2012-05-10 / Local News

Sherlock Holmes play at Northport

By Corey L. Frost
Enterprise intern


STUDENT ACTORS, from left, Armando Hernandez, Fiona Muller and Ashley Pino practice a scene Monday for Northport Public School’s upcoming production of Katie Forgette’s Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Northport Community Arts Center. STUDENT ACTORS, from left, Armando Hernandez, Fiona Muller and Ashley Pino practice a scene Monday for Northport Public School’s upcoming production of Katie Forgette’s Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Northport Community Arts Center. Northport Public School will present Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily by Katie Forgette Friday and Saturday in the Northport Community Arts Center.

Set in London during the early 1890’s, the play follows detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson as they attempt to solve a case of blackmail for the beautiful actress Lillie Langtree and the witty English playwright Oscar Wilde.

The play features 15 students from middle school and high school. While the small number has created more responsibilities for each student, it’s also given them the opportunity to work on skills in acting, set design and light and sound operation. Students responded by consistently supporting one another and remaining positive throughout the entire production.


DIRECTOR DONNA Wilson aids Ashley Pino tying her hair inback before practice Monday. Pino will portray the role of Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes’ trusted assistant. DIRECTOR DONNA Wilson aids Ashley Pino tying her hair inback before practice Monday. Pino will portray the role of Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes’ trusted assistant. “Working together on lines in practice has been some of the most fun,” said Olivia Kinker, who will take the play’s lead role as Sherlock Holmes, “but we had a really good time working on set and prop design as well.”

Others have enjoyed working on production details less visible to the audience.

“Character development is one of my favorite parts,” said Francis Wanageshik, who will play Holmes’ archenemy Professor Moriarty. “Creating a believable character is really important to the play’s success, so we do our best to see how others have portrayed our characters and make the necessary changes to make it our own.”

However, some concerns remain. While the students have done their best to ensure the success of the show, small enrollment and a young theatre program has made it difficult to fill the auditorium at the Northport Community Arts Center.

“It’s a great stage to work with,” said Donna Wilson, director. “It’s good experience for the students to be able learn on a professionally designed stage, but keeping it from looking empty is a challenge.” With seating for up to 450 people, the auditorium is one of the larger ones in Northern Michigan. This hasn’t deterred the students though, and they continue to push forward as opening night approaches.

“We’ve done a lot of promotion for this play,” Wanageshik said. “We made a bunch of fliers and distributed throughout the area as well as got the word out on Facebook.”


LEAD ACTRESS Olivia Kinker looks stage right, as play protagonist Sherlock Holmes, during Monday’s practice. LEAD ACTRESS Olivia Kinker looks stage right, as play protagonist Sherlock Holmes, during Monday’s practice. It’s efforts like these that make the play’s director, Donna Wilson, happy to be involved.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the students,” Wilson said. “They’ve done everything from choosing their own script to actually building set pieces.”

However, it’s not only the amount of work the students have done, but the way in which they’ve handled it that has Wilson impressed.

“They’re learning very important life skills as they take on the challenge of multiple responsibilities and finding a way to prioritize all of them. Everything’s been done exceptionally well,” Wilson said. “They’re ready for this weekend and I’m confident they will live up to the standards they’ve set for themselves. They should all be very proud.”

The play will begin at 7 p.m. both nights and admission is free.

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