Captains Courageous

Captains Courageous

A classic coming-of-age story set in the forgotten world of the great New England sailing ships. In 1928, a millionaire’s pampered son falls off an ocean liner and is rescued by a Portuguese fisherman, who teaches him the virtue of hard work and the true riches of life.

Harvey Cheyne, a spoiled 12-year-old boy who falls off his father’s ocean liner in the North Atlantic in 1928. Rescued by Manuel, a Portuguese fisherman, Harvey is brought aboard a New England fishing schooner and put to work. Thrust into a pre-modern world of ropes, sails and fishing lines, Harvey rebels, and he is soon branded a “Jonah” and blamed for the ship’s bad luck. But with Manuel’s help and friendship, Harvey leaves his boyhood behind, wins over the crew, and learns the value of hard work, spirit and song. The musical is based on the Rudyard Kipling novel and the classic Academy Award-winning film.


A Musical


Based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling and the movie by John Lee Mahin, Marc Connelly, and Dale van Every. Captains Courageous was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 1990 Originally produced in New York City by the Manhattan Theatre Club, February 1999 Originally Produced by Ford’s Theatre, Washington, D.C. 1992 Subsequently produced by Goodspeed Opera House, Michael P. Price, Executive Producer CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS was partially developed at the O’Neill Center during the 1990 National Music Theatre Conference

MANUEL (tenor/baritone): a Portuguese fisherman

HARVEY CHEYNE (boy alto): a 12-year-old boy

CAPTAIN TROOP (baritone): captain of the “We’re Here”.

DAN (1st tenor): the captain’s son, 16 years old. DOC (bass): cook on the “We’re Here”.

MR. CHEYNE (non-singing): wealthy industrialist, Harvey’s father.

ELIOT (non-singing): Mr. Cheyne’s secretary

SHIP’S ATTENDANT (non-singing)


LONG JACK: (baritone/bass) morose, religious, menacing.

EVANS: (second tenor) unassuming, insecure

HEMANS: (second tenor) dark, sensitive.

STEPHENS: (bass) intelligent, assertive.

SIMON: (baritone) jocular, the “class clown”.

TOM PLATT: (first tenor) educated, rational.

OLLIE (bass): elderly, wise.

PETERS (second tenor): shifty, ill-mannered.

HARRIS (first tenor): portly, dour.

MURPHY (baritone): short-tempered, brutish.

WALTERS (bass): burly, loyal N.B.:

The ages of the crew may range from 20’s to 60’s. Ollie is the oldest member of the crew. MR. CHEYNE, ELIOT, and SHIP’S ATTENDANT double as crew members.

12 Musicians

Conductor/Keyboard 1 (Piano)

Keyboard 2 (Synthesizer, Accordion)

Reed 1 (Clarinet, Flute)

Reed 2 (Oboe, English Horn)

Reed 3 (Bassoon)


French Horn




Bass (Upright)

Percussion: (Gran Cassa, Anvil, Timpani, Snare Drum, Triangle, Glockenspiel, Cymbal, Xylophone, Tam Tam, Cassa, Chimes, Bell Tree, Wood Blocks, Temple Blocks, Traps, Susp. Cymbal, Crotales, Sandblocks)