Browning Boys See Their Words “Alive” on Stage

Story Pirates, a well-known group of performers who turn students’ writing submissions into musical theatrical productions, visited Browning on February 27. Head of Lower School Laurie Gruhn proudly notes, “When this group performed at our Lower School Assembly, four of our own Browning boys saw their creative writing come to life on the ‘stage’ of the Lower Gym.”

As the name of each boy was announced prior to the staging of his work, wild applause broke out for these “playwrights in the making!” All but one of the shiest authors later posed for a photo with the performers. The music and antics of the actors certainly charmed the boys and teachers in the audience that morning. Colorful quilted screens served to disguise the lively performers during costume changes, as they literally pulled hats and props from over-stuffed suitcases.

One of the most entertaining plots revolved around good (the angel on one “shoulder”) vs. evil (the devil on the other), adapted from a submission about whether Mom’s freshly baked pie might be sampled before Thanksgiving dinner, or not touched until the proper time, as she so carefully instructed. Comedic moments ensued as music and mayhem broke out, followed by a delightfully “devilish” ending.

According to the group’s website (, it is “a nationally respected education and media organization founded in 2003 to celebrate the words and ideas of young people.” The site adds, “We offer a variety of tools to make learning more engaging and effective. Dually based in New York and Los Angeles, we are best known for the Idea Storm Program, a master-class writing workshop that brings teaching concepts to life, followed by a musical sketch comedy show featuring stories by students and performed by professional artists.”