WESTMONT – A Westmont man who doubles as the director of communications with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and is the author of two children’s books has accepted the leading role in this month’s performance of Sherlock Holmes.
Thomas Heffron will play the classic and well-known detective in the Progressive Village Performance Network’s next production in his first acting gig.
“Being on stage is an opportunity for me to be more outgoing and take on a role of being someone else,” Heffron said.
Although he didn’t originally try out for the lead, the Georgia native said he’s loved Sherlock Holmes ever since he was a kid.
“I just wanted to be a part of the show,” Heffron said. “To have the opportunity to be him, that’s amazing.”
While taking his children to the PVPN’s Christmas show, Heffron noticed the group would soon hold tryouts for January’s performance and he decided to audition, he said.
The performance will be in conjunction with the Westmont Public Library’s Westmont Reads program featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”
In anticipation of opening day, Heffron said he hopes to meet people’s expectations of who Holmes is supposed to be.
“It’s certainly a challenge to take on a role everyone knows,” Heffron said. “Sherlock Holmes is one of the greatest literary characters of all time.”
Rehearsals for the PVPN cast began Monday, but Heffron said he plans to do some preparation on his own by rereading some of the stories and watching old black and white movies and TV shows.
“We’re creating the old-time feel so this is not going to be the post modern 21st century Sherlock Holmes,” Heffron said. “This will recreate the classic feel so I want to go back to the original portrayals and look at that for the direction.”
Although the nerves haven’t sunk in just yet, Heffron said he’s more excited about the opportunity ahead of him.
“To take on this role of someone who has supreme confidence,” Heffron said. “It’s exciting to become that kind of person for an hour.
“I want to see what I can bring to the role,” he said. “I’m not trying to do anything new or radical, this is a classic character and I want to meet people’s expectations of the role.”
Keeping in mind that this will be Heffron’s first show, Heffron is hoping to develop skills through this role and translate those into future performances, he said, adding that he plans to be in more shows to come.
“Overall I just want to have fun and I want the audience to have fun, too,” Heffron said. “I think it’s going to be a great time for everybody.”
About Thomas Heffron
• Graduate of the University of Georgia
• Family: Wife, Kesha, two sons, Caleb and Daniel, and daughter, Sophia.
• Author of two children’s books: “The Animals Sleep” and “I See the Animals Sleeping”
Library performance approaches
Two Sherlock Holmes mysteries will be performed as old-time radio versions during the library’s Westmont Reads event. The performance will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at the library, 428 N. Cass Ave. Tickets will be $3 pre-sale and $5 at the door.