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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

October 25, 2013

Meet Aaron Hancock, playing Professor Moriarty in “Sherlock Holmes”

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 9:00 am

Q: Where did you grow up? Were there any activities you did as a child that led to your passion for theatre and the arts?
A: I grew up in the small town of Vicksburg, MS, right by the Mississippi River.  As a matter of fact, I had horrible stage fright as a child and I did not like to sing or speak in front of people. I tried many different activities:  soccer, ballet, karate.  However my social anxiety kept me from sticking with them for very long. My little brother, his best friend, and I would play epic games outdoors when we were younger and assume different roles of our favorite video game and television cartoon characters. I had two older siblings who were extremely talented in the theater arts, and thanks to good ole sibling rivalry, I made up my mind in high school to get over my fears and try to be “just as good, if not better.” I participated in musicals and show choir in high school and began to overcome my fears.

Q: Where did you study theatre?
A: I studied vocal performance and later mental health counseling at Mississippi College. I participated in musicals and opera scenes while I was there.

Q: Where have you worked previously? What are some of your favorite roles?
A: Before Charleston Stage, I had a couple of gigs with Newstage Theatre and Mississippi Opera in Jackson, MS. The summer before my senior year of college I spent a summer in Falmouth, MA, with the College Light Opera Company and spent eleven weeks performing 9 different shows. There is hardly a role I did not enjoy, but some of my all-time favorites are Tony (West Side Story), Bud Frump (How to Succeed), and Will Parker (Oklahoma!).

Q: How did you prepare for playing Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes? Were there any challenges or things that you were excited about with taking on this character?
A: Aside from studying the content of the script and finding Moriarty’s voice and accent, I researched a little of the history and appearances of Moriarty in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. I’ve watched a few of the different interpretations of his character including the modern retelling of the stories of Sherlock Holmes on BBC. The character is very enigmatic and open to interpretation, which makes for an exciting and challenging process.

Q: What do you look forward to each performance playing “Professor Moriarty” in Sherlock Holmes? What are you most excited audiences will take away from this production?
A: How could I not look forward to playing a sinister, evil villain each night? I’m thrilled to share the stage with talented actors whom I can call friends and perform with amazing sets and costumes. I can only hope the audience walks away happily having been entertained by the retelling of a timeless story.

Q: Please share with us your thoughts and experience so far on being a Resident Actor with Charleston Stage.
A: I can fill much more than a paragraph with my thoughts and experiences so far, but I’ll just say I’m endlessly grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love for a bit longer. I love the beauty of this city. The Dock Street Theatre is gorgeous and performing in it is a privilege. Teaching children, building their confidence, and sharing the arts with them are even more important and so very fulfilling. The staff of Charleston Stage is so fun to work with and that makes all the difference.  Lastly, I’m lucky to be able to share this experience with the other six RAs and form lasting friendships with them. I’d definitely recommend it to any young actor out there.


Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor Aaron Hancock as Professor Moriarty.

Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor Aaron Hancock as Professor Moriarty and Charleston Veteran Actor Patrick Arnheim as Sid Prince.

Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actors Katrin Murdock as Irene Adler and Aaron Hancock as Professor Moriarty

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