Sherlock Holmes says goodbye to “…the first, and last, great love of my life…” The Final Adventure cast members from left: standing: Bob Martin, Wolf Knight, Dwayne Kennison, Clint Carte, Chris Curry. lying: Jamie Strauss.
“It takes enormous planning to produce a random event.” Sherlock Holmes in the The Final Adventure.
Local volunteer actors are finding that out as they diligently rehearse for the The Pocahontas County Drama Workshop’s production of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. Director Arla Ralston has assembled a large cast of both veteran and novice actors who have been giving up several evenings a week since the beginning of March to bring the play to the Opera House on May 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.
“This is a complex and fast paced play with lots of witty dialogue and quick scene changes,” Ralston said. “I am very impressed with the range of local talent and their willingness to take on something this challenging.”
Dwayne Kennison, who portrays Doctor Watson, and Scott Triplett, appearing as the Newspaper Man, are well-known to Drama Workshop audiences, as each has acted in five previous plays.
Kennison started his theatre career in 2009 with the Workshop’s production of The Comet of St Lomis. He also performs live character poetry as “Uncle Edward Wabbit” and appeared in the film Angel’s Perch.
The role of Watson is a particularly challenging one, Ralston stressed.
“It’s Watson who anchors the show, narrating the play in a series of monologues spoken directly to the audience. We were lucky to get someone with Dwayne’s experience for the part.”
Triplett’s first experience with the Drama Workshop was helping with the lighting on Picnic. Triplett subsequently acted in The Rainmaker, The Foreigner, Getting and Spending, The Pickers and Cahoots.
The role of Holmes’ nemesis Professor Moriarty will be performed by Bob Martin. Although new to the Workshop, Martin has an extensive résumé in community theatre in Charleston. Credits include: Carmen, La Boheme and West Side Story with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra; The Crucible, A Christmas Carol and 12 Angry Men with Kanawha Players; and, Jesus Christ Superstar, American Paradise, The Blob-the Musical and several other shows with Contemporary Youth Arts Company.
Safecracker Sid Prince will be brought to life by Wolf Knight, another stage veteran. Knight began performing as a poet decades ago, and has appeared in three other Drama Workshop productions.
Chris Curry will act the part of villain James Larabee. Curry also has acting experience, having appeared in school plays and as an extra in The Dark Knight Rises and Angel’s Perch.
Ensemble actor Sterling “Buster” Wiggins studied theater in school and was a member of the Plano (Texas) Children’s Theater
Joining these experienced actors will be five new Drama Workshop participants making their theatrical debuts.
Clint Carte will appear in the role of Sherlock Holmes. Although Carte performs as a DJ on Allegheny Mountain Radio, this is his first leap onto the stage.
“I’m not sure Clint knew quite what he was getting into when he took the part, but he’s a real trooper and will make a great Sherlock,” Ralston said.
Husband and wife Mark and Jamie Strauss are adding their talents to the mix, with Jamie portraying international opera star Irene Adler and Mark filling a variety of small roles in the play. Though acting seems far removed from operating their Clean Cow Laundromat in Marlinton, the Strausses have brought the same dedication and enthusiasm to the theater as they have to their new business.
Jay Miller will portray the rather silly King of Bohemia. For the past several years, Miller has read aloud to students in Pocahontas County Schools, but recently became passionate about tutoring arithmetic and math in grades 3 through 5. Miller states that he auditioned for the show because he’s always wanted to have a go at the theater. “Jay is a hard worker and a great sport,” said Ralston. “Wait until you see the costume Jane Huppert has come up with for him!”
Also venturing onto the stage for the first time is Michelle Jeffers in the role of Madge Larabee. As a retired educator, Jeffers is comfortable speaking in front of a group, and has embraced the added challenge of combining speech with movement and interaction with other characters.
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure will be presented Friday, May 15, and Saturday, May 16, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.