Horizon Theatre’s ‘How I Became A Pirate’ Performed Outdoors And With A Diverse Cast

"How I Became A Pirate" will be performed outside, behind Horizon Theatre's building.
"How I Became A Pirate" will be performed outside, behind Horizon Theatre's building.
Credit Horizon Theatre Company

This summer, Horizon Theatre Company in Little Five Points finally returns to live performances, outdoors in the backyard. Together with Destination Theatre, Horizon will present the children’s musical “How I Became A Pirate.” A charming story of appreciating the familiar by venturing into the strange, this musical seemed to be a poignant choice for a neighborhood coming out of pandemic isolation. Lisa Adler is the co-artistic and producing director of Horizon Theatre. She joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes along with Cory Phelps, artistic director of Destination Theatre, and actor Destiny Freeman, to talk about the show and new, live experiences at Horizon.

Collaborating producers Destination Theatre is a brand new outfit, conceived and launched in January of 2021. The founder, Phelps, his partner, and producer Amy Duffy, were tired of waiting to get back to live shows when the idea blossomed. They came up with Destination, outdoor touring productions for people of all ages — a way to bring safe, unforgettable experiences to communities all over the country.

“The musical follows a young girl named Jessica Jacob, and a band of goofy pirates. And they’re on a hunt for a perfect place to bury their treasure. Now, while they’re adventuring, she learns that back home is the greatest treasure of all,” Phelps said. “We thought that was a really interesting show to pick during this time where we’re coming out of having been at home for so long. Hopefully, we found some of that treasure at home. We may have gotten sick of some of that treasure at home but, certainly, there was some treasure there.”

In a tale of overcoming challenges in a world of swashbuckling and treasure-hunting, characters discover unique talents, wit, and resourcefulness. “I will say this is one of the most diverse casts I have been a part of,” Freeman said. “I play Swill; I’m like the know-it-all, but also very timid, very smart and intellectual. That just goes to show you that… any time that we are creating theater, it doesn’t have to be just one way of casting… It was cleverly done, and well done by Cory and Amy.”

The partnership with Horizon was a natural match, with both ventures itching to bring quality live outdoor entertainment to their communities.

“We had been looking to do an outdoor performance series this summer, and then found out that we were not going to be able to do this size… and the building decided that they were not going to permit us to put up an outdoor stage,” Adler said. “We were looking for other things that we could do outside, and Cory came to me with a proposal for his touring children’s theater, which seemed like a perfect fit for us, because people are wanting to be outside, and wanting to be doing live performance.”

“How I Became A Pirate” begins July 10 at 11 a.m., running through August 8. More information is available at