All Hands on Deck makes a splash at Eastern

“A Winter Sort of Thing” has been a tradition at Eastern for the past five years. It is a collaboration between Eastern University theatre and Yes! And…, a theatre organization created by Eastern alumni. This year’s musical was entitled “All Hands on Deck” and was truly “decked out” with imagination and creativity.

It is the story of eight children who rely on their imaginary friends for strength. These imaginary friends, or “IFs,” include a secret service agent, a ball of yarn, a mute giraffe and a grandmotherly character named “Nan,” played by Betsy Morgan.

The opening scene of the play shows two “QVC” style operators promoting a new DVD series that teaches discipline. This DVD is promoted by a very German “Dr. Papadopoulos” who promises to rid children of their imaginary friends. The DVD is quickly snatched up by the parents of the eight straying youth.

Because of this Dr. Papadopoulos, the IFs are forced to separate from their “reals” and end up working on a pirate ship, following the orders of the mischievous and somewhat cruel Captain Papadopoulos. This captain looks strikingly familiar to the creator of the discipline DVD and teaches all the IFs how to be “tricksters”. She forces them to do things like swab the deck and play pranks on people.

After some soul-searching and a few musical numbers, these imaginary friends quickly come together to overcome the oppressive captain. With some careful planning and a little help from ping-pong-ball-throwing audience members, the IFs are able to pull off a successful mutiny and become reunited with their reals.

The entire play is extremely creative and combines several genres, including comedy, melodrama and musical. An elaborate set design and original musical numbers add to the creativity and overall high quality of the production.

If you are hungry for more, there is information on Yes! And… Collaborative Arts at

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