America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Mystery, Mayhem, and Merriment Await in SHERLOCK HOLMES – THE ADVENTURE OF THE SPECKLED BAND at Walnut Street Theatre

February 3, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Walnut Street Theatre (WST) continues its 213th season with a world premiere adaptation of a classic mystery with Sherlock Holmes – The Adventure of The Speckled Band. Written and directed by Walnut favorite Bill Van Horn, the production begins previews February 22, opens March 2, and continues through March 27 on the Walnut’s Mainstage.

Comedic mystery reigns in this classic Sherlock Holmes’ tale. After her twin sister’s unusual death at the family’s run-down country manor, a young woman is terrified she will be next. To avoid a similar fate – and mystified by her sister’s final words, “It was…the speckled band” – she enlists the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Dr. Watson. Six talented actors, playing a multitude of quirky characters, take you deep into a world of quick-change disguises and murderous mayhem to unravel The Adventure of The Speckled Band.

The Walnut’s Producing Artistic Director Bernard Havard commissioned Bill Van Horn to create this adaption of The Speckled Band, which was originally a 1910 three-act play by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Van Horn is no stranger to writing and adapting for the stage. He has done so for productions in the Walnut’s Independence Studio on 3 and WST for Kids Series, including beloved yearly productions of A Christmas Carol. His credits as director include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Peter and the Starcatcher, Around the World in 80 Days, and The Glass Menagerie.

In addition to leading the cast as director, Van Horn will also take on the role of Holmes’ familiar sidekick, Dr. Watson. Van Horn has previously played the role in Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. His other WST roles include Grimsby in this season’s Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Sir John Pontefract in A Woman of No Importance. In the role of the titular detective, among other characters, is Ian Merrill Peakes. He is a veteran of the Walnut’s Mainstage with credits including A Woman of No Importance, The Curious Incident…, Matilda, and Of Mice and Men. A proud Philadelphia actor, this will be Peakes’ 134th professional production in his career, during which he has earned multiple awards in Philadelphia and beyond.

Karen Peakes will play several roles, including Enid Stoner, the woman who employs the help of Holmes and Watson to solve the mystery of her sister’s death. Her WST credits include A Woman of No Importance, The Curious Incident…, and A Comedy of Tenors, in addition to work at several other Philadelphia theatres. When not on the stage, she is an Audie Award-nominated audiobook narrator of over 80 titles. Actress Mary Martello returns to the Walnut to also play a variety of characters. Audiences will remember Martello from roles in Walnut shows like Young Frankenstein, Annie, The Humans, and 9 to 5. In her impressive career, she has received many awards and performed at Philadelphia theatres such as 1812 Productions, The Wilma, and The Arden.

Rounding out the cast and playing a handful of characters each are Dan Hodge and Justin Lujan, both last seen at the Walnut in The Curious Incident… Hodge’s theatrical credits also include the one-man show Dogs of Rwanda at Urban Stages and an award-winning turn in Around the World in 80 Days at Delaware Theatre Company. Lujan, the current Program Director for Acting at University of the Arts, has a background in comedy as a graduate of The Groundlings School of Improvisation in Los Angeles. He has helped devise performance in Seoul and acted in film and television in LA.

Scenic Designer Brian Froonjian (Beehive), who also serves as the Walnut’s Technical Director, takes us from a stately manor in Surrey to Holmes’ base at 221B Baker Street in London. Creating a large variety of costumes for the actors’ quick changes is the Walnut’s Costume Shop Manager Natalia De La Torre whose work includes Nina Simone at People’s Light and Snow White at the Arden. They are joined by Lighting Designer Shon Causer (A Woman of No Importance, A Comedy of Tenors, The Humans) and multi-award-winning Sound Designer Christopher Colucci (A Woman of No Importance, A Comedy of Tenors, and The Humans).

