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Pieces of Eight

ECU School of Communication professor Geoff Thompson plays the role of the notorious pirate Blackbeard in the outdoor drama, “Blackbeard: Knight of the Black Flag.” The drama is being presented in Bath as part of the town’s tricentennial celebration. (Contributed photo)

Drama Features ECU Faculty

By Franceine Rees

“Blackbeard: Knight of the Black Flag,” an outdoor drama being presented at Bath this summer, showcases the creative talents of five current and former ECU faculty/staff members.

The play was written in 1977 by Stuart “Skip” Aronson, a retired speech instructor with the Division of Continuing Education. “Blackbeard” was produced for 10 summers, then revived last year for historic Bath’s tricentennial celebration.

Aronson directs the production.

The notorious pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach) used Bath Bay as one of his home ports and hiding spots and is believed to have married a local girl, Mary Ormond. His career in plunder ended in 1718 when he was captured and decapitated by British marines at Ocracoke.

Starring for the second year in the title role is Geoff Thompson (Communication).

Appearing as Virginia Royal Governor Alexander Spotswood is David Long (History).

Joseph Distefano (emeritus, Music) is music director. Distefano arranged authentic early 18th century songs and composed original music for the show.

Technical director/lighting designer is Bevill Searcey, former technical director for Wright Auditorium.

A number of current and former ECU theatre arts students appear in the production, which features music, dance and sword-fighting.

The play opened June 29 and is scheduled to run each Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Aug. 19 at Ormond Amphitheatre at Whitepost, two miles west of Bath and 14 miles east of Washington.

Tickets are priced at $16 for adults, $10 for children (ages 5-15) and $14 for senior citizens on Thursdays. Information about performances is available by phone (252) 923-4171 or online at

This page originally appeared in the July 28, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at