One thing no one can doubt that the Mountain Pointe High School Theatre Company has learned is that the show must goon – even if there’s a teachers walkout.
The young thespians rehearsed with director/teacher Suzanne Idler and kept rehearsing right through the six-day walkout because the window between their April 5 auditions and performance dates was pretty tight.
And this weekend, people can see how well they mastered their lines when they present Ken Ludwig’s comedy “Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” at 6 p.m. Friday, May 11, and 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in the schools Black Box Theater, 4201 E. Knox Road, Ahwatukee.
Ludwig, who wrote the celebrated “Moon Over Buffalo,” transforms Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic “The Hound of the Baskervilles” into a funny adventure as the dynamic duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson sift through the dizzying web of clues to uncover who’s knocking off the male heirs of the Baskerville line.
It’s a challenging play for the young actors, as five of them play more than 40 characters through a complex series of disguises and accents.
It also was challenging getting ready during the teachers walkout, “but I am lucky to have such amazing students – and amazing parents to help – to put this production together in 19 days,” Idler said.
“The walkout really added an additional wrinkle, but the students understand the importance of the walkout and have been fantastic,” she added.
Idler is no rookie with the Pride theater group.
She’s been involved with it since 1995 and the first play she directed included current Pride teacher-director Corey Quinn, who was then a student.
Idler, who teaches computer graphic art and film/TV production, now directs just one show a year.
The play demands a lot of the cast.
In her casting call last month, Idler noted that several characters will be required to “show great versatility both physically and vocally” because their multiple roles range from a butterfly lover who also is a psychopath to a passionate and elegant doctor to a scrappy little boy.
The case includes Nemo Wright, a frequent presence on the Pride stage, playing Sherlock Holmes, and Ethan Briant playing his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson. The other cast members are Noah Butler, Quinn Rupp, Cory Drozdowski and Ali Stookey. Jessica Calabrese is both a swing cast member and part of the crew.
The stage manager is Janae Jessie and Myles Thomas is tech director and set chief. Mikaela Romo handles lights and special effects and sound are in the hands of Clare Kulaga and Alex Sudis. Costumes are by Jack Rupp, Addison Harvey, Kendall Robinson and Cassie Presume.
Other students involved in the production are Alayjia Marcelin, Lexi Powers, Ali Adelis, Tyrel Daniels, Tyreq Daniels, Bekkah Weier, Becca Jacobs, Andre Présumé, Savanna Camp, Rhiannon Malloy, Alayjia Marcelin, Mikaela Romo, Clare Kulaya, Ruben Ayala, Jamon Pritchett, Mia Lupercio, Ruben Ayala, Kaeley Rice, Jaiden Wester and Skyy Ferguson.