THERE'S a slight chill in the air, pumpkins are sprouting on stoops, and shops are adorned in cobwebs and candy galore. At last, it’s Halloween month! It’s only fitting that America’s Most Haunted City revel in the October spirit. If you’re charting out all the spooky happenings coming up, don’t forget your local theatre: Savannah Stage Company is getting in on the eerie action with a special adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
In Washington Irving’s classic tale, the little village of Sleepy Hollow is haunted by a terrifying Headless Horseman. When Ichabod Crane, an affable but deeply superstitious schoolmaster, takes a new job in town, he finds himself caught up in Sleepy Hollow’s deepest and creepiest secrets.
Savannah Stage Company has a well-documented love of Irving’s work; the very first show the troupe produced back in 2012 was Rip Van Winkle. With a season chock-full of literary classics that appeal to audiences of all ages, it was only appropriate to select Sleepy Hollow as SSC’s October production.
“We walked into the first day of rehearsals and every single person who worked with us this season was ready to dive into the deep end,” praises SSC Artistic Director Jayme Tinti. “They understand the very specific language we use at SSC and our specific process—everyone already knew it, so we were about to jump into deeper waters.”
In addition to a stellar cast, Sleepy Hollow also features innovative puppetry.
“I’m very happy with the Headless Horseman so far,” Tinti smiles. “Last night we got the arm to move!”
“For the most part with all of our shows, we go toward the imaginative,” she explains. “We are never going to give you something literal onstage, and that’s just us. We demand that our actors use their imagination as well as demand the audience does as well. We don’t hand it to you on a silver platter.”
Sleepy Hollow is a mainstage production, but after the proverbial curtain drops at Ampersand, they’re taking the show on the road.
“We’ll be touring this show after it closes to schools and retirement homes,” Tinti says. “All of our shows tour; that’s a big part of them being accessible, is going to places where people literally cannot leave.”
“You think of children’s theatre and people think of a certain thing,” says Tinti. “We do theatre for everyone; it’s sophisticated. We’re not talking down to anyone. It fits perfectly into schools, for adults coming to Ampersand, and the retirement homes.”
There are many stops on the way; SSC is looking forward to returning to Bethesda Academy and The Marshes of Skidaway Island retirement home.
“We’ve been able to change their experience,” Tinti says of the latter. “We come back all the time and have people remember us.”
SSC will announce their second season on Thursday, November 19 with a special celebration at Ampersand; while they can’t wait to surprise their fans, Tinti does drop a hint about next year’s shows.
“I will tell you that these are all literary classics that every single person has a connection with,” she says.
As always, Sleepy Hollow has a pay-what-you-can admission fee.
“We believe everyone deserves live, professional theatre,” affirms Tinti. “If it means you’ve got a dollar, come on up! We’ll take it.”
Savannah Stage Company Presents: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
When: October 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 24, 25, 30, 31 at 8 p.m., October 18 at 2 p.m.
Where: Ampersand (third floor)
Cost: $15 or pay what you can
Audience: All ages