Fredericton / Blog / 202002 / Who said piracy was a man’s game?

Who said piracy was a man’s game?

Who said piracy was a man’s game?

Theatre New Brunswick will bring the lives of two famous female pirates to the stage in March with its production of Heroine.

What comes to mind when you think about pirates? Are you thinking peg-legs, parrots and Johnny Depp? How about eye patches, swords and tall ships? Am I getting closer? If we believe all the blockbuster movies, the countless children’s toys and the common lore we all associate with these swashbucklers of the high seas, it would be almost impossible to believe that, wait for it…not all pirates were men. But that’s the truth.

In the upcoming production of Heroine by Nova Scotia playwright Karen Bassett, Theatre New Brunswick will bring the stories of two real-life pirates to the stage. At the height of piracy’s Golden Age (1650-1720), two women, one English and one Irish, commanded their own crews and wreaked havoc throughout the Caribbean until their capture. This play tells their story.

“Heroine is a fictional story about two real-life women who lived extraordinary lives,” said TNB Artistic Director Natasha MacLellan. “Anne Bonny and Mary Read are two of the most famed female pirates who lived.

“It's sometimes difficult to find female characters in pop culture who aren't women relegated to the sidelines of a man's story,” said MacLellan. “Too often the women in stories are girlfriends, mothers and wives to the main characters, without stories, goals and ambitions of their own. Heroine tells the story of two amazing historical women who lived life by their own terms. It's the kind of story all of us should see. We all need reminding that gender clichés don't serve us; that all of us are capable of so much more than traditional norms would have us believe.”

Heroine stars two New Brunswick actors – Abby Paige and Melanie LeBlanc – and features some of the most action packed scenes to ever hit the TNB stage. Sword fighting! Wrestling! Sharp-as-a-Blade Humour! Heroine has it all.

“I was there when TNB unveiled its new season and when Natasha announced that TNB was doing this play I thought, whoever is doing this show is so lucky,” said Paige.  “And then I got to do it, and when I read it, it was great. It’s just been layers and layers of excitement.”

Heroine runs March 18-23 at the Open Space Theatre (55 Whiting Road) before touring the province March 24-29.  Tickets are available at the Fredericton Playhouse box office or online at

Matt Carter is a husband, writer, bike enthusiast, photographer, craft beer lover, musician and first year gardener based in Fredericton. A proud Frederictonian and New Brunswicker, he founded the arts and culture website Grid City Magazine, where he does his best to share music being made and events taking place throughout the region.