Breathing Life into a Classic…

Rusty Mewha and Katie Hardy as Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel with Aaron T. Moore as Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt
Rusty Mewha and Katie Hardy as Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel with Aaron T. Moore as Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt

So, I am sitting at work, at 1:00 am, considering going home, when I find myself thinking about today’s rehearsal.  We are now at the stage where we run the entire show every day (an exciting phase to be in).  But… as we tread on the brink of Opening, I wanted to reflect on what drew my attention to this piece in particular.

Many adaptations have been made of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. So when choosing the show for the season I read about 18 versions of the script.  All soooooo different.  I knew that I was looking for a version that was very close to the original story.  I didn’t want people to leave (as they so often do in films) and say “the book was better.”  I needed something that would capture the essence of the story and not stray too far from Irving’s original written word.

Finally, I found what I was looking for… a new adaptation by a relatively new playwright.  This version kept the Ghost story that we have come to love so well, about a hapless schoolmaster and the Headless Horseman, and still gave equal weight to the love story that this fairytale tells so well.  The love story that first drew my attention to this piece.

Everyone has felt a passion for something… at sometime or other we’ve identified this feeling as love… once we’ve given this feeling a name, we need to express it in the best way we can.  Will anyone care? or even take us seriously if we do?  This is the basis for this beautiful love story set in the American East in 1790.

The first time I read Washington Irving’s short story I fell in love immediately.  I am pleased to say that I continue to fall in love with the story every day when I sit in rehearsals and watch this very talented cast bring Irving’s words to life.  I am quite a ‘task master’ in rehearsals as the actors may tell you, but it all pays off in the end when you see the cast lift these characters off the page and into reality.  I am so proud of all of them and the work they are doing.  We still have a long way to go before opening, but we’re in great shape. I hope the audience will share my passion for this story and my respect and admiration for the very gifted actors/designers/crew/staff who have worked so hard to make this show a reality!


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