‘Sleepy Hollow’ Production to Haunt RSU Starting Oct. 25

Continuing its tradition of presenting thrillers during the Halloween season, the Rogers State University Theatre Program will present “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” an adaption written by two RSU students.

Curtains for the production will rise at 7:07 p.m. on Oct. 25-27, and Nov. 1-3. A special Halloween performance has been scheduled for 11:00 p.m. on Oct. 31. All performances will be in the Will Rogers Auditorium.

The play was adapted from Washington Irving’s famous short story by RSU communications seniors Josh Gammon of Broken Arrow and David Prock of Collinsville.

Gammon said the pair was brainstorming ideas this spring for possible Halloween-themed productions, following the program’s tradition of other seasonal fare including Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and original Halloween productions.

“We kicked around a few ideas and discovered there isn’t a definitive adaption of ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ so we decided this would be perfect to adapt for a production this fall,” Gammon said.

Washington Irving’s story presents an eerie tale of romantic rivalry in 18th century rural New York state, pitting new schoolmaster Ichabod Crane against local hero and bully Brom Bones for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel. The haunting drama most famously includes the appearance of a legendary ghost, known as the Headless Horseman.

Prock and Gammon worked on drafts of the script from May through September, turning in the final version last month to RSU Associate Professor David Blakely, who serves as director of the RSU Theatre Program and is directing the production.

The time period and location remained unchanged from the original, but Prock said they took some artistic licenses to flesh out the script, adding a few characters. They also added a few telling details to the script that Irving kept vague.

“We’re looking to turn this into a bit more of an action-thriller piece than the original short story was,” Prock said. “But we think we’re also staying true to the spirit of the original piece.”

The production is a collaborative effort between departments within the School of Liberal Arts. Students from the Department of Fine Arts helped design and build the sets, and many of costumes were handmade by costume designer Renee Cox, who serves as an instructor in the Department of English and Humanities.

Blakely said the production will be thrilling and might be a bit intense for grade school audiences.

Cast members and their hometowns are, listed by character: Ichabod, Andrew Grimes of Claremore; Brom, Adam Eagleburger of Pryor; Katrina, Katie Hoffman of Collinsville; Elizabeth, Hannah Westlund of Owasso; The Headless Horseman, George Spelvin; Agnes, Morgan Baker of Mounds; Arthur, Knox Blakely of Tulsa; Bartender, Brandon Bell of Inola; Helena, Jaina Lee of Morris; Jacob, Zach Coker of Claremore; Mark, Mark Colbert of Eufaula; Mary, Carliesha Walker of Tulsa; Minister Hendricks, Matt McCann of Miami; Mother Van Linden, Matia Wallace of Claremore; Mr. Brewer, Steven McPherson of Pryor; Mr. Baltus Van Tassel, Garrett Powders of Tulsa; Mrs. Brewer, Holly Morgan of Owasso; and Zeke, Josh Gammon of Broken Arrow.

Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and $2 for RSU faculty, staff and students who present university ID. All proceeds will benefit student participation in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival regional competition.

For more information, call the RSU Theatre box office at 918-343-6882 or visit www.rsu.edu/theatre.