Something’s afoot as high school Drama Club presents ‘Miss Holmes’

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home High School Drama Club will present “Miss Holmes” this week.

“It’s a version of Sherlock Holmes and Watson as females,” said director Elizabeth Wilks, language arts teacher. That’s the result of an ongoing shortage of male actors, although the club does have three on the program for this play.

“Miss Holmes” is a mystery drama in a “steampunk” setting, Wilks said.

The students will stage the production at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Originally, the club had picked a different play, said assistant director Breyann Babbitt, who plays Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother. But the cast was too large, and there were too many male roles. This play was a backup with a lot more female roles, making it easier to cast.

Babbitt’s character is a bad guy, although not necessarily the main antagonist, she said. “I’m a general jerk-in-general. There’s a very good scene where I get to throw Peter (Kanngiesser, playing Sherlock) down on the couch.”

“It’s really fun to do this,” said Hunter Kelch, who immediately afterward gets to inject Sherlock with a sedative.

The play is serious, Babbitt said, but there are “some comedy bits that can be easy to miss. It’s definitely more of a drama, more thriller because of the crime-solving nature of it.”

The interesting thing about the play this time around is the amount of time the students have had to prepare, Babbitt said. They’ve been working on the production since a month after the school year started and they’ve been able to get everything together. The set was nearly assembled last week, and the players have been off script for rehearsals since before Christmas break, “a lot more breathing room.”

Last week, cast members spent their time shoring up their lines, Babbitt said.

“Everyone has it down, for the most part,” Kelch said. “We can feel how much we’ve changed since the beginning.”

“There’s been a lot of group effort, people jumping in to produce props and the stage setup,” Babbitt said, where in the past, it’s usually been just a couple of people carrying most of the load.

The new semester schedule is the main reason, she said. This year, the school will produce just two plays instead of three. The second will be presented in May.

“We all feel good about it,” said Natali Chase, stage manager. “There’s time to prepare.”

Cast members are Peter Kanngieser as Sherlock Holmes; Allison Keel, Dorothy Watson; Ashley Morrelli, Lizzie Chapman; Autumn Ice, Eudora Featherstone and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson; Devin Taylor, Mrs. Hudson; Elizabeth Blaydal, Peggy, Marth and Orderly; Breyann Babbitt, Mycroft Holmes; Jenae Ashton, Geoffrey Lestrade; Amadia Newcomer, Thomas Chapman; Jake Johnston, Michael Stamford; and Hayden Deatherage as Edwin Greener.

Assistant director is Breyann Babbitt. Stage Manager is Natali Chase. Tech crew members are Kyston Bate, Ivan Hickman, Brenden Parsons and Mary Young. Family and consumer sciences teacher Suzette Andersen is costume designer.

Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for students and $10 for a family of four.