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Players’ ‘Hound’ Continues Its Run In Oswego

By Chelsea Hutt, Contributing Writer

OSWEGO, NY – Though it has a modest theatre space, the Frances Marion Brown Theatre brings in a decent crowd and the cast does not fail to impress the audience.

The classic Sherlock Homes mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” made its debut last weekend.

The production was put on by the Oswego Players, who share the building with the Art Association of Oswego.

Sherlock Holmes (Peter Mahan), right, and Dr. Watson (David J. Russell) face one of their toughest cases.

Sherlock Holmes (Peter Mahan), right, and Dr. Watson (David J. Russell) face one of their toughest cases.

Only one set was used for the two-act play, but the cast made it look impeccably detailed. The setting was held in the sitting room of Baskerville Hall, with a painted library of many colorful books, working “oil” lamps that were built into the set, a paned window and a working door that led to the moor.

The set also incorporated two paintings done by Peter Mahan, an art teacher at Hannibal High School.

At the start of the play, Lady Agatha Mortimer wanders Baskerville Hall. One can tell she is in mourning; and the audience soon learns she has called the detectives to investigate the mystery of Sir Charles Baskerville’s death on the moor.

Mahan plays the lead character, Sherlock Holmes, a detective who is trying to solve the mystery of the Baskerville estate.  His associate, Dr. Watson, is played by David J. Russell.

When they arrive on the moor, Lady Agatha, portrayed by Kelly Mahan, tells the eerie legend of the distant ancestor Sir Hugo Baskerville’s curse on the family. Sir Hugo was attacked by a monstrous hound on the moor long ago, and ever since the heirs of the estate fear for their lives.

Throughout the play, Holmes and Watson share quite a few clever remarks towards each other. The characters seem to have a very good chemistry, and cause the audience to burst out in laughter numerous times. This mystery has more humorous comments than one might expect.

Another comical effect of the play is the character of Jack Stapleton. The drawling, snobbish air that Norman Berlin III transmits is apparent as soon as he steps on the stage. One presumes that his character is harmless despite his temper, which is shown from time to time, especially toward Sir Henry.

Sir Henry, portrayed by Bobby Fontana, is the last living heir of Baskerville Hall. He is scared for his life by the curse.

His only comfort on the moor is beautiful, giggling maiden Kathy Stapleton.  It is revealed that Kathy is Jack’s sister, and it seems that he controls her every whim.

As Sir Henry and Kathy’s romance increases, strange events commence. The plot thickens when secrets are revealed concerning the Barrymores.  The audience meets Laura Lyons, the daughter of a neighbor living on the moor, who also concedes a secret that concerns her and the late Sir Charles.

Near the conclusion of the play, a storm starts brewing outside, which is surprisingly believable.  The special effects of the play include lightening flashes and sounds of thunder and rain, as well as a supernatural sounding howl of the hound.

Not only is there a change in weather, but in a few of the characters’ demeanors as case of the Baskerville beast is solved.

“The Hound of the Baskervilles” gave the audience a good laugh.

However, this humor throughout the play did not take away from the suspense.  The story of the hound creates intrigue and the suspense culminates up to the climax filled with commotion, and ultimately, justice for the murder of Sir Charles Baskerville.

Under the direction of Troy Pepper, never is there a dull dragging moment within the play, and the ending is sure to surprise.

“The Hound of the Baskervilles” continues in the Frances Marion Brown Theatre in the Fort Ontario Arts Complex on Oct. 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.

There will be a matinee on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are: Adults – $10; Seniors – $8; Students – $7.

Reservations may be made by calling the Players Box Office at 315-343-5138.

Holmes Mystery Set

OSWEGO, NY – In October one’s thoughts turn to fall weather, changing colors, and in the theatre, mysteries.

With Halloween coming up, the Oswego Players production of “Hound of the Baskervilles,” written by Tim Kelly and directed by Troy Pepper, fills the bill perfectly.

“Hound” has been thrilling readers and theatre audiences since 1902, when it was first serialized in “The Strand,” its many incarnations since then.

Playing the part of Lady Agatha Mortimer is Kelly Mahan.  The part was originally written as a male, Dr. Mortimer, friend and executor to the Baskerville family.

Mahan has extensive experience on stage with both the Players and Oswego Children’s Theatre. She has had a very busy life with husband, Peter (Sherlock Holmes in this production) for 25 years, and homeschooling their 4 children. She now enjoys baking, contra dancing, church activities, reading quilting and, of course, theatre.

Norman Berlin III, a local favorite, will play the part of the sinister, Jack, in the show. Berlin has been on the theatre scene since 2002. Since then, he has participated in more than 70 productions with the Oswego Children’s Theatre and Oswego Players. He is anxious to direct for Players and has fulfilled all the requirements, except turning 18 and directing a one-act.

Berlin is a senior at Oswego High School and looking forward to college.

Erin Chetney, who plays Perkins, the maid, began her theatre career early by playing a role in “Cheaper by the Dozen” when she was 5.

