Everyone’s favorite sharp-tongued detective was brought to the stage in Freeburg High School’s production of Sherlock Holmes this weekend. Showcasing the directing talent of Ms. Megan Mitchell and student-director Brett Harris, the classic show brought laughter, mystery, and “a series of lessons, with the greatest saved for last”.
When the curtains in the auditorium pull back, you are greeted by a perfect set design; minimalistic, classy, and able to brilliantly display the tone and era of the show without taking away from the action. The small details truly made the atmosphere grow. From the bullet-riddled painting to the typewriter, Holmes’ and Watson’s home of 221B Baker Street was portrayed very well, not by the set pieces themselves, but by the actors and actresses using them.
This installment of the classic mystery novels followed the case of stolen letters, hidden romance, and a cunning trick. Ethan Alexander and Grace Reuter took on the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, leading a beautiful new take on the dynamic detective duo. Although there was a tendency to speak a little too fast at some parts of the show, their ability to stay in character truly brought Holmes and Watson to life. Allicyn Mueth played Professor Moriarty, and she truly did a wonderful job at portraying everyone’s favorite “consulting criminal”. Putting a refreshing new take on the role, Mueth gave the character an innovative flare that has been way overdue.
Visually, “Sherlock Holmes” was stunning. The flawless costuming of the cast was what really tied the entire show together. Including the wonderful outfits of Alexander, Reuter, and Mueth, Rachel Likert (Mrs. Bassick), Sophie Sweet (Alice Faulkner), and Grace Shaw (Maggie Baskerville) were just a few of the wonderfully dressed individuals that took the stage Friday night. Costume design was truly impeccable for the show, and you felt as though you were practically transported back to the Victorian era.
I was given the opportunity to have a chat with a few of the young, talented individuals from the evening; director Ms. Megan Mitchell, student-director Brett Harris, and actress Rachel Likert, who were able to give me some insight on what it was like to do a show like “Sherlock Holmes”.
Bailey Lance– Can you guys tell me in your own way what the most difficult and most fun aspect of working on the show was?
Rachel Likert– The most difficult was probably working around everybody else’s schedule. But by far the best part was getting to do something that I love to do.
Brett Harris– The best part was probably tonight. We only got the gym once for a full dress rehearsal and so tonight everything just kind of came together. Hearing people laugh is always fun too!
Megan Mitchell– Just hearing the audience enjoying the show is the best part for me.
This being Brett Harris’ last year in high school, I asked him to give a few words about what it was like to be directing in his senior year.
BH– It was crazy directing. I’ve never done it before and it was really fun. We had a lot of new talent this year, so it just worked nicely. The show had quite a few small parts, so we were able to grow our group a bit and I’m excited to see how our next one goes.
Ms. Megan Mitchell, Freeburg High School’s Music Teacher, was put into a whole new role when it came to directing a theatre performance this year. When I heard of her stepping into this new role, I asked how she was settling into such a foreign position in such a short amount of time.
MM– It’s a little bit overwhelming. Directing music is okay, but multiply that times three! It was fun, though. I enjoy working with these kids, a lot of them are the band students that I have gotten to know pretty well. The rest I enjoyed getting to know and working with them. It was fun!
Freeburg High School’s production of “Sherlock Holmes” was a fantastic example of the raw talent hidden inside. With innovative student-directors and a new incoming cast, I can not wait to see what lies in store next.
If you wish to help support FCHS, they are having a Music Booster’s Trivia Night on December 2. This will be at the St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, with doors opening at 6:30 pm and questions starting at 7:00 pm. Prices run at $80 per table with up to 8 players, and you can call to make reservations at (618) 971-6253. So please, feel free to go out and show them some support!