Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

The Guthrie Theater Presents H.M.S. Pinafore

Airs Friday, October 14, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: Courtesy of Michal Daniel

Above: The cast of the Guthrie Theater’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s "H.M.S. Pinafore."

Gilbert and Sullivan’s first blockbuster is among the most crowd-pleasing comic musicals in history, loved for its dynamite songs, gleefully entertaining story and saucy satire. The captain’s daughter is in love with an ordinary sailor but her father has a more sophisticated suitor in mind. Will she and her beloved defy convention and set sail for love?

Filled with Sullivan’s memorable melodies – infused with fresh musical arrangements ranging from big band swing to classic pop – "H.M.S. Pinafore" is pure joy and sensational entertainment for everyone, young or old.

The performance was filmed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in August 2011. Directed for the stage by Joe Dowling and for broadcast by Michael Beyer, the show’s cast includes (in alphabetical order) Lauren Asheim, Christina Baldwin, Robert O. Berdahl, Joseph Bigelow, Nathan Bird, Nathaniel Braga, Barbara Bryne, Seri Johnson, Aleks Knezevich, Timotha Lanae, Adam Lendermon, Heather Lindell, Molly Sue McDonald, Nicholas McGough, Robb McKindles, Tinia Moulder, Alfie Parker, Jr., Adrian Pena, Simone Perrin, Kersten Rodau, Laura Rudolph, Adam Sarette, Jason Simon, Brian Skellenger, Brian Sostek, Peter Thomson and J. Tyler Whitmer.

In addition to Dowling, artistic staff for the stage production includes Andrew Cooke (Music Director/Arrangements/Orchestrations), David Bolger (Choreographer/Musical Staging), Frank Hallinan Flood (Set Designer), Fabio Toblini (Costume Designer), Malcolm Rippeth (Lighting Designer), Scott W. Edwards (Sound Designer), Wade Clark (Orchestrations), Mark Henderson (Orchestrations), Adi Yeshaya (Orchestrations), Jo Holcomb (Dramaturg), Lucinda Holshue (Voice and Dialect Consultant), Chris A. Code (Stage Manager), Martha Kulig (Assistant Stage Manager), Timothy Markus (Assistant Stage Manager) and James McNamara (Assistant Director).

Actor Rainn Wilson hosts the evening’s presentation, produced by PBS member station Twin Cities Public Television.

Meet the Director of H.M.S. Pinafore

Your browser does not support this object.

Watch the full episode. See more The Arts.

Joe Dowling (Artistic Director, Guthrie Theater) arrived at the Guthrie in 1995, and since that time has directed more than 35 productions, including landmark productions of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Stoppard and Friel. Under Mr. Dowling's leadership, the Guthrie has enjoyed tremendous growth, including the 2006 opening of a new Guthrie on banks of the Mississippi River.

Meet H.M.S. Pinafore's Costume Designer

Your browser does not support this object.

Watch the full episode. See more The Arts.

New York-based costume designer Fabio Toblini combines a variety of historic and modern influences to complement the comic operetta, "H.M.S Pinafore." Toblini exaggerates proportions of the women's dresses with revealing bust lines, cinched waistlines and oversized bustles. The classic sailor and British Navy uniforms draw from different eras.

Meet H.M.S. Pinafore's Choreographer

Your browser does not support this object.

Watch the full episode. See more The Arts.

Drawing on the energy and excitement from audiences, the performers play to the passage ways, or vomitoria, and to the ship's quarterdeck that is the Guthrie Theater's thrust stage. Director Joe Dowling describes the musical staging designed by choreographer David Bolger as inventive. Bolger works in Ireland and the UK and is the artistic director and co-founder of Dublin's CoisCeim Dance.

Meet H.M.S. Pinafore's Set Designer

Your browser does not support this object.

Watch the full episode. See more The Arts.

When designing the set of "H.M.S. Pinafore," Frank Hallinan Flood looked to the British Royal Naval Museum for inspiration. Flood transformed Guthrie Theater's thrust stage into a 19th century ironclad ship with a state of the art lift, trap doors, revolving sets and a deck for the orchestra. Flood and "H.M.S. Pinafore" Director Joe Dowling have collaborated on productions for more than 30 years.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.