Auditions – October 16 & 17

The Game’s Afoot ~ or Holmes for the Holidays

Written by Ken Ludwig
Directed by Tricia Burns


Life imitates art in this rollicking murder mystery! An actor has mastered his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on stage, but can he duplicate the performance when murder comes calling at his house for the holidays?

About the auditions: Auditions will be held Monday, October 16th and Tuesday, October 17th, from 6:30 until 9:00 p.m. at The Varsity Center, 418 South Illinois, in Carbondale, IL.
The director is looking for 3 actors and 5 actresses ages 18-70 for various roles.
A copy of the script is available at the Carbondale Public Library

Performance dates: December 1-3 and December 7-10

About the play: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes is, indisputably, the most famous and the most clever detective in the world and as such has inspired countless writers who want to tell his story, or at least one of his stories. Ken Ludwig is one of them.
And actors who successfully portray the intrepid sleuth from Baker Street are virtually guaranteed worldwide fame. One such actor was Basil Rathbone, who portrayed Holmes in fourteen films from 1939 to 1946. For many people, Rathbone is the quintessential Holmes.
But before Rathbone there was William Gillette, who played the master of deductive reasoning on the stage at the turn of the twentieth century. The protagonist of Mr. Ludwig’s hilarious whodunit is a fictionalized version of the actor.

Here’s the set-up: it is 1936 and the famous and adored Mr. Gillette has invited some of his Broadway co-stars to his Connecticut castle, an intriguing home filled with gadgets and hidden passageways, for a weekend of revelry. But when a guest is stabbed to death, then “the game’s afoot!” Gillette is forced to summon all of the skills of Sherlock Holmes, and perhaps the iconic deerstalker hat, to solve the mystery before another guest is late, very late, to dinner. And since Gillette has just survived an attempt on his own life, the “late”guest could just very well be him! (sources:,

About the writer: Ken Ludwig is from York, Pennsylvania. He graduated from high school in 1968 and then entered Haverford Collee and graduated in 1972 with a B.A., magna cum laude, in music theory and composition. After seeing his first play at the age of six, Mr. Ludwig wanted to be involved in theater but, upon the advice of his father, decided to prepare for a career that would provide greater stability.
So he studied law at Harvard and then attended Cambridge University (Trinity College) to study literature. Ludwig graduated from Harvard Law in 1976 and joined a law firm.
From 1976 to 1989, Mr. Ludwig worked as an attorney but began to write at the same time. His writing career began to take off and he soon established himself as one of the most prolific and honored of modern American playwrights. Since then, he has written twenty-four plays and musicals. Six of his works have been performed on Broadway and seven in London’s West End. His plays include: Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy For You, Moon Over Buffalo, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, Twentieth Century, Leading Ladies, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Game’s Afoot, The Fox on the Fairway, The Three Musketeers, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Baskerville, A Comedy of Tenors, Robin Hood!, and an adaption of Agatha Christie’s Murder on The Orient Express. Crazy For You won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical and Lend Me a Tenor won a Tony Award and was called “one of the best musicals of the twentieth century” by the Washington Post.
Mr. Ludwig has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including two Helen Hayes awards, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, the Charles McArthur Award, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theater. Moreover, Ludwig has received commissions from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Old Globe, and the Bristol Old Vic. He is also a Sallie B. Goodman Fellow of the American Theater.

About the director:
Tricia Beth Burns is a graduate of SIUC, earning a BFA in Theatre. She has been working with The Stage Company since 2008 but has appeared in over 30 productions within the Southern Illinois area, most recently she appeared in this season’s Gala show, Gumshoe. She has performed with many local theater groups, and some of her favorite roles have been Rose in Enchanted April, Sylvia in Sylvia and Debra in Smell of the Kill. This is her second time directing for the Stage Company, she directed last year’s Gala show, Take Five. She is looking forward to working with other talented Southern Illinois actors to bring this fun, fast paced play, The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays to life!

For further information regarding the production, please contact Tricia Burns (Director) at