She has been seen in OHS productions, “The Phantom of the Tollbooth,” and as Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as well as SUNY Oswego’s “The Secret Garden.”

Chetney is a sophomore at OHS and enjoys singing, acting and traveling.

Other cast members include: Peter Mahan, D. J. Russell, Bobby Fontana, Tammy Wilkinson, Beverly Murtha, Steve Standish, Quinn Etchie, and Ken Snow.

“The Hound of the Baskervilles” will be playing in the Frances Marion Brown Theatre in the Fort Ontario Arts Complex on Oct. 8 and 9, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.

There will be a matinee on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are: Adults – $10; Seniors – $8; Students – $7.

Reservations may be made by calling the Players Box Office at 315-343-5138.

Mystery To Open Oct. 8

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Players’ production, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” will be opening on Oct. 8.

“Hound” has been billed as “the greatest of all Sherlock Holmes adventures!”

D. J. Russell, as Dr. Watson, and Peter Mahan, as Sherlock Homes, pose on the set of “Hound of the Baskervilles.

D. J. Russell, as Dr. Watson, and Peter Mahan, as Sherlock Homes, pose on the set of “Hound of the Baskervilles.

It is filled with intrigue and a surprise twist that will keep the audience guessing as to the identity of the true killer from a range of suspicious characters.

The Barrymores, Mr. and Mrs., have been long-time caretakers of the late Sir Charles and the Baskerville estate.

They were devoted to Sir Charles, but their loyalty to Sir Henry is questionable.

Beverly Murtha and Steve Standish have the task of bringing this strange couple to life.

Murtha has been seen in a number of local productions, such as “Father Knows Best,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “The Christmas Spirit,” as well as several Oswego Children’s Theatre presentations.

Her children, Ashley and Megan, and husband, Kevin, are also “theatre people.”

Ashley admirably played the lead in Jen Snow’s “Break a Leg,” in August.

Murtha enjoys Irish step dancing, and her family serves the community by fostering kittens for the Oswego County Humane Society.

Standish, as Mr. Barrymore, is a relative newcomer to the Players’ stage.

He was persuaded to replace another actor in “Miracle on 34th Street” mid-production when that actor encountered a scheduling conflict.

Standish deserves a dedication award, as he spent his recent wedding anniversary rehearsing “Hound.”

He and wife, Debby, have six children and four grandchildren.

Although he states that he has nothing about him that is interesting, he indulges in the very interesting “hobby” of “blowing up things,” while traveling during the summer as a pyrotechnician for Fireworks by Grucci.

Most people would call that interesting!

Professionally he is a sales rep and supervisor for Industrial Precision Products.

Quinn Etchie of Mexico plays Laura Lyons, a woman with a dangerous secret, in the show.

She includes in her credits productions of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Godspell” and “The Vagina Monologues,” quite an impressive resume.

Etchie is a teacher for Alternative Education in the Fulton School District and lists her hobbies as playwriting, poetry and the outdoors.

Other cast members include: Peter Mahan, D. J. Russell, Kelly Mahan, Bobby Fontana, Tammy Wilkinson, Erin Chetney, Norman Berlin III, and Ken Snow.

“The Hound of the Baskervilles” directed by Troy Pepper, will be playing in the Frances Marion Brown Theatre in the Fort Ontario Arts Complex Oct. 8 and 9 and 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.

There will be a matinee on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices are: Adults – $10, Seniors – $8, students – $7.

Reservations may be made by calling the Players Box Office at 315-343-5138.

Holmes and Watson At Farmers Market Thursday

Thursday, November 30th, 5:30 PM during the Farmers Market in Oswego, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson will be on location in full costume and in full character.  They will start the River’s End Bookstore, on 19 W Bridge St; Oswego, NY 13126-2182 (315) 342-0077.  They will be there to promote a local play “The Hound of the Baskerville’s”, which will be opening at 8:00 PM, Friday Oct 8th in Oswego at the Francis Marion Brown Theater at Fort Ontario’s Art Center.  There is a crate in the display window at the bookstore that is currently holding the “beastly hound” until the performance.  Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes will integrate into the crowd to raise suspicion and hopefully talk to curiosity seekers.

Thursday, at 5:30 p.m. during the farmers' market in Oswego, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson will be on location in full costume and in full character. They will start the river’s end bookstore, on 19 W Bridge St. They will be there to promote a local play “The Hound of the Baskerville’s”, which will be opening at 8 p.m. Oct 8 in Oswego at the Francis Marion Brown Theater at Fort Ontario’s Art Center. There is a crate in the display window at the bookstore that is currently holding the “beastly hound” until the performance. Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes will integrate into the crowd to raise suspicion and hopefully talk to curiosity seekers.

William “Bill” Arthur Holmes, Sr., 74

William “Bill” Arthur Holmes, Sr., 74, of Oswego, NY entered into glory July 7, 2009.

He was born in Montgomery, NY on November 21, 1934 to the late Arthur and Margaret Holmes. Bill graduated from Montgomery High School in 1952. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 until 1956 at O’Hare Air Force Base in Chicago, IL attaining the rank of S/SGT.

