SLEEPY HOLLOW REVISITED: A Collaboration with Rocking the Boat and Philipsburg Manor

August, 2008. Sleepy Hollow, NY.


In the summer of 2008, we teamed up with Rocking the Boat, a program dedicated to teaching Bronx youths boat-building and on-water skills. We were invited to work with a group of RTB kids at Historic Philipsburg Manor to create giant puppets for their annual Legends event, based on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In 7 weeks, the RTB kids used their formidable boat-building skills to make a dozen new giant puppets and illuminated figures to inhabit the nocturnal Sleepy Hollow landscape during the 2 weekends prior to Halloween.

Drawing on the orginal Washington Irving text, we designed elements around two main themes: the early American fear of wilderness, and the post-traumatic ghosts of the War for Indenpendence. Irving conjures many images of the Hudson valley landscape come to life – mysterious, metamorphic and hostile. In this spirit we created animated trees (based on the legend of Major Andre's capture in the nearby woods of Tarrytown), the Night Mares, the Lady in White, and an illuminated water-born Leviathan.

As of the this writing, the puppets have been completed and rehearsed on schedule, and we eagerly await October, when the students who built them will return to haunt Philipsburg Manor with their performances. Stay tuned . . .

Learn more about Philipsburg Manor and the Legends event on 10/18-19 and 10/27-28

Learn more about Rocking the Boat . . .




Workshop and Rehearsal; Images

Rendering of Major Andre's Tree Barking up the right tree Going out on a limb . . . . . . a successful rehearsal
The Leviathan Lycra-sewing for the Leviathan body Final coat on the translucent head Maiden voyage
The Night-Mare Using horse-sense to assemble the bones A successful test-trot The RTB Group with their creations

Community Pageants and Workshops Page . . .

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