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The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Sleepy Hollow: Behind the Curtain

Behind the scenes of Sleepy Hollow!
Technical crew students working hard preparing for Sleepy Hallow.

The Arcadia Stage will be performing their newest play The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18 in the Arcadia Performing Arts Center (PAC) starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from Arcadia Stage’s official website ( VIP admissions are $30 per ticket, general admissions are $20 per ticket, and student and senior citizen admission are $15 per ticket.

As the name of the play suggests, the play is based upon the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by author Washington Irving. However, as Technical Director Mr. Keith DeLuca explained, this adaptation differs from the original as it places the focus on “Ichabod’s trauma of the headless horseman.”

Stagecraft students building the Sleepy Hollow set.

While the actors are working tirelessly to perfect their performances, the technical crew behind the scenes are also working hard to finalize the stage. Mr. DeLuca described the technical crew as now in the process of “bringing [the set] out onto the stage and getting it all painted and prepped and put together. The lighting team is working on all the lanterns hanging downstage, getting them to light up.”

The technical crew is composed of both students from regular Stagecraft and Advanced Stagecraft. In total, “we have 85 students in [Stagecraft], and then we have 44 students in our advanced class.”

In Mr. DeLuca’s opinion, the coolest technical element of the play is “the headless horseman. There’s going to be a big rolling platform center stage. It’s gonna roll down with a big horse on it. And lighting is gonna have a lot of fun playing around with all of the different light bulbs and the lanterns kind of going back and forth.”

On a typical day of building the set, Mr. DeLuca’s role is to “come in the morning, sit down with the plans and make a plan for the day. When the students come in, I can hand off those plans, and they can start working on cutting it all out and assembling individual items. And then we work on stage with the bigger items and start piecing them together as we go. We’ve been going until about 7 p.m. every night.”

In addition to preparing for the play, the technical crew is also working on creating set pieces for a competition by the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California (DTASC). Mr. DeLuca elaborated, “We have a competition for set design, lighting design, costume design, and marketing and publicity. This year, we’re going to be competing against 30 other schools in just the tech categories. The acting categories, they’re competing against 80 different schools so it gets pretty competitive.”

Stage Officer junior Emery Li explained the experience working on Sleepy Hollow from a student’s perspective. As she recalled, “It’s been a lot of hard work. We would stay after school every single day until 10 p.m. for like two weeks. There’s this really, really big horse head and this scarecrow that’s like six feet. So I was really surprised by the magnitude of this project. All our projects are normally focused on the smaller props, but this year they’re a bit bigger.”

Regarding the collaboration between students from regular Stagecraft and Advanced Stagecraft, Li commented,“It’s hard for beginners to adjust to the time commitment. We need everybody’s help, but not everyone helps out as much as other people and really puts in all their effort. And also [the beginners] don’t really know a lot of information [about the production process] but as the school year goes on, they’ll learn more.”

Despite this obstacle, Li is optimistic about the increased dedication of the team in the future. She noted that “In the beginning of the year, it’s definitely a lot harder to get participation. But towards the end of the year and throughout the four years in stagecraft, you definitely become more committed and become more involved.”

To motivate the team, Li shared her insight into how Stagecraft became fun for her despite the demanding time commitments. “Make a lot of good connections, make some good friends. I think friends are what motivate me. I want to hang out with my friends and I want to have fun with them. And I can have fun with them after school, working on projects.”

Seeing the effort put forth by everyone in production, no doubt the AHS community is excited about the premiere of Sleepy Hollow. Tickets are still available from Arcadia Stage’s official website (, so get them before they are sold out!

Photo courtesy of Mr. DeLuca

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