Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” has been an American classic for about 200 years. Not a generation has gone by that has not become familar with the “Headless Horseman” and the mysterious disappearance of the schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane.
Early fall finds the villagers of “Sleepy Hollow”happily greeting a new day. Traveler, Ichabod Crane (Kevin Johnston), arrives just as schoolteacher, Bessie Wheelwright (Cynthia Benaglio) resigns. Town belle, Katrina Van Tassel (Shannon Rosales), promptly hires Ichabod as the new schoolmaster. His well mannered, genteel way quickly thwarts the unruly school children and their pranks. While impressing Katrina and local “gossips”, Ichabod encounters disfavor from Katrina’s beau, Brom Bones (Adam Bedikian). Events lead to the annual Halloween party, hosted by Katrina’s wealthy father, Myneer Van Tassel (David Pierce), followed by a frightened Ichabod’s encounter with the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow,,,and the rest is what legends are made of . Come enjoy this seasonal treat of music and mystery!
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a part of Irving’s “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.”, which he wrote under the pen name Geoffrey Crayon. Published in seven parts from June of 1819 to September of 1820, “The Sketch Book” would first begin printing just shy of ten years after another popular Irving work, “A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty” (or simply “A History of New York”), which he first published in December of 1809 under the pen name Diedrich Knickerbocker. Knickerbocker’s “A History of New York” is also known as “Knickerbocker’s History of New York” and the “Knickerbocker Tales.” “The Sketch Book” features what are perhaps Irving’s two best known short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”. Both of these, Irving (as Geoffrey Crayon) makes clear, are supposed to be posthumous works by Knickerbocker. In fact it is in the introduction to “Rip Van Winkle” that Crayon states Knickerbocker died just after his “A History of New York” was published. Irving himself did not pass away until 1859. As for Tom Walker, he’s one of the tite characters in Irving’s short story “The Devil and Tom Walker”
Irving actually published works under 5 pseudonames:
Diedrich Knickerbocker, Geoffrey Crayon, Jonathan Oldstyle, Launcelot Langstaff and Fray Antonio Agapida
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is set circa 1790 in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (based on Tarrytown, New York, which is the town Irving chose to live the end of his life. His homestead, called “Sunnyside” can still be visited today.
Irving was the first American to gain an international literary reputation.