The Ferndale High School student production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Friday,  Nov. 8, and Saturday, Nov. 9, and  at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10.

The Ferndale High School student production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, and Saturday, Nov. 9, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Ferndale High’s fall play leads audiences into ‘Sleepy Hollow’

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 5, 2019

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FERNDALE — The students of Ferndale High School will take on a nearly 200-year-old story for the school’s fall play.

The students’ production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will bow this week, with performances scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, and Saturday, Nov. 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at the high school, 881 Pinecrest Drive.

The play tells the story of Ichabod Crane and his attempt to win the affection of Katrina Van Tassel while also dealing with Brom Bones, another potential suitor, all in the peculiar village of Sleepy Hollow.

Director Melissa Smith said the play has been on the short list for a number of years, and enough students voted for “Sleepy Hollow” to be the 2019 production.

Smith also liked the play for the current cast she knew she had, as the way this particular show was adapted allowed for cross-gender casting.

“There are male roles that are played by females; there are female roles that are played by men,” she said. “It also allows for actors to play a variety of roles. So in several instances, students are playing maybe anywhere from two to three different parts, with the exception of the three main characters. So this show just allowed a lot of flexibility in casting, which was fun and certainly makes it easier for us to adapt it to the student population we currently have.”

Taking on the role of Van Tassel is Zoe Butters, who is acting in her first lead role after previously having been a backstage worker for a number of shows, and taking on small roles onstage for some of the musicals.

“Since this is my senior year, this is my last chance to be onstage in a play, and I really think that the script and the story is very fun,” she said. “There’s a lot of humor in it, and all the people who are in the theater program are very fun to work with, and so I decided this was the year to be onstage.”

The 17-year-old senior from Pleasant Ridge has been feeling a lot of emotions leading up to her first major role, but none more than the excitement to get onstage.

Butters has seen the hard work from the rest of the cast in the rehearsals leading up to the big opening night, and she knows they’re ready to put on a great performance.

“The cast all work really well together,” she said. “We have our amazing director, who really helps us with reading the script well. It’s not her just telling us what to do, and then us doing it. It’s us being a part of the creative process.”

The cast has been rehearsing since the middle of September, and in that time, Smith said, the students have made considerable progress, especially now when the technical aspects of a play — lights, costumes, makeup, music, sound effects, etc. — are being integrated.

“All the different parts start having to come together, so you start adding all the other layers, and that always kind of takes us two steps forward, one step back in many ways, but usually by the time we get to that Monday dress rehearsal, we’ve ironed out some of those kinks and we get the train on the track,” she said.

Tickets for the play can be purchased at the box office before the play. The price is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

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