Inspired by the short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. Whatever became of that pale, lanky school teacher Icabod Crane after a Headless Horseman threw a pumpkin at him? Ichabod is either really angry at the way he was treated or he's dead. Or, because this is Sleepy Hollow, he may be both! This Agatha Christie-like adaptation is set in the present. The first act is a faithful retelling of the story by Washington Irving with a contemporary Ichabod living in secluded Sleepy Hollow that has not changed in three hundred years. Still considered an outsider, Ichabod is in competition with Brom Bones, the town rowdy, for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel. The second act is exactly one year later at the engagement party of Brom and Katrina. Just as the festivities begin there is a knock on the door. It is an FBI agent investigating the murder of Ichabod Crane. Ichabod's body was found in an unmarked grave in the old churchyard by the bridge. Complications arise when his body disappears, but even more complications ensue when the Sleepy Hollow villagers start disappearing…one by one. The twists and surprises within the story are enhanced with plenty of eerie effects from masked characters to haunted whistling, and from fleeting shadows to sudden blackouts.
PLAYWRIGHT L. DON SWARTZ TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY
”THE REVENGE OF ICHABOD CRANE"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I never liked the way the villagers of Sleepy Hollow treated Ichabod Crane, just because he was an outsider. In addition, I've always wondered what happened to Ichabod Crane next? He's either really mad at the way he was treated and wanting revenge or he was dead. Or because it's Sleepy Hollow, he may be both. As a playwright that opened up countless possibilities.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I like when we hear a horse approach the Van Tassel farm house. We then hear someone climbing up the side of the house. Then we hear a window break on the second floor. A moment later the Headless Horseman steps out on the balcony. He's in the house and all bets are off!!!
Q: TELL US SOME MORE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS.
A: It was necessary to fill out the characters and make them more interesting. That was fun. Some of the characters are composites of people I know. Mama and Papa are actually lifted from another famous Washington Irving story "Rip Van Winkle."
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I want people to look at this familiar story in a new way. I want people to look at it from Ichabod's perspective for a change. I love Halloween and this story is the definitive American ghost story.