photo collage from Annie, Fantastics, and Chicago of characters reading news

Director’s Note

Director's Note

When Ben Raanan first proposed “Miss Holmes” to me, I was very enthusiastic about working with Phamaly, but was less sure I was the right director for this play. My work is often devised, experimental, leaning into social justice issues. A fun and fast whodunnit like “Miss Holmes” seemed to me better left to another sort of director.

But what Ben knew is that this play is a Trickster. 

Being underestimated, our Sherlock posits, can be used to advantage; something the play itself seems to employ:

While we in the audience are swept up in the delight of witty banter and puzzle-solving; the play’s busy poking the bear of patriarchy (and, in our production, ableism).This inherent subterfuge provokes us to question how things have changed since 1881-- the year in which “Miss Holmes” is set-- and the way oppressive systems endure.

I’m so grateful for Ben’s invitation, his trust, and his empathetic leadership as I’ve found my relationship to the play.

The entire team has been just over-the-moon-dreamy: strong, resilient, patient, honest, and kind. If you want to learn about humancentric practices in the workplace, Phamaly is where to do that. (And they can always use volunteers!) The team met me on Zoom when I got Covid; they carried on without me as my mom entered hospice; they were compassionate and good-humored when I hit growing edges. 

I should maybe state baldly that I don’t identify as disabled. The practices at Phamaly are just plain old better for all humans. And if theater-- an artform stunted by inequitable notions of professionalism-- adopted the protocol of Phamaly as the “new normal”, the inclusivity aspired to in theory would become a reality. 

I’m a better director for having been in their company. 

Mare Trevathan, Director