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Characters: The Pirates of Penzance

NOTE: The articles in these study guides are not meant to mirror or interpret any particular productions at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. They are meant, instead, to be an educational jumping-off point to understanding and enjoying the play (in any production at any theatre) a bit more thoroughly. Therefore the stories of the plays and the interpretative articles (and even characters at times) may differ from what is ultimately produced on stage.

Also, some of these articles (especially the synopses) reveal the ending and other “surprises” in some plays. If you don’t want to know this information before seeing the plays, you may want to reconsider studying this information.


Major-General Stanley: A one star-general in the British Army.

The Pirate King: A largely unsuccessful pirate commander.

Samuel: The pirate king’s lieutenant.

Frederic: A pirate trainee, Frederic was apprenticed to the pirates by mistake.

Sergeant of Police: The leader of a bumbling squad of policemen.

Mabel: Major-General Stanley’s youngest ward.

Edith: Another of Major-General Stanley’s wards.

Kate: Another of Major-General Stanley’s wards.

Isabel: Another of Major-General Stanley’s wards.

Ruth: A pirate maid-of-all-work and Frederic’s nursery maid.

A Chorus of Pirates, Police, and General Stanley’s Wards

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