Kate Tracy thinks she’s found a creative way to explore issues of feminism and gender roles in society – by creating a new Web series about a female Sherlock Holmes.

The 27-year-old from Saco began a $5,000 fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com in mid-December for her proposed Web series “S(her)lock.” A media studies major at the University of Southern Maine, Tracy said she intends to have her Holmes adaptation be true to the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, except with a woman as Holmes and a transgender woman as his faithful aide, Watson.

“What drew me to this was the idea you could play with gender roles and cool feminist ideas without being preachy, by playing them exactly as in the books,” Tracy said. “Gender roles are very rigid in society. Men act like men and women are supposed to act like women. When they don’t conform, things get interesting.”

With a cast and crew made up of mostly USM students, Tracy hopes to begin some work on the series after the holidays. She said the series could be online in the fall. The production plan now calls for six episodes, to be filmed in Maine, of eight to 22 minutes in length each.

The $5,000 Kickstarter campaign is to begin production, Tracy said. She said $20,000 to $50,000 will have to be raised to produce the series.

For more information, go to Kickstarter.com and search for S(her)lock.

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