Story Pirates is an arts education organization based in New York City and Los Angeles. Originally known as the Striking Viking Story Pirates, the group collects written works from students and youth and adapts these stories for the stage. Kid-written work is then performed by professional actors in a sketch comedy venue.
Story Pirates serves over fifty elementary schools and community-based organizations in the New York City area through performances and creative writing workshops. The cornerstone of these services is the “Play/Write Program,” an original arts and creative writing curriculum that allows kids to “develop their creative writing skills…by exploring character building and elements of dramatic improvisation”
The mission of the Story Pirates is “to celebrate the words and ideas of young people and to create confident, literate students equipped with a variety of tools for written, verbal, and artistic self-expression.” Story Pirates’ original arts and literacy programs “improve the relevancy and effectiveness of classroom and extracurricular learning, create confident children who carry their ability to express themselves into adulthood, and build strong communities that celebrate the value of young voices from diverse backgrounds.”
The Story Pirates received national attention in February 2008 when “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart called The Story Pirates “crazy entertaining” on Larry King Live; Stewart had seen the group perform at a party he attended with his son. The group is “described as a mix between School House Rock and Monty Python” and has received critical acclaim. The New York Times called their performances a "theatrical treasure," and many others dub it one of the best kids shows around.
Originally called the Striking Viking Story Pirates, it was founded in 2003 by ten Northwestern University graduates including actress and comedian Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords). The concept for the Story Pirates grew out of a Northwestern University student organization called “Griffin’s Tale.” Since then, the organization has grown to include a cast and staff of over 40 actors, musicians, puppeteers, and technicians.
Currently, the Story Pirates are based at the Arthur Seelen Theater in Midtown Manhattan. The group performs a weekly show for all audiences each Saturday at 2 p.m. and a monthly late-night “Afterdark” show targeted toward adults. Story Pirates shows are made up entirely of original stories written by children. Often, young authors are in the audience to see their work performed. The show runs approximately one hour, contains 10-12 stories, and features outlandish costumes, puppets, and short films made by the group. The Story Pirates also perform private shows, the most popular being birthday parties.
- YouTube - Jon Stewart Loves the Story Pirates!
- UrbanBaby.com, “Pirate Treasure”, October 16, 2006.
- Stinson, Lashonda. “Story Pirates to perform local kids' works at Kidfetti”. Ocala Star-Banner, February 18, 2008.
- The Drama Book Shop, Inc
- Striking Viking Story Pirates, The New York, NY - Striking Viking Story Pirates, The Parks & Outings, Theater/Performances - Striking Viking Story Pirates, The Reviews