Bill was joined in marriage to Lois Ann Schoonmaker on September 11, 1954 and shared 54 years of his life with her. Bill was employed by Central Hudson Gas & Electric from 1956 until 1972. He purchased Howard’s General Store in Montgomery, NY. He was an active member of the Montgomery Fire Department while operating the small grocery store with his family in the center of town. Selling the store in 1980, Bill and Lois relocated to Northville, NY on the Sacadaga Reservoir where he pursued and attained his Real Estate & Brokerage licenses and worked in this field until 1987 when he permanently retired.

Bill and Lois relocated to Oswego, NY in 2005. They attend church at Calvary Baptist in Fulton, NY. An avid outdoorsman, Bill was often hunting, fishing, gardening or visiting with friends to talk about the adventures he experienced.

Bill is survived by his wife, Lois A. (Schoonmaker) Holmes; children, Donna Shumskis of Walden, NY, William Holmes, Jr. of Darby, PA and Nancy Schefcick of Hannibal, NY; sister, Dorothy Tompkins; brother, Richard Holmes; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; numerous nieces and nephews.

Services are 11 a.m. Saturday, July 18, 2009 at Foster Funeral Home, Hannibal with burial at Hannibal Village Cemetery. Calling hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 17th and 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 18th at the funeral home, 837 Cayuga Street, Hannibal.

A memorial service at Harmony Baptist Church in Montgomery, NY is planned for September 26, 2009 at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 3049, Syracuse, NY, 13220.

Foster Funeral Home, Inc.

www.fosterfuneralhome.com

Letter: Stuff-A-Bus A Success

Submitted by Bonnie Holmes, Director Success By 6

OSWEGO, NY- I would to like thank the hundreds of community members who lent their support to the Success By 6 “Stuff A Bus” campaign. Thanks to the generosity of our community and the efforts of our many volunteers the 2008 “Stuff A Bus” campaign was our most successful ever.

The wonderful donations that we received will go a long way in helping to ensure that children in need in Oswego County will have the supplies they need to begin the new school year. The Success By 6 “Stuff A Bus” campaign was an excellent example of the community coming together and working collaboratively on a project that has a tremendously positive impact on Oswego County.

From the dedicated staff of Success By 6, to our hard-working volunteers, to the school districts and the teachers, to the businesses who hosted collection sites, and to the many community members who donated school supplies, their efforts were remarkable.

Their care and concern for our youth is truly heartwarming.

I would especially like to acknowledge Kinney Drug Stores, Staples, Wal-Mart, Fulton Savings Bank, Hannibal IGA, Price Chopper Food Stores, and the Midway Drive-In for hosting buses and serving as an official collection site for the “Stuff-A-Bus Campaign.”

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Success By 6 “Stuff A Bus” campaign such a success.

New Haven Church to help “Stuff A Bus”

Submitted article

</p>Pictured above from left are: AmeriCorps worker, Ted Jackson; Pastor Sandra Stevens; and Director of the Success By 6 program, Bonnie Holmes.

Pictured above from left are: AmeriCorps worker, Ted Jackson; Pastor Sandra Stevens; and Director of the Success By 6 program, Bonnie Holmes.

Pastor Sandra Stevens of the First Congregational Church of New Haven accepts a “Stuff A Bus” collection box from members of the United Way’s Success By 6 program.  The church is holding an in-house collection to support the “Stuff A Bus” campaign that is collecting school supplies for students in need throughout Oswego County.  Donations will be accepted at the church now through Friday, August 15th as the United Way looks to fill twelve buses with school supplies.  Buses will be at twelve convenient locations: The Midway Drive-In on Route 48 in Minetto; Wal-Mart stores on Route 49 in Central Square, Route 104 in Oswego, and Route 3 in Granby; Kinney Drug Stores on Main Street in Mexico, Route 13 in Pulaski and Bridge Street in Oswego; Staples on Route 104 in Oswego; The Hannibal IGA, Route 3 in Hannibal; Fulton Savings Bank in the 3 Rivers Plaza, Phoenix; and Price Chopper stores on Route 104 in Oswego and on West First Street in Fulton.  Donations will be accepted at these locations now through Friday, August 15th when the final collection will take place from 8:30am until 3:00pm.

Breakfast Benefits Success By 6

Submitted article

A benefit breakfast, held July 26th for the United Way’s Success by 6 program raised more than $700 to benefit the many programs that Success By 6 provides for children up to age six who are preparing to begin their education.  The Clubhouse Tavern in Oswego with Wiltsie Construction donating the food, Dunkin Donuts donating the coffee, and Dave Mott, Terry Spath, and Patrick Barry doing the cooking, hosted the breakfast.

“We are very appreciative of the support we received from the community members who attended the event and thankful to Robert and Liz McGrath of the Clubhouse Tavern and Wiltsie Construction for making it all possible.  The additional funds will be put to good use as we continue our mission of ensuring that our children are physically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally able to learn when entering school,” said Bonnie Holmes, Director of Success By 6.

For more information on Success By 6 you may contact them at 593-1900.

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