The Covey Center for the Arts’ production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” combines humor with horror to create a unique experience for audience members.
Washington Irving’s classic story, as dramatized by Kathryn Schultz Miller and directed by Jarom Brown, is perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit this season.
The play takes audiences back to Puritan New England where stories of witches, demons and ghosts haunt the town. The new school master of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane, finds himself in frightening predicaments as he navigates life, love, fear and the church bridge.
The set was in a black-box theater and conveyed a creepy country town, but it was the lighting that changed the mood from a warm autumn afternoon to a dark night through the use of black-lights and warm amber lights. This setting was the perfect atmosphere for the actors to get into character and become the boys and girls of Sleepy Hollow.
Before the opening-night performance of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” began, a storyteller told two stories to frighten the audience. Unfortunately, the stories felt out of place and detracted from the theme of the evening. The lack-luster opening was the only downside of this particular performance however.
Funny character quirks and rhythm the actors embodied seemed natural, as did the seventeenth-century body movements.
Shelley Boyd, the dramaturg for “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” said that she helped the actors understand the proper etiquette of the time period. She said she worked with the actors on a variety of movements, including how to point and bow properly.
Tyler Fox, with his sharp movements and nervous demeanor, played an impeccable Ichabod Crane. Fox’s performance was the highlight of the evening and his interactions with and reactions to the other actors were natural and hilarious.
While the entire performance had some good scary moments, the most frightening was the appearance of the “Headless Horseman.” The costume for the horseman was great, but the unknown actor inside was able to instill fear into the audience with the large pumpkin he held as his makeshift head.
Douglas Bowen, who attended with his wife for their second anniversary, said the performance was “just the right mix of comedy, suspense and thrill.” His wife Callie said it was funnier than she had expected.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” runs Oct. 8-31 at the Covey Center for the Arts. For tickets and showtimes, visit the Covey’s webpage.