Oceanside Theatre Company Presents Welcome to Sleepy Hollow by North County’s Heather Megill on October 6-29

(Oceanside, CA) Trills, thrills, and romance! Oceanside Theatre Company presents Welcome to Sleepy Hollow, a hauntingly romantic musical written by Oceanside playwright Heather Megill and directed by Kandace Crystal on October 6-29, 2023 at the Brooks Theater. This thrillingly updated version of the classic tale with the headless horseman features a contemporary musical theater score with a steampunk aesthetic. 

Originally commissioned for Encore Youth Theatre in 2001, Megill’s play is a refreshing contrast to the original text of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Megill gave life to many of the characters, including the Woman in White and Katrina Van Tassel, Ichabod Crane’s love interest whose role in the original short story was overshadowed by descriptions of her father’s land and dinners.

“Katrina’s journey through the story is the most critical perspective to tell,” said Megill. “Hers is a coming-of-age story we all can relate to. She is the connection between Ichabod and the other townspeople and without her, the characters float around without an anchor to reality. She gives depth to a story that could easily slip into a world of silly caricatures and absurd circumstances.”

Megill’s musical develops Katrina’s character from the start with the young woman’s insistence that she’s outgrown the village school in Sleepy Hollow. When an unwanted suitor comes knocking and her parents insist that it’s school or marriage, she decides to give her education another chance. Her curiosity for learning is soon rekindled by Ichabod, the new teacher whose intelligence and interests enrapture her. Unfortunately, her jilted would-be lover Brom, the town bully, isn’t the only obstacle in the way of her budding romance with the new headmaster. Shortly after arriving to town, Ichabod is haunted by the Woman in White and learns of the town’s horrifying history and legend of the headless horseman. Can the young couple defy human and supernatural interlopers to find happiness? 

Under the direction of Crystal, who recently gained critical acclaim in the one-woman show Neat, a Scripps Ranch Theatre and Loud Fridge co-production, Welcome to Sleepy Hollow promises to be brought even further into the modern era. “We tend to forget about the talent in our backyard, my goal is to amplify the voices right here in San Diego County,” said Crystal. “It’s an honor to be able to do this with a playwright like Heather who is open to casting to all gender identities and ethnicities to best represent our talent pool in S.D. I want Sleepy Hollow to be an event at OTC, not just another show.” 

Based on the classic ghost story, Welcome to Sleepy Hollow is the perfect lead up to Halloween and one that will intrigue an all-ages audiences. With romance and humor interspersed with the chilling ghost tale, Welcome to Sleepy Hollow offers more treats than tricks just in time for All Hollow’s Eve.

“What better way to celebrate the fall season than with an updated take on a timeless ghost story?” said Managing Director Alex Goodman. “OTC is excited to bring back the works of Heather McGill after a successful return to the Brooks with ‘Not Your Normal Nutcracker’ in December 2023. We hope this large ensemble musical will get audiences in the spirit of Halloween with its infectious musical numbers and Disney’s Haunted Mansion-level spooky fun.”

About Writer Heather Megill

Heather Megill (Playright/Composer) has written six musicals (Making Ambrosia, FATE, Welcome to Sleepy Hollow, Ask Dorothy, The Dollmaker, and The Wind People). Her work has been produced through UCDavis, Carlsbad Community Theater, Encore Youth Theatre, Megill & Company, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Ontario High School, and Idyllwild Middle School. Megill holds a Masters in Music (SUNY Buffalo) and BA in Music Composition (UCDavis.) She has taught music and theater through the University of New Haven, Finger Lakes Community College, and Idyllwild Arts Academy. She is the Executive Director of Megill & Company and works as a professional director, musical director, and costume designer.

About Director Kandace Crystal

Crystal is a multi-hyphenate theatre maker who graduated with a BFA in Acting from Florida State University and is currently focusing on obtaining certification in Intimacy Direction and Choreography. Selected acting credits include: Neat (Scripps Ranch Theatre), Searching for My Purple (Memoir Showcase), Black Lady Showcase (Black Artist Collective/The Old Globe), When We Were Young and Unafraid (Patio Playhouse), and A People’s Cuban Christmas Tale (Onstage Playhouse). She hopes to continue using her art to tell the stories of people whose stories need to be told.

About Oceanside Theatre Company

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional theater company operating the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside, is a focal point of the Oceanside California Cultural District (OCCD). OTC’s mission is to produce professional theatrical, visual art, and musical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the community, present educational opportunities in the arts for children and adults, and provide a safe, state-of-the-art public venue for expansion of artistic endeavors in North San Diego County and greater Southern California. OTC produces a four-show mainstage theater season in the 198-seat venue, as well as a Music Series, play readings and various other events in the adjacent black box theater, Studio 219. An important part of OTC’s mission is inspiring and sharing the arts with local youth through the Youth Theater Arts Program, which includes Summer Theater Camps and Youth Theater Arts Outreach in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside during the school year. To learn more visit www.oceansidetheatre.org.



Welcome to Sleepy Hollow – October 6-29

Preview Night – Friday, October 6 at 8 pm

Opening Night – Saturday, October 7 with Champagne Reception at 7 pm, Performance at 8 pm

Military Matinee – October 8 at 2 pm with 2 free tickets to members of military

All other performances run Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.

Brooks Theater, 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054

Tickets: $20-50 at OceansideTheatre.org or 760-433-8900

For interviews and press credentials: 

Leann Garms, Public Relations, 214-289-3563, lgarms@oceansidetheatre.org 

Meg Pierce, Marketing Manager, 619-453-5344, meg@oceansidetheatre.org

Feature Photo

Images courtesy of Heather Megill