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The Scoop On Baskerville

Becca Preisler, Writer

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Two veterans of the theater who know the thrill when the curtain rises on opening night to perform in front of a packed theater will soon experience a new thrill they have never experienced before in their young acting careers.

Oconomowoc High School seniors Ian Smith and Peggy Alexander will showcase their talents and knowledge of theater as directors of their very own production of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, which opens Thursday night at the Oconomowoc Arts Center. The production tells a story of mystery and love with a bit of humor.

Smith and Alexander were chosen to lead this year’s OHS senior directed play.  The two seniors were put in charge of choosing a play, casting actors and actresses, and putting all the pieces together. Stepping off stage and behind the curtain is something new for both of them.

“It is definitely very different,” Smith said. “You learn to really appreciate the energy and work that goes into the play for only four shows.”

“We have never had the experience, therefore it is something new,” Alexander added.  “People in the cast look up to you which is stressful.”

OHS drama teacher Tom Klubertanz said he is there to help if needed, but has confidence the students will work hard to put on a successful production.

“Ninety-five percent of the work is done by kids,” Klubertanz said.  “Anytime they need a lifeline we are here to help but in the end it is their vision.  I really try to sit back and say ‘it’s your show’.”

The seniors work one on one with each individual actor and actress to make sure each detail is perfect.  

“It is the funniest play you will ever see,” said Smith. “It showcases 13 of the most talented actors and actresses.  It is a play unlike any other.”

Klubertanz said opening night is always special for everyone involved in putting on the production. This opening night will be unlike any other for Smith and Alexander.

“My favorite part of the senior directed play is opening night,” he said. “I don’t even watch the play, I watch the directors.  It is a special feeling to see all that hard work pay off.  “Pride… I am just so proud of the work that has been put in.  Until you have directed a show you have no concept of how much work is put into it,” said Klubertanz

Smith and Alexander will both be closing a chapter in their lives at the end of this year as neither senior plans to pursue theater after high school.

“Theater will always be a part of my life.  I will always go see shows but this chapter of my life is coming to an end,” Alexander said.

For Klubertanz, the work done by Smith, Alexander, and all the drama students is special not only to him but the entire high school community.

“All of these kids are like an extended family to me and it’s fun to see them kind of leave their mark on the OHS program with the senior directed play,” said Klubertanz.

Show dates for Baskerville are Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m., and two performances on Saturday, Feb. 25, a matinee at 2 p.m. and a night performance at 7:30 p.m.  The show will take place at the Oconomowoc Arts Center.

Ticket prices are $12 for students and $15 for adults and will be sold at the OAC box office 30 prior to the show.  Seating is not reserved as the seats are up on the stage.

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The Scoop On Baskerville