New Albany News

Performance of Sherlock to raise money for Scotland trip


The New Albany High School drama department will present an updated version of a Sherlock Holmes story at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, in Mershad Hall at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 E. Dublin-Granville Road.

Admission is $15 and proceeds will help fund the drama department's trip to Scotland this summer for the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased on the New Albany Theatre Boosters website at or at the door Jan. 31.

"Our production of Sherlock is unique in that it is entirely student-acted, student-designed, student-directed and student-written," said drama adviser Elliott Lemberg. "The students wrote the script for the show. The words the actors will be speaking ... are the words they (wrote)."

The production is set in the present day with Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, investigating the death of a general in Los Angeles.

The audience will see New Albany High School's drama department's rendition of Sherlock before remotely watching a Sherlock performance by the Baton Rouge Magnet High School drama department, from which students also will attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Lemberg said he met Glenn McMahon, the director of the Baton Rouge Magnet High School's Gifted and Talented theater program, during a "familiarization trip" to Scotland in August 2013.

"This trip was sponsored by the American High School Theatre Festival and was a way for directors bringing students to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014 to acquaint themselves with the accommodations, the city of Edinburgh and the festival itself, as well as the venues we would be using to perform our shows," Lemberg said. "Mr. McMahon devised this unique collaborative opportunity for our students. Not only would it function as a fundraiser for our trips, but it also would afford our students the opportunity to get to know each other before the trip to the UK"

The Sherlock Homes production was chosen because the character's creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was from Scotland, Lemberg said.

"We thought a Sherlock Holmes production would be a fun connection to our trip to Scotland," Lemberg said. "Also, Sherlock Holmes is very popular because of the Robert Downey Jr. films and the Benedict Cumberbatch series (on PBS)."

The audience will be able to watch the Baton Rouge Magnet High School's production on a screen set up in Mershad Hall, Lemberg said.

Lemberg said New Albany will send the audio and video of its performance to Louisiana via Skype, which is how it will receive the Baton Rouge school's performance in New Albany.

Lemberg said the Scotland trip will cost $6,372 per student for a 15-day trip to London and Edinburgh.

"With our fundraising, we are trying to offset that cost for the participants as much as we possibly can," he said. "Students also have been doing individual fundraising."

The drama department held a rummage sale in October that was successful enough to repeat this spring.

The students also plan to hold a dinner theater and variety show May 3.

"The whole goal of the American High School Theatre Festival is to showcase exemplary high school theater programs in Canada and the United States by having them perform a production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest performing arts festival in the world," Lemberg said.

New Albany High School's drama department was nominated to participate in the program.