Ritz Theatre Presents Online Sleepy Hollow Radio Play

By  | October 11, 2020 | Filed under: News

SHEFFIELD​- ​​Halloween may look a little different this year, but The Ritz

Theatre is keeping the season spooky with the radio play The Headless Horseman of Sleepy​          Hollow​. The entire Shoals community is invited to celebrate Halloween through the frightening tale of Ichabod Crane’s encounter with the menacing legend. The recording of the radio play will be accessible at www.tennesseevalleyarts.org beginning the evening of Monday, October 26 through the Halloween weekend. A pay-what-you-can donation is all that is required to stream to performance. In addition to the play itself, there will be pumpkin patterns, recipes, sound-effect tutorials, and a painted pumpkin exhibit, so families and Halloween lovers can enjoy an entire Sleepy Hollow​ experience.


The radio play is an adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic short story The Legend of Sleepy​    Hollow​, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. This family-friendly audio drama was written by playwright and sound effects artist Tony Palermo. Suzanne Reese-Mills, the director of this local production, is excited that The Ritz has found a way to continue offering theatre to the community, and she says the cast and crew are “embracing the unfamiliar, both in medium and process.”


“One of the more fun aspects is creating live sound effects,” says Reese-Mills. “I consider this production to be not a return to an earlier time but rather a step forward, as we adapt and bring stories to audiences in more creative and less familiar ways.”


These sound effects include creaking doors, horse footsteps, and rustling leaves, which will all be created live during the recording. The Ritz will also be sharing instructions on how to recreate some sound effects at home, so listeners can create their own spooky sounds along with the play.


5 finalists selected for Shoals Woman of Year | Local News | timesdaily.com“Our goal for The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow​      ​ is to make it the center of a community-wide Halloween celebration,” says Jennifer Butler Keeton, the marketing director of the Tennessee Valley Art Association, which runs both The Ritz and the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art. Restaurants Odette and Superhero Chefs will offer special themed menu items, and local business sponsors are writing fun, creepy radio ads that will be performed by the actors during the recording. These sponsors include Bank Independent, Listerhill Credit Union, Create Architects, and Singing River Dentistry.


Another exciting partner on this production is the actual town of Sleepy Hollow, New York, which hosts several Headless Horseman-themed activities each fall.


Keeton says there will be fun for everyone as part of the celebration. “You can come see our painted pumpkin exhibit at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art throughout the month of October. The week of Halloween, we’ll have several fun activities posted to our website and social media, and we’ll also be sharing information about the history of the Headless Horseman legend.”

“We may not be able to get together for big parties this Halloween, but we’re working to throw Halloween parties in everyone’s homes, so every family can celebrate. Folks won’t be just listening to a play, but can really make a night of it,” Keeton says.


The cast and crew of The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow​      ​ are happy to be able to offer this opportunity for the community. “This production features a very talented cast who have run headlong into the challenge of crafting a show in this different medium,” says Reese-Mills. “As the world has been forced to slow down in recent months, it’s nice to find ways to stretch, adapt, and breathe into the current reality of art-making. I hope audiences will enjoy this opportunity to hear this fun and spooky classic in the comfort of their own homes.”


For more information about this and other projects from the Tennessee Valley Art Association, visit www.tennesseevalleyarts.org or call 256-383-0533.​

 Media Release/Jennifer Butler Keeton
Director of Public Affairs and Marketing
Tennessee Valley Art Association

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