Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner are the masterminds behind the smartly conceived and composed “Holmes & Watson Save the Empire,” a musical mystery playing at Oregon Cabaret Theatre and directed by Michael Hume.
Beecham and Hillgartner are married with two children and have developed a successful writing partnership. We visited together in their charming and whimsically decorated Ashland home.
The couple met in the 1970s, when they were actors at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
JB: We acted a lot in regional theater, but continued to write wherever we went.
MH: We didn’t feel restricted, that we could only do theater, but we always felt that if you could find an opportunity you should take it. We learned early on that you have to have lots of balls in the air because as soon as you think that one thing is going to go, that’s when suddenly there’s a change in administration. And the new theater producer or editor is saying, “I’ve got my own friends I’d like to hire.” Then you have to network a new way.
This is the third show that OCT’s done of ours. The first show, “Chaps,” was a British radio show/cowboy musical. The second show, “They Came From Way Out There,” was written with Michael Hume.