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Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Eva Morris. Play Critique.

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Critique

The play seen was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Vera Morris. The producing organization was The Medina Valley High School Theatre. The show was directed by Kylee Martin and Sherman Knetig and was seen at the Medina Valley High School auditorium. There were around a hundred people in the audience.

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is about the haunted town of Sleepy Hollow. Katrina is the blushing beauty of the town and has caught the eye of Brom Bones the local trouble maker. When the new schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane comes to town he takes an interest in Katrina. He believes that they would be married and he would inherit all of her family’s land so he could be rich. When Ichabod learns of the ghosts of Sleepy Hollow they start haunting him. When Brom Bones learns Ichabod is interested in Katrina he tries to run him out of town, but with no success. Ichabod proposes to Katrina but she declines his offer. Ichabod takes one more stroll past the cemetery and comes across the headless horseman. Ichabod disappears from town without a trace. Brom Bones marries Katrina and no one ever finds out what happened to Ichabod Crane.

The play was performed in a proscenium theatre. The stage was well adapted to the play. They made great use of all the curtains and all areas of the stage. The actor audience relationship was decent. The stage was appropriate. This particular play could probably be staged anywhere.

Set design was by Kaitlyn and Emalee Williams. The sets were beautiful. They had windows, doors, a well, graves, benches, podiums, and flats constantly going in and out during scene changes. Other than some flowers, the colors were pretty dull, but in this sense it’s a good thing. While the sets were beautiful, scene changes were a nightmare. It took too long to change sets out. It was to the point that the audience got bored and began to talk amongst themselves. The only clean changes were when the cemetery came into play because the actors carried headstones in as they marched toward the audience. Had the scene changes been quicker the set and scenery would have been flawless.

The lighting designer was Corey Davis. The lighting was done well. During scene changes the lighting went out, in special moments a spotlight was used, during cemetery scenes the lighting created an ominous feel. The lighting was beautiful. While color didn’t change, brightness did. The lighting was simply spectacular. During intimate moments the lighting was tight on one part of the stages. The only time the whole stage was lit up was when the whole stage was in use. It was excellent especially for a high school production.

The sound designer was Cecilia Arguelles. The music at the beginning of the show and during intermission was perfect. It was eerie instrumentals and very much had a Halloween feel which is great for the show. It cannot be stressed enough how perfect this music was. It really set the feeling for the play. There were also some great sound effects. In the cemetery there were the sounds of crows and during lighter moments there were softer bird sounds. Then when the horseman came in the noise of the horse was strong and loud. It was frightening and just perfect.

The costume designer was Trinity Duncan. The costumes fit the time period excellently which was in the 1800s. Compare to the other girls, Katrina had the brightest colors on her dress which was wonderful because she was the main girl. Also, the only two people with hats were Ichabod and Brom Bones showing similarities in the characters. The similarity obviously being their love for Katrina. Older women had high heels on while the younger girls had flats. The costumes were really great. The makeup was done by Trinity Duncan and Meredith Jones. The only characters with noticeable makeup were the phantoms, specifically the Woman in White, the Pirate, and the Indian Chief. The Woman in White was as pale as can be. The Pirate was noticeably dirty and had excellent facial hair. The Indian Chief was incredibly done. His makeup looked like it was once colorful but faded in death, It was beautifully executed.

The actors were well suited with the exception of Ichabod, played by Antonio Rodriguez. Antonio was a bit unbelievable as Ichabod. He felt very fake and seemed to break the illusion of the play. Carley Blake, who played Katrina, did excellent. She played the strong, independant woman role very nicely. The three main phantoms; the Woman in White, the Pirate, and the Indian Chief, played by Kristen Marin, Cody Goulas, and Garrett Hoak respectively were fantastic. From their every little movement to the fear inducing power they could express was just amazing. Another wonderful character was Yost played by Colton Dillard. Colton played the dumb sidekick well and made every scene he was in worth watching. All actors were understandable and very clear. Their voices all suited their characters even if their acting fell short. Antonio Rodriguez as Ichabod had one surprisingly fantastic piece in the entire play. At one point Ichabod runs off stage and through an emergency exit screaming in fear. Despite Antonio’s lackluster performance, his exit was incredible and very memorable. As for all the actors involved, there were moments when certain people on stage had to freeze and everyone was perfect. The freezing was as if the people had turned to stone. It was phenomenal.

The production as a whole was pretty impressive for a high school play. Coordination was decent with the exception of slow scene changes. There was some decent teamwork among everyone involved. This play obviously has the impact that most ghost stories have. It was done to spook and frighten people and it did a little bit. This seems to fit in with anything because it is to scare someone using the unknown and anyone can be scared by the unknown. The best part of this production was costume, sound, and lighting. For a high school play it was honestly amazing.

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