In celebration of their 70th theatrical season, and in anticipation of Halloween, the Theatre Group at SBCC presents a fresh adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tale of the shadowy circumstances surrounding Sir Charles Baskerville’s murder. One of the many adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his compatriot in sleuthing, Dr. Watson, this theatrical version of The Hound of the Baskervilles sees the intrepid detective duo unravel the mystery on the moors, in which Baskerville and his nephew are haunted by a fearsome hellhound. Directed by SBCC’s R. Michael Gros, The Hound of the Baskervilles is a humorous Halloween whodunit featuring SBCC students along with a cast of area actors returning to the Theatre Group stage at the Garvin Theatre.
Sherlock Holmes is a character that has been borrowed and reimagined in various styles and situations since the late 19th century when he first appeared in Doyle’s serials. A private detective in London whose deductive capabilities are beyond compare, Holmes is the protagonist in an impressive catalog of crime-solving mysteries. With an uncanny ability to restructure crimes based on intuition, inference, and the interpretation of minute details at a crime scene, the cunning detective and his exploits have maintained popularity throughout the last century. Both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have become characters synonymous with investigatory thrillers.
In this particular chapter of the Sherlock Holmes series, the alleged murderer of the cursed Sir Baskerville, who’s found dead with an expression of terror on his face, is a phantom hound. The hell beast’s massive footprints are found near the deceased, a clue that suggests foul play. Baskerville’s nephew (and heir to the Baskerville estate) also complains of being pursued by a huge, wraith-like dog.
SBCC’s production of The Hound of the Baskervilles was adapted by David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright for Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2013. A fan of the genre and Doyle’s characters, Gros is excited about the prospect of bringing his own version of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to the stage. “I enjoy the mystery, the historic and modern contexts, the ‘buddy’ aspect of these stories, the cleverness of the dialogue,” said Gros of the Holmes saga. “Whether period or modern, I think these stories are fun to explore. And they take us on a specific journey with each telling.”
While the style of the SBCC production is firmly comedic, Gros assured that his interpretation of the haunted Devonshire moors upholds the chemistry of cryptic clues and dramatic tension that makes Sherlock Holmes’s capers so exhilarating. Gros described the show as “an overall homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s varied writings that blend science and the imagination.”
Shows that are made seasonally commemorative by their pairing with holiday festivities garner added enthusiasm based, in part, on novelty. SBCC is taking advantage of that excitement by turning the closing performance of Baskervilles into a steampunk-themed Halloween event. The final show falls on Saturday, October 31, and the performers and associated staff are encouraging the audience to dress in their finest urban Victorian London attire, a nod to the environment in which Homes and Watson exist.
Featuring Brian Harwell, Jon Koons, Elaine Arnett, Blake Benlan, George Coe, Daniel Colohan, Aurora Deleon, Robert Demetriou, Colton Fair, Marion Freitag, Joshua Daniel Hershfield, Sean Jackson, Brayden Myrick, Sara Persson, Jenna Scanlon, and Allan Stewart-Oaten, The Hound of the Baskervilles is a performance in which familiar characters present a well-loved story in a clever, entertaining style. Baskervilles will be a lively performance that unveils many of the new technical capabilities of the recently remodeled Garvin Theatre. This expanded potential for spectacle offers designers a chance to utilize a wide range of sensational theatrical effects.
The Theatre Group at SBCC presents The Hound of the Baskervilles October 16-31 at Garvin Theatre. For tickets and info, call (805) 965-5935 or visit theatregroupsbcc.com.