The Great Detective Returns!

You may or may not have heard of the great detective, Sherlock Holmes. As the main protagonist of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes stories, he has captivated readers with his spot-on deductions for over a century. Now, from March 9 ’til March 25, Holmes takes to the stage in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s adaptation of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

The play featured at ASF is an adaptation by William Gillette. Gillette’s Sherlock Holmes consists of four acts, combining elements from several of Doyle’s stories. It mainly uses the plots of A Scandal in Bohemia and The Final Problem, but also incorporates elements from A Study In Scarlet, The Sign Of Four, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, and The Greek Interpreter.

The greatest difference between Gillette’s play and Doyle’s stories, in fact, are the characters. With the exceptions of Holmes, the infamous sidekick Watson, and Moriarty, all of the play’s characters were created by Gillette, who took some liberties, such as giving Holmes a love interest. The love interest, modeled on Irene Adler, the infamous blackmailer from A Scandal in Bohemiawas reinvented and renamed Alice Faulkner. In an odd but understandable twist, in this adaptation Holmes is portrayed as brave and open about his feelings.This portrayal is different from the intellect-driven original, who was said to be “a machine rather than a man.”

All in all, ASF’s adapatation of Sherlock Holmes is entertaining, with its dramatic turns and comedy, and kept its audience enraptured. For any fan of Holmes, I deduce that you’ll catch the show!

For more information, including show times, visit ASF’s webpage for Sherlock Holmes.

KEEPING POETRY POPULAR!

It’s hard to say that the art of poetry is dying, but the world is moving to more modern media for entertainment: movies, reality TV shows, streaming. But there are organizations that are working to keep this beautiful art form alive!

The Academy of American Poetry‘s mission is to “foster an appreciation for contemporary poetry and support American poets”. On the organization’s front page, their Chancellor, Khaled Mattawa, is quoted as saying:

“Testing and expanding the language is part of writing poetry and poetic renewal. There’s never been a poetic revolution that was purely indigenous, that was not touched by translation or multilingualism.'”

To accomplish their mission, the Academy of American Poetry offers programs such as Poem-A-Day, National Poetry Month in April, and the American Poets Prizes.

Among those programs is the Dear Poet Project, an educational initiative that offers students in grades 5 through 12 a chance to listen to a poem read by the poet, then to write that poet a letter responding to the poem. The project’s webpage on poets.org offers more information for both students and teachers, including a lesson plan that is aligned with the Common Core standards.

Poetry is a special gift that most of humanity now takes for granted. It needs to be appreciated for the value it truly possesses. So visit www.poets.org to get inspired today!