Published Sept. 28, 2021
By SOPHIA BONE
Running from Thursday, Sept. 30 until Friday, Oct. 8, the double-casted comedy and mystery “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will be Carmel High School’s first indoor in-person fall play to be performed at the Center for the Performing Arts in two years, as well as drama teacher Gracie Balistreri’s directorial debut show at CHS.
“We can’t wait to make our alumni and fellow students proud,” says Drama Club president Teagan Cox.
The play centers on Ichabod Crane (seniors Vincent Colon and John Campo), a newcomer into the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York, in the 1800s. Crane is a superstitious school teacher who instantly draws the attention of the townspeople, including love interest Katrina Van Tassel (senior Cox and junior Ella Rasmussen). They encounter the mystery of the headless horseman and odd interactions between the townspeople.
The cast is fairly large with more than 30 students, not including tech, split between the Irving Cast and the Washington Cast, named after Washington Irving, the author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Opening night the Washington Cast will perform and then the Irving Cast will perform closing night, each cast switching every other show between. Balistreri decided that there was so much talent during the auditions that the play had to be double-cast to let everyone show what they can do.
“The casts are both so good, but they play their characters differently so you must see both,” encourages Rasmussen, who is part of the Washington Cast.
Being double-cast does provide some challenges as that means cast members have not been able to rehearse every day of the week per usual, and there are many newcomers to the drama program this year, but going into tech week means that the whole cast is together every day until the show premiers.
The last time Balistreri was on the CHS stage was when she was a student of Michael Jacobs, who taught before Gracie Poletti, and she fondly remembers playing Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet.” Now that she is on the other side of the curtain, things are different.
“I’ve always been a lover of tech theater behind the scenes, and then being able to keep using this extraordinary theater space by filling it with laughter after almost a year and a half in the dark is a great opportunity,” Balistreri comments .
This year is also the first time the CHS Tech Club will be able to help out backstage. While the club is still quite new, about 10 students will be working in the back during the show to keep things running smoothly throughout.
COVID-19 protocols haven’t gotten in the way of the preparation as actors block and rehearse per usual, but the verdict of their mask status for the show is still to be determined with it looking like cast members will be masked backstage, but not while onstage. The audience will be required to wear masks throughout the whole show.
Tickets for the show can be purchased at the door at $5 for students and $10 for general admission, first come, first served.