The Moody Crewe is a maritime living history group founded in 2007, based in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. We portray pirates and sailors and their families during the "Golden Age of Piracy" (1680 to 1730) and early Colonial American, demonstrating life aboard ship and ashore. Our passion for history and love for all things piratical will soon have you saying “Yo ho, a pirates life for me!”We are widely known for our lively interactive programs, demonstrations, and encampments; for our fun- and fact-filled programs; for our enthusiastic and often hysterically funny shanty sings and storytelling, and for our dynamic black powder weapons demonstrations. Like real pirates, we’re a resourceful and versatile group, and our programs are custom tailored to suit all ages and environments. Everyone loves a good scurvy scalawag, and for people young and old, pirates are the “hook” that gets them interested in our nation’s pirate/maritime history and heritage, and brings the past to life before their eyes.
The Moody Crewe today has nearly 200 years combined experience as living historians; some members are listed with the National Registry of Living Historians, are award-winning living history interpreters, experienced television and stage performers, published authors and columnists, and musicians. Many are also certified as Black Powder experts by the National Park Service and some members are affiliated with the Virginia Storytellers Alliance. The majority of our Crewe are current and former firefighters, police and safety officers, military, educators, and doctors, so safety and professionalism are paramount at all our events. We are licensed and insured through Histories and Haunts L.L.C.
What We Do:
We can provide an encampment and interactive living history displays of:
Pirate encampment with tents, barrels, treasure chests, props, ship’s wheel, pillory, and “tavern”
Pirate and maritime weapons and tactics
Navigation equipment, piloting, maps and charts
Quartermaster’s chest, ship’s treasure, trade and commerce
Barber surgeon’s instruments and medical techniques/herbology of the period
Shipwright’s (carpenter’s) tools and cooperage
Boatswain’s disciplines, recruitment tactics, and shipboard life
Daily life ashore including clothing, cosmetics, and material culture
Tavern life and culture, food ways, and beverages; table games and puzzles
We do field demonstrations of the following:
Battle strategy and tactics including firing of black powder weapons: cannon, swivel gun,
flintlock, blunderbuss, long rifle, swordplay, etc.
Rope making and knot tying
Sea shanties, traditional and original work songs, sing-a-longs
Children’s games, penmanship, clothing dress-up
Clothing construction and repair, hand sewing, cosmetics making
“School the Pirate” with fun for ages 3-10
And We Can Offer the Following Discussion/Lecture Topics:
General history of the “Golden Age of Piracy”
Specific history of the pirates Moody, Davis, Roberts, and other notorious pirates
Myths, legends, and superstitions
Period open-fire cooking and baking
Healing herbs and food ways of early Colonial America
Economic effects of pirates on local and world trade
Pirate leadership in modern business
History of Virginia Beach
Where You’ve Seen Us:
Festivals: Beach Street USA’s Pirate Party on the Beach, Norfolk Harborfest, Tall Ships at Cape Charles, Greenville Pirate Fest, Lake Fairfax Park Pirate Festival, Pirates Invade Yorktown, Military Family Festival, and many others
Educational Programs: National Geographic Museum, Nauticus, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, Watermen’s Museum, National Museum of the Marine Corps, Old Coast Guard Station Museum, numerous area schools, libraries, day camps, state parks, and historic sites.
Fund Raisers: Norfolk’s For Kids, Relay for Life, Special Olympics, Pet Guardians
Just Plain Piratey Fun: Spirit of Norfolk “Pirates, Mermaid, and Monsters” Cruise, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s Halloween “Frightship,” campfire story telling programs for Kiptopeke State Park, Beth Page Camp Resort, and others.
Holidays and Special Events
Like pirates, we’re versatile and flexible! We can portray specific pirates and crews—for example, as Jean Lafitte for a Mardi Gras-themed event. We can also portray common sailors and merchants for a July 4, Revolutionary War, or patriotic/military-themed event. We can be “undead” or ghost pirates for Halloween events and Campfire programs—from mildly spooking to outright terrifying. And, we can provide merriment with a Colonial maritime or pirate-themed Christmas and New Year’s program.
Weddings and Parties
We have two licensed Wedding Officiants in our crew who would be happy to make your special day more memorable with a pirate- or history-themed wedding. We are also available for private parties including birthday parties for children and adults. And possibly funerals, should the opportunity arise. Consider livening up any party with an interactive treasure hunt.
Consultants and Events Planning
Want to host a pirate event or festival but don’t know where to start? We offer comprehensive planning services and can provide you with reenactors, performers, musicians, and vendors. We can also provide historical insights and consultations on questions about pirates, the “Golden Age,” early Colonial America, and Civil War era for all media.
Pirate Comedy and Song
We keep your audience entertained with traditional and original sea shanties and folk songs, liberally interlaced with piratical humor and historical trivia.
Christopher Moody began his career as a pirate in 1714 off the coast of Virginia and was executed along with the crew of Bartholomew Roberts in Cape-Corso-Castle (Africa) in 1722.
Don’t see what you need? Just ask! We are pirates for hire after all!
The Moody Crewe
P.O. Box 5372
Virginia Beach, VA 23471
Social Media: Facebook.com/themodycrewe
Testimonials and Coerced Confessions:
National Geographic Society Museum
"Working with Moody Crewe was wonderful from the start…They were incredibly knowledgeable and obviously passionate about the content they were presenting….Moody Crewe represents the perfect marriage of historical re-enactor with museum-quality educational programming and will remain in our Rolodex for future events!"
Lisa M. Kop, Director, Visitor Services National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.
Virginia Beach Historic Houses
"Thank you all for such a wonderful program. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the people who filled out surveys gave you all high ratings. It was awesome working with you all!" Kim Schmidtmann, Virginia Beach Historic Houses
Beta Sigma Phi Virginia State Convention
"The Moody Crewe performed for the Beta Sigma Phi Virginia State Convention…The theme for the evening dinner was Treasure Island and the seaworthy pirates sang sea shanty songs, and led group participation songs. They also shared stories of pirate lore and jokes with the crowd. .. We had a great time and I would highly recommend the Moody Crewe for any function where a good time is to be had by all!" Kathy Mulkey, Committee Member