Regional Theatre Designer Agreements

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					News Release

For Immediate Release
                                                             Media contact: Laura Smith Muir
                                                            816-235-1579 or
                                                         For the public to purchase tickets, call
                                                               816-235-2700 or visit

                World’s Most Famous Sleuth Tackles His Final Case
                         at Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure Nominated for Edgar Allen Poe Award

       Previews February 23-27 ▪ Opens February 28 ▪ Closes March 18
                Press Night: Wednesday, February 28, 7 pm
                  On February 26, production photography will be posted
               at room and B-roll will also be available.

       KANSAS CITY, MO (February 21, 2007) – Kansas City Repertory Theatre will present
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, a new play by Steven Dietz based on the classic 1899
play by Arthur Conan Doyle and William Gillette, February 23-March18 at Spencer Theatre in
the UMKC Performing Arts Center. David Ira Goldstein will direct the production. He
previously directed the Rep’s acclaimed hit musicals Guys and Dolls and The Pirates of
Penzance; the Kansas City Rep production of Sherlock is a refinement of the world premiere
production Goldstein stage last spring for Arizona Theatre Company (ATC).

        In the plot of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which was commissioned by ATC,
Holmes has seemingly reached the end of his career when a case presents itself that is too
tempting to ignore: The King of Bohemia is about to be blackmailed with a photograph, and the
woman at the heart of this crime is famous opera singer Irene Adler. With his companion, Doctor
Watson, at his side, Holmes pursues first the case, and then the affections of Miss Adler — and
in doing so, finds himself matching wits with his longtime adversary, Professor Moriarty.
―Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the world’s most popular sleuth Sherlock Holmes, was a
master of the genre of mystery writing and an important innovator in the field of popular
fiction,‖ said Peter Altman, producing artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre. ―The
Sherlock Holmes stories were a phenomenal success from the time that they began to appear in
1887, and they remain beloved by millions today.
       Although Conan Doyle was also the author of more serious works, including a military
analysis of the Boer War for which he received his knighthood, the Holmes stories have endured
for more than 120 years, been adapted to film, stage and television, and continue to be the best
crime tales of their kind.‖

       Playwright Steven Dietz has shrewdly created his drama Sherlock Holmes: The Final
Adventure to be a leaner, more vigorous version of Conan Doyle for modern taste, and his play
was recently nominated by Mystery Writers of America for a 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Award in
the Best Play category. Using the Gillette play and two of Conan Doyle’s books, A Scandal in
Bohemia and The Final Problem, as his source material, Dietz has instilled into Sherlock a
contemporary sensibility without sacrificing the suspense, wit and Victorian flavor for which
Conan Doyle has long been so highly regarded. Dietz has commented that ―it is my hope that I
have done justice to both Mr. Conan Doyle and his legion of admirers.‖

       Dietz is the author of more than twenty plays including Fiction, which was produced Off-
Broadway and for which he was honored with the 2002 Kennedy Center Fund for New
American Plays, and Lonely Planet, recipient of a PEN USA West Award for Drama. His
adaptations and original plays have been produced in more than 100 regional theatres as well as
in New York and abroad.

        Goldstein, artistic director of ATC, has directed eight world premieres of Dietz’s
plays. In 2003 Goldstein received the Governor’s Arts Award as Individual Artist for his
contributions to the arts in Arizona. His musical, A Marvelous Party: The Nöel Coward
Celebration, which he wrote with Mark Anders and Carl Danielsen of Kansas City Rep’s
production of 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, has played at theatres around the United States over the last
two years. It won four Jefferson Awards in Chicago last fall including one for Best Director and
recently received three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nominations.

        Kansas City veteran actor Mark Robbins will play the lead in Sherlock Holmes: The
Final Adventure. Some of his most recent projects for the Rep include Man and Superman, the
Kansas City/American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco coproduction of The Voysey
Inheritance, Guys and Dolls, Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright (in which he also
appeared at Arizona Theatre Company), and fifteen productions of A Christmas Carol.

        Victor Talmadge is making his Kansas City debut as Dr. Watson having originated the
role at Arizona Theatre Company and Pasadena Playhouse. He is an actor, playwright and
director who has performed on the New York stage and in regional theatres throughout the
country. Laurence Ballard (Professor Moriarty) is also making his Kansas City Repertory
Theatre debut. He has worked at ACT Theatre of Seattle, Arena Stage, Arizona Theatre
Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, San Jose
Repertory, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, among others.

         Carey Cannon (Irene Adler) continues her work with the Rep having appeared as Meg
in Little Women. She has recently appeared as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice at
Indiana Repertory Theatre and as Lady Windermere in Lady Windermere’s Fan at Northlight
Theatre in Chicago. Appearing for the first time at the Rep is Preston Maybank (King of
Bohemia); he has just completed an engagement in The Pursuit of Happiness, the world premiere
Richard Dresser play commissioned by the Laguna Playhouse.

         Sherlock Holmes also features three other veteran Kansas City actors including the Rep’s
artistic associate Gary Neal Johnson (Sid Prince) who recently played Gloucester in King Lear
for the Rep and just previously completed his seventh season as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol,
his 80th Rep production. Johnson also was featured as Harry Truman in two extended runs of
Give 'Em Hell, Harry last season. Charles Fugate (James Larrabee) continues his work for the
Rep having appeared this season for the fourth year in A Christmas Carol. Cathy Barnett
(Madge Larrabee) returns to the Rep having last appeared in Larry Carpenter’s production of
Company. Recently, she was featured in the Unicorn Theatre’s production of The Great
American Trailer Park Musical and last summer she performed in the Kansas City Actors
Theater’s Talley Trilogy.

       Also featured in the ensemble are UMKC theatre students Kyle Browning, Cassandra
Clark and Ryan Meharry.

        Continuing their design work at the Rep are Bill Forrester (Scenic Designer) who
designed the sets for The Pirates of Penzance and Guys and Dolls; David Kay Mickelsen
(Costume Designer) who designed the costumes for Room Service and It Ain’t Nothin’ But The
Blues; and Brian Jerome Peterson (Sound Designer) who designed sound for 2 Pianos, 4
Hands. Dennis Parichy (Lighting Designer) and Roberta Carlson (Composer) are making their
Kansas City Rep debut. Carlson’s association with Steven Dietz’s work goes back to his first
play, Brothers and Sisters.

     For more complete biographies of the Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure company,
                       please visit the Rep’s website at

        All performances will take place in Spencer Theatre in the UMKC Performing Arts
Center at 4949 Cherry Street, four blocks east of the Country Club Plaza. Kansas City Repertory
Theatre is the professional theatre in residence at UMKC. Tickets for Sherlock Holmes cost $27-
$50 and youth tickets (18 years and younger) are $18. For information about performance times
and ticket options, call the Rep Box Office at 816-235-2700 or visit

                   Sherlock Homes: The Final Adventure is partially funded by the
                  Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts-Commerce Bank, Trustee.

                        The exclusive sponsor of the Rep’s Sprint Student Matinee Series

                          Media sponsor for this production is

          Now in its 43rd season, Kansas City Repertory Theatre is one of the nation’s leading resident professional
theatres and is the professional theatre in residence at UMKC. Kansas City Rep produces up to eight mainstage
plays each season at Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus and at its new downtown theatre, Copaken Stage. The
Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves approximately 100,000
patrons annually, is a constituent of the League of Resident Theatres, and operates under agreements with Actors’
Equity Association (the national union of professional actors and stage mangers), the Society of Stage Directors and
Choreographers, Inc., and United Scenic Artists Local USA-829 IATSE.

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