In two weeks, the Rend Lake College Theatre Department will begin auditioning for its fall play. This year, Theater Director Tracey Webb will be looking to fill the role of comical schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, the protagonist in Washington Irving’s classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
Webb said she chose this particular play because local audiences will enjoy its slapstick comedy.
“It’s a classic,” she said. “People are familiar with it and there is a lot of comedy. The particular script I read makes you laugh out loud.”
Auditions will be begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the RLC Theater. They will be heard in order of arrival.
Additional main characters in the play are the bullying Brom Bones, Katrina Van Tassel - who becomes the object of Crane’s affections - and, of course, the Headless Horseman. When Van Tassel - and her fortune - capture Crane’s attention, Bones begins to dig deep into his bag of tricks with the intention of making Crane look foolish. The superstitious Crane winds up finding himself on a dark and lonely road where he meets the Headless Horseman. Or does he? Audiences will have to decide.
The play opens Thursday, Nov. 2, making it a good fit with Halloween - a holiday often overlooked because of Christmas, according to Webb. It will continue through Sunday, Nov. 5, with shows each night at 7 p.m. The Sunday show will be a matinee only and will begin at 2 p.m.
With the roles played by children already filled, Webb will be looking to complete the cast with students at RLC. Qualities she will be considering are the ability to speak loudly and an outgoing personality. Anyone who ever wanted to try their hand at acting should consider trying out for a part.
There are few musical numbers in the play, she said. The part of Crane will involve some singing, although the character - a choir master - sees himself to be a much better singer than he actually is while leading the congregation in hymns.
The period in which the story is set will require cast members to wear long skirts and long coats that were popular in the era.
Crew members also are needed to build the lavish set and costumes for the play, Webb said. Course credit is available by taking Theater 1107 and those interested can still sign up for the class.
Those enrolled in Theater 1107 will be learning aspects of carpentry, painting, 3-D effects, costume construction and working with wood grains as well as other areas. So far, Webb has about 10 students enrolled in the course.
“It is an exciting class for students to take,” she said. “It’s amazing how many girls will take to using power tools when they find out it won’t hurt them.”
According to her, college administrators’ interest in the Theater Department, especially that of RLC President Mark Kern, has gone a long way to developing sets in the past.
“We build very large and lavish sets thanks to the support and the excellent help we receive from the college,” she said. “There is a lot more to it than just a theater stage.”