When live theatre can return (safely and appropriately), it will start small— smaller audiences, small casts, shorter rehearsal periods, short lengths of shows, shorter lengths of runs… it’s all going to smart tiny and grow from there. And when things do get back up and running, outdoor venues are going to have a leg up on institutional theatres for any number of reasons.
So… with all of those parameters at play, what will be the first wave of plays produced post-lockdown? Small-cast, short plays that are designed to be performed outdoors. Unbound Productions has been developing plays for this very specific form since 2009— plays adapted for our flagship project Wicked Lit have sold out venues across Southern California and around the world with site-specific (as well as theatre-bound) productions. Since 2017, Stage Rights has represented 17 of the plays that Unbound has developed in three handsome volumes, all of which deliver spine-tingly chills adapted from timeless stories.
Here are spotlights on a handful of plays that could very well headline your return to live theatre:
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
adapted from Washington Irving by Jonathan Josephson
This lyrical, loyal adaptation of Washington Irving’s quintessential ghost story has been wowing audiences and showcasing young actors since 2009. The play tells the story of the passionate school teacher Ichabod Crane, his unrequited love for the fair Katrina Van Tassel, his rivalry with the brutish Brom Bones, and his unfortunate encounter with the region’s most fearsome specter— the Headless Horseman. And if you want to know the real story of what happened that fateful night Ichabod met his end, the extended Legend(s) of Sleepy Hollow reveals all as narrated by Ichabod’s loyal horse, Gunpowder.
Not only does the play’s setting and style lend itself perfectly to an outdoor location, but its inherent theatricality has also led to sold-out professional productions from coast to coast and led school productions to national championships and other recognitions both stateside and in the UK.
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photo by Daniel Kitayama