“There are a lot of choices out there this time of year,” said Riddle, “like haunted houses and corn mazes. But the houses aren’t always suitable for younger children and even some of the corn mazes can be a little tough, so I think the play is a good alternative for those parents who just want some good family entertainment.”
Riddle said she considered the play appropriate for ages 8 and up, and anything younger should be at the par-ents’ discretion. As a director, Riddle said she tried to empathize with those parents who were on the more conser-vative side, but still do a classic play. She said it’s more about a town hoax on Ichabod, the lead character, and not about all the dark things typically associated with Halloween.
“I realize there are a lot of people in the area who are leery of Halloween,” said Riddle, “or don’t even celebrate it at all, but I think this is something they’ll really enjoy. It’s pure fun, a lot of laughing, but still has that element of ‘scariness’ to it. Other than a little fog and thunder and lightening, it’s really not that bad.”
The play is based on Irving’s classic book, and Riddle said although it’s a very condensed version of the novel, it hits all the important plots and has an excellent flow that keeps the viewer from getting bored. It tells the story of scrawny Ichabod Crane, an extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel. Katrina is the only daugh-ter of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel.
As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel home late one autumn night, he is pursued by the “Headless Horse-man,” who is supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during "some nameless battle" of the American Revolutionary War and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head.” Ichabod mysteriously disappears from town, leaving Katrina to marry Brom Bones. Although the nature of the Headless Horseman is left to speculation, the story implies that the Horseman was really Brom Bones in disguise and some readers assume that Brom murdered him.
Riddle chose a small nine-member cast comprised of mostly teens and early twenty-somethings for the produc-tion, describing them as very professional and very good at improvising.
“They’re as entertaining as any movie you’d go see right now,” said Riddle. “They’ve had a lot of fun with it and you can tell.”
264 Catoosa Circle
Phone: 706-935-9000, ext. 102
“Sleepy Hollow” performances are Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and Oct. 22, and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. Ticket prices: $11 for adults, $9 for seniors (age 55 and older), $9 for students, and $8 for groups of 15 or more.