SHERLOCK HOLMES – THE ADVENTURE OF THE SPECKLED BAND runs at the Walnut from February 22 through March 27, 2022. Open captioning will be available for the Sunday, March 13, 7pm performance. This production is sponsored by Ramona Gwynn and Essential Utilities. Media Sponsors are 6ABC and Metro Philadelphia. Discounted tickets are sponsored by PNC Arts Alive. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting or


Based upon the play The Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

WHEN: February 22 – March 27, 2022

  PRESS NIGHT: Wednesday, March 2 at 7pm

WHERE: Walnut Street Theatre

  825 Walnut Street

  Philadelphia, PA 19107

TICKETS: Prices vary by performance and range from $25 - $77
Premium Tickets available for $175 (includes a tax-deductible donation)
A limited number of $10 ‘Back to the Show’ tickets will be made available for every Mainstage performance thanks to a generous grant from PNC Arts Alive.

CURTAIN: Tuesday – Saturday evenings at 8pm (2/22 – 3/26) *
Special weeknight performance at 7pm (3/2)
Sunday evenings at 7pm (2/27 – 3/13)
Wednesday matinee at 2pm (3/23)
Thursday matinees at 2pm (3/10 – 3/24)
Saturday matinees at 2pm (2/26 – 3/5, 3/19 – 3/26)
Sunday matinees at 2pm (2/27 – 3/27)

*No performances 3/22

Open captioning will be available for the 7 p.m. performance on Sunday, March 13.

PHONE: 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787


Lighting Design: SHON CAUSER

Dr. Watson, Others………………….……………………....……….….……..BILL VAN HORN*
Enid, Mrs. Staunton, Others………..………………....………..…………..KAREN PEAKES*
Dr. Rylott, Sherlock Holmes, Others……..……….…....…..….IAN MERRILL PEAKES*
Ali, Mr. Brewer, Mr. Wilson, Others……….…….….……..….…..……….JUSTIN LUJAN*
Rodgers, Mr. Armitage, Others...……………………....………..……………DAN HODGE*
Coroner, Bentley, Others………………...…………………….…….……MARY MARTELLO*

ANNA DEBLASIO (Coroner, Bentley, Others), BLAIR JOHNSON (Dr. Watson, Others), BO SAYRE (Rodgers, Mr. Armitage, Others), MICHAEL STAHLER (Dr. Rylott, Sherlock Holmes, Others), KRISTEN SWENSON (Enid, Mrs. Staunton, Others), BRANDON TYLER (Ali, Mr. Brewer, Mr. Wilson, Others)

* The Actors and Stage Manager employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the theatre union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Walnut Street Theatre is continuing to work with guidelines from the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Philadelphia Department of Health to develop the most comprehensive plan to keep patrons, artists, and employees safe.

Guests ages 5 and up will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine to attend a show and must show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theatre with their valid ticket. Children under 5 and guests who need reasonable accommodations due to a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination must provide proof of either a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance or a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance. In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests 18 or older must present valid government-issued photo ID. Guests under 18 may also use a school ID. Guests under 12 must be accompanied by an adult who meets these requirements. For more information, visit

Everyone in the theatre must wear acceptable face coverings at all times, including during the show, except while eating or drinking when seated in Barrymore’s Cafe, located in the lower lobby. All face coverings must cover the nose and mouth and comply with the CDC guidelines for acceptable face coverings.

Barrymore’s Cafe is the only area in the theatre where guests can consume food and drink, and guests must be fully vaccinated to do so. Proof of vaccination will be required to be shown again upon entering the cafe.

Walnut Street Theatre is America’s Oldest Theatre and the most popular theatre company in Philadelphia. As a producer of live theatre, many of the artists on the stage, in the orchestra and behind the scenes are from the Philadelphia area. As a non-profit institution, the Walnut is recognized nationally for bringing affordable theatre and diverse stories to more subscribers than any other theatre company in the world. In addition to its five Mainstage productions, popular Walnut Street Theatre for Kids Series and Independence Studio on 3 Series, the Walnut’s education and outreach programs bring live theatre to over 100,000 students, teachers, parents, and kids every year.

825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107–5195 | 215-574-3550 VISIT US AT