I am very, very proud and very excited to announce that The Underground Players have taken on an awesome new project – in a completely new venue!
Up until now, our actors have worked primarily in conventional stage productions and interactive, improvisational theatre – and they rock both genres! We performed three amazing plays in two years, and then turned our focus for a bit to actor development and arts education. Our Artistic Director (that’s me) moved across the country to work in a very exciting theatre district (Houston!) and support her husband while he pursues his Master’s in Theatre History. We’re all a bit scattered at the moment, and none of us were sure what would happen to The Underground, until a friend of ours had a wonderful idea.
What if there were a way to act long-distance? What if I could direct from afar, and we could involve as many of our far-flung friends as we liked? We certainly have the technology (thanks, Google Hangouts!) but what would we produce? We couldn’t put on a play this way… We threw around ideas but nothing stuck. Not until our good friend and superbly-talented writer, Tarin Campanella, approached me with an idea she’d come up with months before, and couldn’t get out of her head.
Those ideas, I find, are often the best ideas.
She wanted to write a webseries. We had the actors, she’d provide the script. She wanted to stage it as if the main character were “vlogging” – no crazy equipment, just a decent webcam and a light rig – and publish it on Youtube for the public. Oh – and she wanted this main character to be John Watson, of Sherlock Holmes and Watson fame. And she wanted Watson to be a woman. (And Sherlock, too.)
The gender-flip takes mere minutes to become accustomed to. As you read Tarin’s script, nothing has fundamentally changed about the characters we’ve always known and loved – and that’s a great point, in this age of gender politics. The Underground is proud to say that we’re a bunch of feminists, and while the script is engaging, witty, and hilarious all on its own, we’re especially excited to be working with a primarily female production team and cast, and that our episodes pass the Bechdel Test with flying colors.
The Watson Diaries is a multi-platform, gender-flipped modern webseries adaptation of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It’s quickly grown from a darling little brainchild to a full-fledged toddler – the kind you find yourself staring at, wondering “When did that little guy learn to RUN?” And we’re really proud. Production’s already begun – we’re in rehearsals now and looking to begin filming soon – and we are slated to begin publishing it online this Summer. Please, stay tuned. And thank you for supporting our work.