MCT to host auditions for fall show

The Marshalltown Community Theatre is gearing up to present their fall show “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and in order to bring the gothic tale to life, they are seeking a large cast of talented actors at their upcoming auditions.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a play written by Peter and Hans Bloedel based on the original short story written by American author Washington Irving. It is set in the fictional town of Sleepy Hollow, known for its haunting atmosphere, and it follows three main characters — Ichabod Crane, the new schoolmaster who is haunted by the Headless Horseman, Katrina Van Tassel, the town belle, and Brom Bones, Katrina’s beau.

In addition to the three leads, various secondary characters will be needed throughout the full-length play, and MCT Board President and Director Lisa Naig said they are shooting for a cast of about 12 to 15 people.

Naig said the idea for this show was born after the most recent MCT play “As Bees in Honey Drown,” when she and two other cast members, Carter Richerodt and Hobz Hooley, were brainstorming ideas for plays that could be performed outside.

They were planning to use Leonard Grimes Amphitheater at Grimes Farm for MCT’s fall performances, and after a quick Google search, they came across “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which can be performed in an outdoor venue.

Naig said it has turned into a really fun challenge, and since they came up with it together, Richerodt and Hooley will be assistant directors for the play.

“The three of us were the ones that had the discussion, so it’s just turned into this trifecta of awesomeness, looking at how we can really stage this to the best of our ability. To capture the spookiness, but also really zone in on that location, being outside and all of that,” she said.

The play does require a large cast, so Naig said they will most likely end up casting everybody who attends the auditions and give them roles that make the most sense. The only thing she said they were looking for specifically is for the three main characters to appear close in age.

Auditions will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday at the Whitehill Auditorium on the Iowa Veterans Home campus. Rehearsals will be held in Whitehill Auditorium as well — until the performances get closer — and then they will be moved to Grimes Farm.

Naig said the setup at Whitehill auditorium is similar to Leonard Grimes Amphitheater, so the transition between the two locations should be relatively smooth.

“What’s exciting is that this is just another partnership that MCT has been able to make with Grimes Farm staff as well as the Marshall County Conservation Board. We got their approval, and they are all in for us to be out there, so that’s really exciting. Doing something outside is very exciting,” Naig said.

The performances will be staged in the last two weeks of September, so the biggest obstacle may be the weather. Nonetheless, Naig said they have Whitehill Auditorium as a backup venue if the need arises.

Certain aspects of the play will also be unique to the outdoor performance, according to Naig, and she’s looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.

“How we are going to pull off a headless horseman is going to be very exciting,” she said. “Just thinking about if the show starts at 7:30, and we’re outside in later September, how, when we get to that end where the Headless Horseman makes his appearance, what it’s going to be like. It’s going to be dusk, if not dark, so we are really zoning in on the spooky factor and kind of setting the mood for October and Halloween.”

Once the show is cast, there will be about 25 rehearsals, and those will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

There are scripts available at Lowe’s Flowers, located at 212 S. Third St., so those interested in auditioning can read through prior to auditions. Naig said anyone who has never auditioned shouldn’t be afraid to get involved, and she looks forward to welcoming new faces to the MCT.

“Get a script, and read through it. Maybe say some of those lines out loud, so that you can kind of see how it flows, and show up,” Naig said. “We are an all-welcoming group, and we love adding people to our family, so all are welcome.”


Contact Susanna Meyer

at 641-753-6611 or



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