By James Hartley
Students should watch their heads this Halloween as the Harvester Theatre Company brings the Headless Horseman to campus in its rendition of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
“Sleepy Hollow” takes place in a small village in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town.
The tale depicts hero Ichabod Crane vying for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina, the daughter of a rich farmer, and his fight against the Headless Horseman.
The play will open Oct. 29 in the Lower Courtyard and feature a live horse with digital media professor Dave Danforth atop as the infamous horseman.
All other night performances will be held outside, while the performances during the day will be held inside with a puppet horse constructed by the company. The final show is Halloween night.
“Hopefully everyone goes to see the outside show,” said Brianna Lewis, a theater major who plays the role of Katrina. “It’s going to be a real live pony, and I’m such an animal lover that I’m so excited.”
The company is renting a horse for the performances and said that a handler will be present at all evening showings to keep the horse calm, according to Lewis.
Lewis said that learning the blocking for the show is like learning two different plays and more challenging than the spring 2015 production of “The Medea,” which included both the classic play and a modernized version.
“Inside the theater you can work with a lot of the entrances, … and you can go under the stage, behind the stage, around the stage,” Lewis said. “But outside, we come in [on stage in the courtyard] from different places, and we’re going to have to travel like literally around the campus to get to where you need to be on time.”
Victor DeTerra, who plays Ichabod Crane, said he is expecting the show to be exciting.
“I can certainly say we will have a lot of energy because at every rehearsal we have an abundance of energy, just overflowing,” DeTerra said.
As for the Headless Horseman, the Harvester Theatre Company is building a giant foam and cardboard prop to place over Danforth’s head to make him taller and more intimidating.
The show is expected to be a fun event for the whole campus, according to the cast and director.
Lewis says it is a good alternative to going trick-or-treating for parents who don’t want their kids on the streets Halloween night.
“I think it will be kind of spooky and magical and a lot of fun,” director Mara Richards Bim said.