If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

SHERLOCK HOLMES FOR CHRISTMAS AND TWO TENNESSEE CONNECTIONS

John Arnold playing Sherlock Holmes



In my January 8, 2013 post (http://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/2013/01/one-more-glimpse-of-scrooge.html), I described the wonderful experiences I’ve shared with collaborators and cast members in writing and directing original musical productions for our church’s drama ministry, the St. Paul's Players (http://stpaulsplayers.webs.com/).

By July of each year, I figure out the story that we’ll be telling and rough out a script, noting the places where songs will occur. Then, I talk to my fellow composer/lyricists, John W. Henry and Frank Fusco, and divvy up the songwriting duties.
 
John W. Henry and Frank Fusco
For the most part, my numbers are standard musical comedy fare, often the first song that sets things up, some character studies, funny novelty pieces, and usually a dance. John has written our closing numbers for the last two years. He often creates songs expressing strong emotions that feature soulful and uplifting melodies. We tease Frank about being our “rocker” (he’s a member of the Thunder Pigs--check them out at http://thethunderpigs.com/), but his songs have ranged from rock to polka to mysteriously suspenseful to prayerful repentance.

John and Frank are talented guys. Equally talented is our arranger, Matthew T. Caine. Matt is the Director of Music at Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church in Camden, S.C. He has his DMA in Conducting from the University of South Carolina. With a very good nature, he transcribes the melodies we sing or play for him and tries to correct us in our musical errors. Sometimes, we let him think he’s right. Actually, for the most part, we’re a pretty agreeable group and appreciate the expertise Matt brings to our proceedings.
 
Dr. Matthew T. Caine
Last year, we did a version of A Christmas Carol called Once Upon a Christmastime (again, see the January 8, 2013 blog), with a cast of almost thirty, including a large number of children and young people. This year, for the first time, we have a cast of only adults. It’s the smallest cast we’ve ever had with just eleven players.

I guess I should have expected mostly adults when I let people know that our play would be based on the Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmesstory, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.” But, I had noticed the renewed interest among all ages in Holmes from the Robert Downey movies and the CBS and PBS series. Also, you can never be sure of the participants until you hold auditions. That’s another good reason to write your own production. You can tailor your script to the cast you have.
Watson (Jim Jarvis) and Holmes painting set

You might ask how a Sherlock Holmes story fits into a church’s drama ministry? If you haven’t read “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,” please check it out at: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_the_Blue_Carbuncle.

After discovering the guilty party, Holmes releases him because “it’s the season of forgiveness.” The story has a powerful message of the possibility for redeeming a life.
 
John Arnold and Brenda Byrd
We’ve enjoyed tremendously putting together our A Sherlock Holmes Christmas. The opening night dinner theater is sold out, but if you’re in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday, December 7, come to St. Paul’s at the corner of Bull and Blanding Streets for the matinee at 3:00 pm or the evening performance at 7:00 pm. No charge for an hour of entertainment that will get you in the holiday mood.
 
Susan Craft on set
Now, you may ask, what are the Tennessee connections mentioned in the title of this post? One relates back to our production from last year. The young actress portraying our Fan Scrooge, Ebenezer’s sister who comes to his school to tell him he will celebrate the holiday with family, was the delightful Emma Imholz. She had appeared in many local productions and some films. This year, she auditioned and was given the role of Fan in Dolly Parton’s version of A Christmas Carol, being presented at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Broadway World has a video featuring scenes from the Dollywood production. Our Em is in the opening and closing sequences of that video and we are so proud of her.

Please check out some of the footage of the Dollywood production with Em at: http://www.broadwayworld.com/videoplay.php?colid=626403
Emma Imholz at Dollywood

The other Tennessee connection? The talented and versatile Judy Egner of Knoxville, Tennessee. You don’t recognize the name? Perhaps you know her as Kaye George, award nominated author of several short stories and three mystery series: Imogene Duckworthy, Cressa Carraway Musical, and People of the Wind (Neanderthal), whose Fat Cat series, that she is writing as Janet Cantrell, will appear in September 2014. Visit her webpage kayegeorge.com for more information.

Kaye George
Judy/Kaye/Janet, as well as being a wonderful writer is an excellent arranger and violinist. She kindly consented to write “A Hymn to Holmes” celebrating Sherlock’s affection for the violin as our pre-show music. We are proud to present its world premiere!

Support your local drama, singing, and dancing groups! What theatrical productions do you plan to see for the holidays?

13 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Paula,

This is such a creative way to celebrate the holiday season. I wish you and your cast all the best in this latest rendition of your annual play-making.

I hope the houses are packed and everyone has a great time.

~ Jim

Warren Bull said...

It must be wonderful to work with talented people. As they say in theatre, "Break a leg."

John said...

Paula is modest to her own talent of script writing a play from a book. She is so talented she could write a script from the phonebook. We are lucky to have her many talents with St. Paul's Players

Gloria Alden said...

Paula, I love community theater, and wish so much I lived close enough to attend this musical. Is there any chance DVDs will be made? If there are any made and they're for sale, I'd love to buy one.

Kara Cerise said...

What a talented group, Paula! I'm sure your musical will be a huge success. Since I don't live in your area and can't attend, I would also like to buy a DVD if you sell them.

Shari Randall said...

Paula, this sounds like so much fun! Break a (metaphorical) leg!

Andrea Marsavonian said...

Enjoyed Paula's blog page, which really brought me the latest on
the St. Paul's Players and the key folks and their roles in Sherlock
Holmes For Christmas! You work so well together, that it is hard for me not to think that All of you are my cousins!

Wishing you a packed house for every performance!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thanks so much, Jim, Warren, Gloria, Kara, and Shari. We do have a wonderful time. I'll let you know if we get a video!

John, you're a great collaborator and producer. We could never put on a production without you. Thank you for your wonderful kind words.

Andrea, we count you as our cousin, too, through John. Thank you for all your marvelous support!

Susan F. Craft said...

Paula is so talented and a master at smoozing people like me into being a part of her musicals. Just kidding. I always enjoy being a part of something so full of creative people and energy. I like doing the set design and painting, except when Paula sneaks up on me and takes my picture! :-)

Anonymous said...

We need to also mention that we select a charitable organization as a cast project.. This year we will be accepting volunteer donations for the Autism Academy of SC who will be our neighbor across the street from St Paul's in the very new future.5359

Paula Gail Benson said...

Susan, thanks for all you do to make our set beautiful. I can't take credit for your picture. Carrie Nicholson took it. But, you always look gorgeous.

We do accept donations for a cast project, and are proud this year to be supporting the Autism Academy of South Carolina, our new neighbor.

B.K. Stevens said...

Hi, Paula--

As you know, I read your play and enjoyed it very much. I'm sure the production will be a great success.

Georgia said...

Paula, I am highly impressed by your many talents. Thanks for sharing so much with your community via your church family. And thanks for letting out the secret that we have musical genius in the Guppy pool.