INA – On Nov. 2, the Rend Lake College Theatre Department will revisit a tale of ghosts, forlorn love and wicked mayhem. And it will be funny.
According to RLC Theatre Director Tracey Webb, the Theatre Department’s production of Washington Irving’s classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” will have audiences laughing their heads off.
“The particular script I read makes you laugh out loud,” she said.
Casting is a wrap and the vital roles of Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, Katrina Van Tassel and, of course, the Headless Horseman have been filled.
Playing the protagonist, Ichabod Crane, is Sean Decker from Mt. Vernon. Joining him are Timothy Learned (Mulkeytown) as Brom Bones and Heather Jones (Pomona) as Katrina Van Tassel.
“I’ve never had such a fun cast,” Webb said. “Sometimes we have to step back and say ‘OK, let’s get focused again’ because we are having so much fun. It’s a really nice, eclectic group of students of all ages. I’ve got some little kids in there too. Working with them has completely rejuvenated my love for the theater.”
The story, found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker, tells of Crane’s run-in with a headless rider while travelling on a dark road.
When the comical schoolmaster, Crane, falls for Van Tassel and her fortune, he is faced with the bullying tactics of the hot-blooded brawler, Bones. Audience members will decide for themselves whether or not Crane met the Headless Horseman late one night, on that dark and lonely road.
According to Webb, tickets for the event are going fast.
Tickets have been on sale since Oct. 2 and are $10 each. They can be reserved by contacting RLC Assistant to the President Sheila Tackitt at 618-437-5321, ext. 1243. They will also be sold at the box office.
Students of the new Theater Tech class at RLC, along with Art Department designers, have been busy building a background to resemble vintage colonial America – complete with a white school house and two mighty oak trees.
“Right now, we are in the process of building the set,” Webb said. “It’s exciting because we are teaching the students how to use basic carpentry skills, texture skills and more. Getting in there and working with the tools is where you really learn. You can talk about theory until you’re blue in the face, but hands-on training is really where you learn to do it.”
RLC Art Professor Therese Melena has been co-teaching the Theater Tech class on top of designing the set.
“I’m so thrilled to have her aid on this show,” Webb said. “She’s designed a great number of my sets and I find her help invaluable.”
Other roles, such as the members of the Van Ripper family and Van Tassel family, will be played by Josh Plunkett (Benton), Lacy Lyn McGuire (Christopher), Chuck Lawrence (Benton), Jessa Poninski (Mt. Vernon), Brittanie Graham (Woodlawn) and Jordan Ray (Johnston City).
The choir pews will be packed with actors Rebekah Horn (Mt. Vernon), Robbie Edwards (Mt. Vernon), Lea Harris (Mt. Vernon), Amy (Vest) Word (Mt. Vernon), Ashley Stroud (Sesser) and Meghan Jodino (Christopher).
While the play is not a musical, there is singing. To help with that, Webb has gratefully accepted the help of RLC Music Program Coordinator Sara Alstat. She is teaching the choir cast a couple of hymns for the performance.
“Sara has jumped in to help me and donated her valuable time to do so,” Webb said.
Crane’s pupils will be played by John Curtis (Dahlgren), Trentin Sheraden (Mt. Vernon), Linnea Cheek (DuQuoin), Samantha Leahy (Mt. Vernon), Whitney Schulte (Woodlawn), Emma Meritt (Mt. Vernon) and Heather Mormino (Benton).
Other cast members include Zach Witges of Sesser as Yost Van Ripper, Justin Stanley of Mt. Vernon as Christian, Paden Joseph of Christopher as Nicholas, Jason Sinkhorn of Benton as Peter Vedder, Derek Wintermann of Ashley as Farmer Stuyvesant, Jennifer Scott of Mt. Vernon as Dame Van Hudson, Chelse Helvey of Pinckneyville as Widow Van Doorn, Monica Lawrence of McLeansboro as the grandmother and Alma Curtis of Dahlgren as Dame Trenkler.
For those who wish to attend the show in style, the RLC Community Education Department is offering a wonderful opportunity that combines dinner at the Rend Lake Resort, theater tickets and rock-star arrival at the show into an affordable package.
“Dinner and Theater” is a program through RLC that provides transportation to and from the event, dinner prior to the play, a drop-off point at the front door of the theater and reserved, center-stage seats. To join the “Dinner and Theater” group, one may call Community Education Director Lori Ragland at 618-437-5321, ext. 1267. The cost is $31, which includes dinner, transportation and premier seating. Pick up points are located in Benton and Mt. Vernon. For more information, call Ragland.
For additional information about this release, one may call Webb at 618-437-5321, ext. 1295.