the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

Mary Read, pirate & Storyteller

Event Details

Mary Read, pirate & Storyteller

Time: July 16, 2013 from 5pm to 6pm
Location: TOPH Library
Street: 30 Martin St.
City/Town: Essex, MA 01929
Website or Map:…
Phone: 617-460-3544
Event Type: storytelling, concert, pirate, women, in, disguise, norah, dooley
Organized By: friend massmouth
Latest Activity: Jun 5, 2013

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Event Description


Dressed as pirate Mary Read, Norah Dooley tells tales about the people who sailed in the Golden Age of Piracy, and the wonders of the 7 seas. In the early 1700s Mary Read disguised herself as a sailor to survive in the harsh world and became a pirate by accident when her ship was captured by Captain "Calico Jack" Rackham.

Norah tells Mary's story in the first person brandishing pistol and sword and sharing secrets and multicultural stories from her sea bag. Some of her favorites are Maury O'Connor and the Mermaid ( Ireland), Arion and the Dolphins (Greek), Ocean Born Mary (New England legend), Mitsue and the Pirates (Japan). Norah plays pennywhistle and leads songs and sea chanties, including : John Kanaka, The Mermaid, & Run the Riggin' Again .

While in port, Mary provides 45 minutes to an hour, of historically accurate and engaging fun for families with children 5 years old and older.

"Norah Dooley is an entrancing storyteller" -

Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

 The Testimony from Ann Bonny and Mary Read's Trial

November 17, 1721

"...the two women, prisoners at the bar, were then on board the said sloop, and wore men's jackets, and long trousers, and handkerchiefs tied about their heads; and that each of them had a machete and pistol in their hands, and cursed and swore at the men, to murder the deponent; and that they should kill her, to prevent her coming against them; other witness stated the women were very active on board, and that Ann Bonny handed gunpowder to the men; also, "that when they saw any vessel, gave chase, or attacked, they wore men's clothes; and at other times, they wore woman's clothes."

The Verdict:

"You, Mary Read, and Ann Bonny, alias Bonn, are to go from hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution; where you shall be severally hanged by the neck till you are severally dead. And god of his infinite mercy be merciful to both your souls."


Essex Town Hall
30 Martin St.
Essex, MA 01929

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Attending (1)


Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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