Fairbanks Drama Association chooses Sherlock Holmes adaptation for second slot of 2023-2024 season

Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 10:23 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As the cold winter months set in, the Fairbanks community prepares for the long, dark season ahead. Some community members, however, have found a way to stave off the winter blues by getting involved in the local arts.

For its second show of the 2023-2024 season, the Fairbanks Drama Association is putting on a play that combines mystery and comedy.

The play is a Sherlock Holmes mystery called “The Game’s Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays.”

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular and adapted characters in literary history. According to director Rachel Blackwell the show is “kind of a farce, so it’s got some comedy and some action, and one of the reasons I selected it is I do think that it will appeal to a wide variety of audiences, so it’s a little something for everybody.”

Auditions were held in August, and since then the cast and crew have been working to bring the show to life.

Raleigh Johnson, who plays William Gillette/Sherlock Holmes, explained, “It kind of started all kind of weird, and then it’s just been getting tighter and tighter and tighter, so it’s going to be good the next three weekends. I’m pretty excited for this.”

According to Blackwell, “These actors have been extremely dedicated, really showing up, working outside of rehearsal.”

Meanwhile, actor Satya Pearl, who plays Aggie Wheeler, said, “I’ve definitely had to tap into my emotions a little bit more with this one. There’s a lot of crying and screaming.”

Some members of the cast have worked together before, developing an on-stage rapport. “I’ve been in shows before with my wife Natalie. This is the first time I’ve actually been in a production with her as my wife, so that’s been kinda fun, to be on stage with her and work out lines at home with her and my friend Jomo. It’s been pretty fun,” Johnson said.

“It feels like a family reunion in a way,” said Pearl.

The stage at the Hap Ryder Riverfront Theatre has been adapted to the unique needs of the show. “It’s a fast-paced play, so it moves along pretty quickly, which is nice,” the director said. “By the end, I feel like everyone will know who done it.”

The show runs for three weekends starting Friday, October 20.

More information can be found here.