The Sweet Trade

This ambitious, boisterous play was mounted in the Circle Repertory Lab in 1994. It was during this production that the author met her husband, actor Mick Weber, who played the pirate Red Eye.

The characters are too numerous to list individually. The ensemble of actors were Greg McClure, Willis Sparks, Sheridan Crist, Christine Farrell, Jack Davidson, Mick Weber, Paul Mulder, Russell Cappellino, Gloria Biegler, Stewart Clarke, George Sheffey, Jim Bracchita, Ryan Osmond, John Lathan and Richard Swan.

Anne Bonny, an Irish girl, grew up in Carolina and ran away with a sailor at a tender age. She was swept off her feet by the picturesque and impetuous Calico Jack Rackham, and went away with him on his pirate forays. When Rackham's ship was surprised and attacked by an armed sloop, she fought gallangly until made prisoner. Tried and convicted for piracy at Jamiaica, Anne pleaded pregnancy and her sentence was commuted. Nothing is known of her eventual fate.*

Mary Read, an Englishwoman disguising herself as a male, served from her youth as footboy, sailor, soldier and pirate. Captured by pirates from New Providence in the Bahamas, Mary joined them, delighting in life among the rough sea robbers. She served aboard the ship of Calico Jack Rackham, where she met Anne Bonny. Eventually captured, Mary was sentenced to be hanged but died of a fever soon after.*

Known as "Calico Jack" because of the shirt and breeches of calico that he habitually wore, Captain John Rackham commanded the pirate ship aboard which Mary Reade and Anne Bonny served. He was hanged at Gallow's Point, Jamaica in 1720. Anne Bonny is reported to have said of him, "If he had fought like a man, he need not have been hanged like a dog."*

* Historical notes taken from Peter F. Copeland's
"Pirates and Bucaneers" coloring book.

Ann Bonny (Christine Farrell) and Mary Reade (Gloria Biegler) run amok on the high seas.

Captain Jack Rackham (Greg McClure) commands the pirate ship, The Laughing Bitch.

Mick Weber as Red Eye.

Backstage, Jack Davidson as Mizzenpaw.

Fat Bill (Jim Bracchita) takes a break from the slaughter.

Willis Sparks as Governor Rogers.

Prince John (John Lathan), Jamie (Ryan Osmond) and Charlie Dolt (George Sheffey) dress up in the spoils of their latest attack.

Selected Works

1968, McGurk's Tap Room in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Death, drugs, war, child abuse, and plenty of laughs.
Lack of accountability leads to a dead child, adultery, alcoholism, nervous breakdowns and insomnia.
Realistic portrayal of family life, murder, abuse, incest, and self-mutilation.
Lesbian pirates in the eighteenth century.
Vampire super-hero comes to life.
Midwest romantic comedy with one dead body.
Three women working in a factory go at each other.
Hostage situation flipped on its head.
Manhattan man is driven insane by a bird.