New twist on a classic mystery: Sherlock Holmes tale comes to Performance Hall stage

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New twist on a classic mystery: Sherlock Holmes tale comes to Performance Hall stage

Actors rehearse a scene from the Performance Hall production of “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Photo: Jacob Larsen

There is a mystery on campus and only one person can solve it: Sherlock Holmes.

The famed detective will be making his debut on campus when The Hound of the Baskervilles is performed in Performance Hall Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with an additional showing at 2:30 Saturday afternoon. Tickets can be purchased through Programs and Productions.

Director Cari Skaggs, a senior dramatic productions major, isn’t revealing too much of the plot of her updated version of the Sherlock Holmes story. But Skaggs did say the play tells the story of Sir Henry Baskerville’s fight for his life as Holmes tries to solve the case before anything happens to Baskerville.

Skaggs said the program will keep the audience guessing the whole time. “There is somebody on stage who [committed the crime], and it’s somebody you don’t expect,” she said. “You have several different characters, and they’re all suspects.”

However, the person responsible for the crime will be different from the culprit in the original novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. According to Skaggs, even the cast was surprised by the outcome of the story during the first table reading. “It shocked them,” she said.

Skaggs is directing this play as her senior project and said she didn’t have to think twice about choosing the script for her play. “Sherlock Holmes has been an inspiration for me for years,” she said. “From a very young age I thought that he would look great on stage.”

The program includes 10 actors and 30 crew members. It has been in production since Sept. 8, when the cast sat down for the table reading. Since then there have been three rehearsals per week.

To add to the suspense of the production, the names of the actors playing Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Watson are not being revealed. “The way that Cari has cast it is very clever,” said junior pre-physical therapy major Patrick Beam, who plays the role of Sir Henry Baskerville.

Beam said the actors playing Holmes and Watson interact well with each other, which is important for this crime-busting duo. “I think that’s key because there really can’t be a disconnect between them,” he said. “They really need to be almost two sides of the same coin.”

Beam said there are many lovers of the Sherlock Holmes stories on campus, and the program will be gripping just because it involves such a beloved character. “The way that Cari has planned it really draws the audience in,” he said. “It’s a very intriguing plot that will get the audience thinking.”