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Mid-Ohio Valley Players to perform Sherlock Holmes mystery

MARIETTA — Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are on the case Friday in the Mid-Ohio Valley Players virtual production from the “Sherlock Holmes” radio series, “The Case of the Dead Adventuress.”

The radio drama will be presented on Zoom at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday in the Players’ next installment of WMOVP Radio Theatre, created during the pandemic in the organization’s social distance theater.

The show is directed by Amber Smrek.

“For as long as I can remember, mysteries have been my preferred genre. I love being confronted with a problem and letting my brain run wild trying to find the solution,” she said. “And Sherlock Holmes is such a classic. But I knew when taking on this script that I wanted to bring some new experiences to the audience. Yes, watching a mystery unfold play out in front of you is fun. But, wouldn’t it be more fun to play along? That is why we have added a puzzle and riddle to the show. If the audience is able to deduce the solutions, they are entered into a raffle for a basket full of Whodunit inspired goodies.”

Viewers will notice that the group continues to make technical upgrades as it continues to learn how to use Zoom to deliver live theatre.

“This run the tech has been a whole new challenge. We tried adding a new element to the shows for a more film-like aspect. Just when you think we’ve got it all figured out, we try something new,” Becca Buck, assistant director and sound and visual design and engineer, said. “Who knew there would be such depth to Zoom theater? Especially when this whole new adventure began.”

Started as a way to bring live theater to the region when everyone and everything was locked down in quarantine, the Mid-Ohio Valley Players’ social distance theater has continued as performance venues have remained closed due to the pandemic. Not only does it bring family entertainment to viewers, but it has provided a creative outlet for actors, directors, and technicians.

Friday’s show will include veteran performers of the series and new faces to WMOVP Radio Theatre. “The Case of the Dead Adventuress” first aired in 1945.

“I love working with my regular WMOVP friends, but it’s also wonderful seeing actors like Chuck Wilcox and Madison Roe coming onboard and expanding our virtual troupe of actors,” regular David Scheimann said.

Although Gov. Mike DeWine last week announced performance venues can reopen at 15 percent capacity, the community theater group has decided to continue its social distance theater to supplement what the theater can offer with such limited capacity. WMOVP Radio Theatre will have performances on the first and third Friday of each month.

For this week only, two performances will be held on Friday.

“Now that many people are back at work we are finding that 7 p.m. is too early for folks to get home, settle in and get ready to enjoy a little entertainment,” founding director Suzanne Walker said. “We didn’t want to leave our faithful 7 p.m. viewers wondering where we were this week so we are doing two performances to make the transition.”

J.R. Wells, the president of the Mid-Ohio Valley Players, invites the faithful to watch the show and encourages those who have yet to see a performance to give it a try.

“We are continuing our Pledge Drive and ask that the people of the valley take this opportunity to see that we are still delivering quality community theater,” Wells said. “Since we have not been able to open our doors and sell tickets, we like many other non-profit community theaters are having to rely on the generosity of our supporters.”

The goal of the pledge drive is $20,000 to meet overhead costs and continue to work on renovations.

“Producing original scripts, offering creative outlets for actors, directors and technicians, educating the next generation through Juniors Players and youth theater and providing family entertainment for the valley is what it’s all about and we need the community’s help,” he said.

To view the live performance, join on the webinar link, at 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. at https://mariettacollege.zoom.us/j/93626779110 or call in to hear the audio at 301-715-8592 or 312-626-6799, Webinar ID: 936 2677 9110. If you are unable to join in for the live performance it will be available on the Mid Ohio Valley Players, Inc. Facebook page beginning as a premier video on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 7:00 p.m.

WMOVP Radio Theatre’s next show will be an episode of “Gunsmoke” directed by Tim Tuten on Sept. 18.

Cast:

* Mrs. Forman: Morgan Maciag

* Watson: Chuck Wilcox

* Charel: David Schiemann

* Holmes: George Gaston

* Prefect: Kirk McCall

* Regina: Madison Roe

* Duc: Nathaniel Maciag

* Yvette: Vanessa Rake

* Henrietta: Suzanne Walker

* Director: Amber Smrek

* Sound and visual design and operator: Becca Buck

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