Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk presents “The Legends of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ — The Haunted History of the Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow’s Ghosts,’” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30 at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts, 104 Main St., Wellsboro.
This hour and a half, live, theatrical performance is recommended for adults and children, ages 10 and older.
“Younger children may get restless with some of the historical aspects of the stories I tell or may be scared by the jump-starts while older children and adults will enjoy the moments when the stories literally make them jump and find the historical information fascinating,” Kruk said. “Audiences appreciate finding out where the Headless Horseman really originated, get absorbed in the tales and find refreshing the melding of storytelling with dramatic theatre and history.”
Dressed in 1790s style clothing, Kruk acts out when storytelling, creating characters using varied voices, accents, gestures and audience participation. He will perform the origin tales of the Headless Horseman and the spirits surrounding this mythical figure.
Writing “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in 1820, American short story author Washington Irving wove Dutch traditions, real people and American Revolutionary War events into his Gothic ghost story.
“This is the 200th anniversary year of the first story written by an American to ‘go viral’,” said Kruk. “’The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ introduced the world to characters like the first nerd Ichabod Crane, the flirtatious Katrina Van Tassel, the lovable mischief-making Brom Bones and the iconic Headless Horseman. Irving also haunted us with the ghost of Tragical Major André, and the Wailing Woman in White,” he said.
A full-time storyteller since 1989 Kruk has appeared at thousands of schools, libraries, festivals and historic sites.
In 1995, he started telling multiple Washington Irving tales as part of Historic Hudson Valley’s programming at Sunnyside, Irving’s homestead.
In October 2010, the organization moved Kruk into the 1685 Old Dutch Church in the Village of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. The church is the burial place of the Headless Horseman.
Kruk resides in Cold Spring, N.Y., about 30 miles north of Sleepy Hollow and 35 miles south of Tarrytown, all located along the Hudson River.
Selected “Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley,” Kruk has been featured on NBC’s The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Travel Channel, and the BBC.
This is the first show in the Deane Center’s new Storytellers Series. For more information or for tickets, call 570-724-6220 or visit www.deanecenter.com.