Staged Radio Drama, Radio Broadcast, Fully-Staged Production, or Virtual Theatre, SLEEPY HOLLOW is a very flexible piece.
Lose your heads with us.
A fraidy-cat schoolmaster tries to court the most eligible bachelorette in Sleepy Hollow and finds himself at odds with the Headless Horseman. Recognized as the first truly American ghost story, this fascinating quasi-supernatural tale on thwarted love and jealousy has its horror embodied in jealousy and toxic masculinity
The play can be done solely as a radio broadcast, or it can be done LIVE onstage with a radio show set up with actors on mics and SFX and MUSIC provided live, or both.
- 4m, 3f, 1 either, can be doubled to 2m 1f
- The Chronicler
- Old Peg
- Voice in the Night(ACTOR 1: The Chronicler, Voice in the Night; ACTOR 2: Ichabod, Brom, Hans, Voice in the Night; ACTOR 3: Old Peg, Maggie, Kat, Voice in the Night)
- 48 minutes
- COSTUMES: optional street clothes (carefully chosen, of course) or fully costumed for live performance
- SETTING: Should either be a ‘radio station’ setting, or use virtual projection scenery for a full production or Virtual Theatre
- SFX essential
- ORDER #3328
by Les Roka for The Utah Review
RADIO HOUR EPISODE 15: SLEEPY HOLLOW
For Plan-B Theatre’s Radio Hour series, in addition to his original science fiction episodes, playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett has penned outstanding adaptations of Frankenstein, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s only Christmas-themed short story The Blue Carbuncle.
But, his latest adaptation, which premiered last week in a live RadioWest broadcast on KUER-FM, is the best of the lot. Certainly, the three actors — Jay Perry, Isabella Reader and RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio — took great pleasure in rendering the script for Sleepy Hollow. It is based on the Washington Irving original, which has become a Halloween classic despite the story not having any reference whatsoever to the holiday or its customs.
The result was a psychological thriller embodying the vague understanding of hysteria and isolation, which would have been in line with the thinking of the time in which the story is set. Meanwhile, the horror trimmings come through David Evanoff’s magnificent soundtrack and director Cheryl Ann Cluff’s sound design expertise.
Bennett’s adaptations always hew toward the original text. But, as noted in The Utah Review preview, as Irving provided virtually no dialogue in his story and gave just barely a full paragraph to Katrina Van Tassel, a character who emerges as key to the story’s dramatic tension, Bennett took proper liberties.
Despite the tidy proprieties of his schoolmaster veneer, Ichabod Crane finds it more difficult to keep the lid on a past that he finds embarrassing in his efforts to impress and win favor of the townspeople, most notably Kat. As The Chronicler describes, “He’d always been tender about his looks and his mother had not helped. She’d often said about his father: (with Ichabod) ‘The man was uglier than Caliban.’ He knew but two things about his progenitor: he was ugly and was stabbed eleven times. The second fact he’d acquired not from his mother, but the asylum she died in. Until the last rattle of Mary Gibson Crane, she’d insisted the Devil was everywhere in wait and had possessed his father.”
Bennett’s diligence in working with Irving’s language, which he finds beautiful and fascinating, frames Ichabod’s personal demons in a bracing manner that refreshes and revitalizes the original spirit of Irving’s story, which was published in 1820 and is set in 1790. He is intimidated by Kat, not just because she is pretty and rich but she also is an incisive, quick learner who absorbs and synthesizes the books Ichabod has recommended to her. Yet, he also is intimidated by Brom, sensing that his rival’s looks and his status in town will win over the heart of Kat. Ichabod’s somewhat awkward presence in the town seems tenuous. Nevertheless, after hearing Brom tell Old Peg that he had raced the Headless Horseman for a bowl of punch, Ichabod tries to impress with his vocabulary, explaining to Old Peg about his gift for perspicaciousness. It is a small ironic bit of foreshadowing that accentuates the smart choices in this adaptation.
- A copy of the PERUSAL SCRIPT (in PDF format) which contains half of the script of the play is available, (it also has an extensive Author’s Note.): Sleepy Hollow RADIO HOUR PERUSAL
VIEW other plays in the RADIO HOUR Series HERE
- VIEW our list of other plays available as Staged Radio Plays HERE
- LISTEN to the original broadcasts from KUER’s Radio West Productions HERE (This will take you off the LBT site)
(Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account?), email us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address. Do not purchase rehearsal materials or pay for royalties until you have performance clearance.)
- Script in PDF format — Order #3328a : $20.00 (from which you will be authorized to copy for your production)
- First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3328d : $50
- Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3328e : $40
- Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application
- EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.
- Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company and KUER’s Radio West program, 2021
- photos of the recording of the radio show at KUER (All photos by Brian Albers. Used by permission of Plan-B Theatre Company)
The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:
Episode 13 of the RADIO HOUR Series
Matthew Ivan Bennett
NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play. (In a press release all type, will of course, be the same size.)
THIS NOTICE MUST APPEAR IN ALL PROGRAMS, ON ALL POSTERS AND PUBLICITY MATERIALS AND INTERNET ADVERTISING/WEBPAGES FOR THE PLAY:
“SLEEPY HOLLOW is presented through special arrangement with Leicester Bay Theatricals. All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT, www.leicesterbaytheatricals.com”
From the catalog of