CAPE MAY – Meet the cast, playwright, and director of the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” on Aug. 2 at an after-show Q&A. It’s a wonderful opportunity for theater lovers to learn about those involved in this profession, and ask the cast and crew how and why they do what they do.
While “The Poe Mysteries” was in production last season, ELTC’s artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth, asked its playwright, James Rana, if he might try his hand at an adaptation of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Immediately, James began working on this supernatural tale by Washington Irving. One of the challenges was that the story has very little dialogue.
Now, the show is up on its feet in Cape May, and will be heading to Ocean Professional Theatre Company in Barnegat for a run during the last week in October, just like “The Poe Mysteries” did last season.
In the role of “Ichabod Crane,” is Matt Baxter Luceno, who was in ELTC’s “It Pays to Advertise.” Recently he was in the world premiere of “Chemistry of Love” at La Mama in New York City. Other credits include “King Lear” with Stacy Keach, directed by Robert Falls and “The Laramie Project” directed by Joan Potter.
Cast members who play many roles include ELTC favorites Suzanne Dawson (“To the Ladies”), Thomas Raniszewski (“The Guardsman”), and John Cameron Weber (“The Dictator”). New to ELTC are Elisa Pupko and Justin Bennett.
Suzanne Dawson played leading roles in Off-Broadway’s productions of “CBS Live,” “The Last Musical Comedy,” “The Great American Backstage Musical,” and the revival of “New Faces of ’52.” Regional credits include work at Florida Studio Theatre, Buffalo Studio Arena, and Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ. Thomas Raniszewski, also an award-winning musician, received critical acclaim for his role as Warren in the Philadelphia production of “The Twentieth-Century Way,” and was recently reunited with East Lynne’s 2006 cast of “Why Marry?” for a staged-reading performance in New York City at The Players Club. John Cameron Weber spent the last 30 years performing in such shows as “Damn Yankees,” “1776,” and “Guys and Dolls” in national and European tours, and in many soap operas, especially “As the World Turns.”
Justin Bennett and Elisa Pupko are both New York-based actors. Justin’s work in the city includes “Hamlet,” “Curse of the Starving Class,” and “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” He is directing “Separate Tables” this fall. Elisa Pupko’s New York City credits include “The Crucible” and “The Three Sisters.” Regionally, she was the host for The Student’s Live “Peter Pan” National Tour at The Pantages Theatre and played Liesl in “The Sound of Music.” She can also be seen in numerous episodes of “College Humor,” as a host for “About.com,” and various commercials and promos.
ELTC presents the world premiere of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” from July 24 through Aug. 31 at 8:30 p.m. with a Wednesday through Saturday schedule.
The performances are at The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., where the company is in residence. Tickets are $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors (ages 62 and over); $15 for full-time students; and ages 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.
For information and reservations, call 884-5898 or go online to eastlynnetheater.org. ELTC partners with the following restaurants for savings: Aleathea’s, The Washington Inn, 410 Bank Street, and Frescos. While staying at The Henry Sawyer Inn or The Victorian Lace Inn, ELTC tickets may be purchased for $20.
This production would not be possible without the Show-Sponsor support of The Washington Inn; Season Sponsors Curran Investment Management, The Henry Sawyer Inn, and Aleathea’s Restaurant; The NJ Dept. of State, Division of Travel and Tourism; NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the generosity of many patrons.