Student's costuming to conjure era of super-sleuth 'Sherlock Holmes'

A student’s passion for costume design will help thrust audience members into a tangled web of 19th century danger and intrigue for the SUNY Oswego production of “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.”

Logane Robinson, a theatre and graphic design major, has the rare responsibility of designing all the costumes for the theatre department’s fall production, slated for a preview and five-performance run in October at SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre.

Student costumer Logane Robinson, right“This is just the second time I’ve directed with a student costume designer who is responsible for all of the designs,” said theatre professor Mark Cole. He said Robinson’s chance to design for the main stage is emblematic of what makes Oswego’s theatre program unique.

Cole noted that before an actor even speaks, the “Sherlock Holmes” audience will have a sense for the character’s personality. “The clothes that Logane has designed for the characters are rich with details of the period,” he said. “This is dress-up on a grand scale, and it’s a tribute to Logane that he has embraced the research and design process so fully.”

“Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” is a Steven Dietz adaption of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books “A Scandal in Bohemia” and “The Final Problem.” The play will preview at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, and run at 8 p.m. Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20, with a matinee finale at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21.

Iconic sleuth

“The plot of the play involves a crowned head of Europe, desperate to retrieve an incriminating photograph on the eve of his marriage,” Cole said.

With the help of loyal sidekick Dr. Watson (Jacob Luria), who also serves as the narrator, Sherlock Holmes (Nicholas Pike) unravels a blackmail scheme, pursuing villains that include Moriarty (Tyler Eldred) and the impulsive King of Bohemia (Carlos Clemenz). Opera singer Irene Adler (Jennifer Pratt) plays Holmes’ love, caught in the web of the conspiracy.

With Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law recently reprising their latter-day roles as Holmes and Watson in the movie “A Game of Shadows,” along with the new CBS show “Elementary” and an updated BBC version, the popularity of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures endures, inspiring Robinson’s costuming efforts.

“There’s a lot of Sherlock interest going on, and a lot of people haven’t been exposed to a live version of the things that are happening,” Robinson said.

Robinson said his 22 costume designs bring to life the class distinctions of 1890s London. He normally spends about four hours a day during the week, and more on the weekends, in Tyler Hall’s costume shop.

Luria said, “He has been pretty busy, but very good at his job.”

Now a senior, Robinson first became interested in costume design as a freshman, and has assisted on “Dracula,” co-designed for “Grease” and was designer for last year’s student honors production of “As Bees in Honey Drown.” He says he is excited to leave his own mark on “Sherlock Holmes,” but from backstage.

“I do behind-the-scenes work because I have stage fright,” Robinson said. “So it’s easier for me to be seen, without me actually being seen, by having my designs on stage.”

The production’s crew includes Kitty Macey, the college’s veteran costume designer whom Robinson describes as his “safety net.” Costume shop supervisor Judy McCabe helped Robinson take the original sketches from paper to clothing.

Other crew members include theatre faculty and staff members Joan Hart Willard as dialect coach, Tim Baumgartner with scene and lighting design, sound design by Gregory Brewster, scene shop supervisor Sean Culligan and prop master Jessica Culligan. Other student crew members include assistant director Dana Ernest, stage manager Kellie McMenemon and dramaturg Katie Morris.

Tickets cost $13 ($7 for SUNY Oswego students), though tickets for the two Saturday performances are $10 as part of Tyler box office’s “Super Saturday” promotion. Tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at http://tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 312-2141. All tickets for the preview are $5. The production is suggested for ages 12 and above.

Patrons with disabilities who require assistance should call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.

PHOTO CAPTION: Student costumer—Theatre and graphic design major Logane Robinson, right, works on fit and finish for the costume of Jacob Luria, who plays Doctor Watson in the upcoming theatre department production “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.” Robinson, given the rare honor to be the lead costume designer for the play, has designed 22 costumes to help evoke the 19th century heyday of enduring fictional sleuth Holmes and his loyal sidekick, Watson.

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(Posted: Sep 27, 2012)

Tags: theatre, theater, sherlock holmes