: $4 donation suggested

More information: 306-754-2818 or

Note: “I Love You, Flavilla” is not suitable for young children, Episcopal missionaries or impressionable adults,” as Willis put it.