Director of Sherlock Holmes at Macon Little Theatre says he ‘literally grew up’ there

JP Haynie is back in town and directing Macon Little Theatre’s newest show, an updated version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and William Gillette’s 1899 stage play, “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.”

To say Haynie is back in town equals saying he’s back home, both in Macon and at MLT.

“I guess I literally grew up in the Macon theater community and my dad, Phillip Haynie, was artistic director at Macon Little Theatre in the late 1970s and again in the 1980s,” Haynie said. “My mom, Sylvia Haynie, is the current artistic director.”

Haynie said the first time he recalls being on stage was around third grade in a Theatre Macon production.

“But my mom and dad talk about a lot of things I did before that,” he said. “And there are a lot of pictures of me as a really little kid running around the Macon Little Theatre lobby in a onesie that looked like a little tuxedo. It was great growing up in the theatre community here and I got a lot of encouragement and support from people I consider Macon community theatre royalty.”

Haynie graduated Stratford Academy then Mercer University in theater before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre from the University of Central Florida.

He was resident lighting director at MLT and has worked in regional and national touring companies in both children’s and adult theater.

For the past nine years, he has lived in New York with wife, Ashlee, where he laid hold of notable television and film credits, including three seasons on “The Good Wife” and appearances on “Empire.”

His most recognizable film work, in a sense, came in “Men in Black III” playing Dom, a quilled alien who meets a bad end at the hands of villain aliens.

“But I also appeared in the background as other aliens, including as one of several fish-headed aliens,” Haynie said.

He said the “Men in Black III” role meant four hours in a make up chair before shooting started at 8 a.m. and went all day into the night.

He said prior to filming, he also worked as a “model” for various alien looks that filmmakers considered.

Back in Macon, Haynie said he is still involved in seeking film and television work, however, his immediate work has been not only directing at MLT, but serving as technical director at his alma mater for Mercer University’s Halloween season production of “Evil Dead: The Musical.”

As far as Sherlock Holmes, Haynie said he believes the fictional detective’s knack for solving puzzles and mysteries gives him his enduring, entertaining quality in books and in Steven Dietz’s modernization of the original Holmes play.

“We’re all like that, I think,” Haynie said. “We all have that curiosity to figure things out, solve mysteries. We also like staying one step ahead. That’s the give and take between Moriarity and Holmes that provides such entertaining twists and turns. This play does a good job capturing things people who love Sherlock Holmes will enjoy, but the story is modern enough and good enough so those who aren’t familiar with the detective can still have a great evening.”

Haynie also said the cast is wonderful and the lead who plays Holmes, Stuart Appleton, is a big, longtime Holmes fan and brings a lot to the role.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

If You Go

“Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure”

Where: Macon Little Theatre, 4220 Forsyth Rd.

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 24-26; 2:30 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27

Cost: Adults $20, Over 60 $15, Students under 23 $10

Information: (478) 471-7529, www.maconlittletheatre.org