Youth theater presents Sleepy Hollow | SierraSun.com

Youth theater presents Sleepy Hollow

At a time when ghosts, goblins and spooky tales abound, the Truckee-Tahoe Youth Theater is doing its part to celebrate the Halloween season with its fall production of “Sleepy Hollow.”

Close to 50 local students from Truckee and the North Tahoe region will take the stage from Oct. 25-27 for this children’s version of Washington Irving’s haunting American Classic.

TTYT’s version of the play, which is set in the small, foggy New York town of Sleepy Hollow, incorporates musical numbers and dancing as it explores the famous legend of the “headless horseman.”

“This is definitely a toned down version of the original because we wanted it to be a family production, suitable for all ages,” said play director and TTYT Executive Director Jim Sturtevant. “We’ve even changed the ending a little so that kids can go home with more of a sense of resolution.”

“We don’t want anyone going home and having nightmares from this,” he added as he inspected one of the newly painted benches for the set.

Last Sunday, a handful of parents, cast members and TTYT supporters gathered at Sturtevant’s home for a marathon set building and painting session.

“We’re going all out this time,” he said. “We’re even going to have some special effects – strobe lights, a fog machine and some other neat stuff.”

Sturtevant added that the great thing about TTYT is that all children receive a role in the group’s productions, whether it is onstage or behind the scenes working with lights, curtain and effects.

“I try and teach the kids that both the actors and those behind the scenes are equally as important,” he said. “These productions are really great for the children because it teaches them a great deal of responsibility and discipline, but it’s also so much fun.”

TTYT is a local non-profit that was founded in order to provide more education and opportunities in the theater arts to the youth of the Truckee and North Tahoe region.

“We really need to thank the community for its continued support of our program,” said TTYT board treasurer and “Sleepy Hallow” co-producer Kris Norris. “Because of the success of our recent fundraiser, we’ve got 14 students working on this play that otherwise might not have been able to. Nearly a third of our students are on scholarships this year, so the community’s support is very important.”

Now, if only the town could find the means to build a community theater.

“That sure would make things a lot easier, but having to move around like this is actually good practice for the kids,” Sturtevant said. “It’s similar to the old traveling theater companies of the past. We’re like the Comedia del Arte of Truckee.”

“Sleepy Hollow” will be performed at the Truckee High School auditorium on Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m.

Tickets for “Sleepy Hollow” can be purchased on the days of production at Porter’s Ski and Sport in Truckee and Tahoe City, Four Season’s Florist in Truckee and the Log Cabin Restaurant in Kings Beach. The cost is $7 for adults and free for children 4 and under.

Shows have sold out in the past, so people are encouraged to purchase tickets early.