GA Voice - - Out­spo­ken -

It came on the heels of “Hair.” For the first four years we were just a sum­mer the­ater. Af­ter the suc­cess of “Hair,” we asked how we could keep the mo­men­tum go­ing. We thought a fall pro­duc­tion would be a fun ad­di­tion. I tried to think of some­thing cool to do at Serenbe. I looked at the sta­bles here. The Head­less Horseman came to mind and that is how “Sleepy Hol­low” was birthed. We thought we’d do it and see how it went. It lit­er­ally sold out be­fore we even opened. We knew we had to make it good. We in­cluded live horses and all the ac­tors play­ing in­stru­ments. It felt old world meets modern world.

What’s new this sea­son?

The sta­bles are great but there are only so many peo­ple you can fit in a sta­ble. Last year, we moved it into an open field venue. Adam Koch de­signed a set in a field and came up with a skele­ton ver­sion of the town.

This year I am us­ing a new script which I have adapted. The script uses new mu­sic and it be­comes our ver­sion. I have the rights to the script. Now I can tweak it in any way. I am also go­ing to be do­ing it in Mas­sachusetts, but ev­ery ver­sion will be unique.

Why has the story held up?

Peo­ple ask that all the time. There is some­thing about the leg­end that tran­scends all ages. It re­ally is the most iconic Hal­loween story of all time. For vi­su­als, the vis­ual of a Head­less Horseman look­ing for a head is pretty ter­ri­fy­ing and iconic. There are so many ver­sions, films and car­toons, a TV show. It’s scary but not gory scary. Ev­ery­one has their own ver­sion. It’s be­come part of Hal­loween.

‘The Sleepy Hol­low Ex­pe­ri­ence’ What are your crowds like?

Very di­verse. Our au­di­ences do skew younger for shows where you are on your feet. This is a mix of the­ater­go­ers, peo­ple who go to haunted houses and the typ­i­cal Serenbe au­di­ence com­ing for the ex­pe­ri­ence. Peo­ple be­come im­mersed in the en­vi­ron­ment and they tend to come ev­ery year be­cause it’s now part of their tra­di­tion. We are see­ing new peo­ple come as well.

Are most peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the story?

I think peo­ple have an un­der­stand­ing of what it is. What’s in­ter­est­ing here is that you get some back­ground story. Like, where did Ich­a­bod come from? How did the town get its name? I think peo­ple en­joy that.

What is the gay ap­peal?

I feel like Hal­loween has al­most be­come a gay hol­i­day. The hol­i­days the gays have em­braced. We see so many LGBT au­di­ence mem­bers, es­pe­cially for th­ese im­mer­sive shows. This show cel­e­brates the fall, and Hal­loween. There is plenty of great eye candy in the show too. That should get peo­ple in the door.

“The Sleep Hol­low Ex­pe­ri­ence” is play­ing at Serenbe Play­house through Nov. 6. (Pub­lic­ity photo)

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