Pictures by Nick Demberger ’15
A man shrouded in black, riding a horse with bright red eyes, a bright orange pumpkin in his hand with the face of a jack-o-lantern. He was a large, scary man, with broad shoulders and long limbs. The scariest feature of all, however, was that this man was missing his head. This scene sounds like something coming out of a dream meant to wake a young child up at night, or maybe it’s something coming out of Widener’s FreshBaked Theatre.
This fall, the theater program has been working on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The show is a bit on the darker side, as opposed to what the program usually puts on, but still fun for all audiences. With the performances so close to Halloween, it only seemed appropriate to make it a little bit spooky. The play’s darker side is definitely now what one would expect to show to a group of children, yet those younger audiences always seem to love anything the theater company cooks up.
“It’s a lot of fun. I think the ensemble makes the play in a lot of ways. Our cast has never been this close, and I think it shows on stage,” says junior Autumn Heisler of Allentown, Pa when asked what makes this play unique and different from any other play she’s done with the company.
Although The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is about a headless man who rides on horseback to torment the poor Ichabod Crane, do not be afraid to bring younger children to the performance or if you’re a bit of a scaredy-cat yourself. This show is full of humor to lighten the mood. The shows own Ichabod Crane, played by freshman Kirk Reichart, says that he “can’t wait to make children laugh.” The children definitely will laugh.
“I love that we have a license to be ridiculous. The show’s audience is young, so we get to use a lot of physical humor and prop comedy,” says Anna McCormick, a sophomore from Philadelphia, Pa. This show is pretty ridiculous, but it is also a lot of fun.
Since 2001, Widener’s FreshBaked Theatre has been around to stimulate the minds of the local children of the greater Chester area. Since these children do not have access to the arts as much as they’d like, they takes buses twice a year to visit Widener’s campus and enjoy a captivating tale of what director Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale chooses. From romance to mystery, to adventure and stories of far away lands, the cast always makes sure to never bore audiences that come to the shows. The plays typically run under an hour, so it never takes up too much of the day.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a 50-minute long show that is supposed to present audiences young and old with thrills, chills and plenty of laughter. Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, new to town and not the most handsome of the bunch has fallen for the lovely Katrina, an only child of a wealthy farmer. Of course, things can’t be too easy for Ichabod, because the mischievous Brom Bones has his eye on the same girl. Katrina loves the attention and plays with both boys as much as she possibly can. As the play goes on, both men get a little more possessive of the lovely young lady and are doing as much as they possibly can to win her affections. Brom finds it funny to try to tell Ichabod of the haunting stories that lurk in this town. As scary as they are, they can’t possibly be true. Can they? The fantastic cast, made up of seven very talented Widener students and one eleven-year-old, will be sure to let you know.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is bound to be another successful show for the theater. If anyone is interested in coming to see it, the show opens to the public on Sunday Nov. 3 with a second performance on Sunday Nov. 10. Both shows start at 2 PM in Alumni Auditorium. It is free to get in; all the cast and crew ask is for small monetary donations to benefit food pantries in the Delaware County.