Play Preview: ‘Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery’

by Ian Sarmiento

Fast, funny and with a slight touch of crazy, Sherlock Holmes makes his way into the DeVries Theatre with more than one twist. Arthur Conan Doyle, the original author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, meant Holmes to be the type of character that tends to keep his personal life private. However, Ken Ludwig’s version of Sherlock in “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” has a history of taking things and giving them satirical twist.

Jordan Fredericks, one of the lead actors, said that the play will be performed in a black box theater. This type of show will put the audience on the same plane as the actors, allowing them to be immersed in the scene.

This also shortens the number of people allowed in the audience from the normal 400 to a total of 125. This will allow the audience to take in the scenes and their impact.

There are more than 40 total characters in the whole show and only five actors total. Two of these characters will be, of course, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. The other three actors will play the rest of the characters. The way each actor will switch characters, change costume, and move sets will be also be seen on stage throughout the play.

Creating a performance with so many characters and so few actors can be difficult.

“It’s a different challenge, but it’s a fun challenge,” Dr. Diane Merchant, director of the show, said.

Tim Phipps, the technical director and production manager said, “The black box is different when it comes to design. Everything comes into play. There are lots of rolling pieces—everything is on wheels.”

It was also a challenge for stage manager Ranae Haskins and assistant stage manager Natalia Kirychuk, but they were more than prepared to tackle the project. They said the show will be “engaging, funny and coordinated,” and said they enjoyed watching how pieces move and how the actors were blocked.

Despite the fact that there are over more than 40 characters and only five actors total, it’s very important that each and every character is brought to life. Many of the actors are expected to change costume and character on stage in front of the audience.

“The approach to theater characters is all about truly bringing the character to life,” Merchant said. “Considering the life of the character and the creativity of the actor.”

The cast and crew put in over 100 hours to prepare the play, with a total of 32 comedic and exciting scenes.

“Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” will play from April 5 to 15. Tickets can be purchased at the Information Center in the Stevens Student Center or online at

Ian Sarmiento is a freshman broadcasting and digital media major and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He enjoys playing the piano, watching anime, and buying swords and knives so he can pretend to be a ninja.

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