200 N Washington Ave, Bradley, IL 60915

Not Your Typical Walk in the Park

Not Your Typical Walk in the Park

By Shauntia Mettlin

Sleepy Hollow is my favorite time of year! Time to start drinking Pumpkin Coffee from Dunkin Donuts and watch the leaves turn at Perry Farm. I love the sunsets, the smells, and the colors of fall! I can vividly recall my first memory of the Headless Horseman. My birthday falls a few days before Halloween, so for my 10th birthday, we took a mini hayride around our small town with my friends. My uncle Paul dressed up as a headless horseman type character (with a pumpkin for a head) and chased us around town, cackling and smashing his pumpkin head alongside of the road. Screams of fear and excitement came from that hayride! This also gave Uncle Paul the nickname of “Pumpkin Head Man”,  which I’m sure he still loathes hearing to this day.  But every year, when we head to Perry Farm for Sleepy Hollow, I get those same exciting chills I did as a kid!  This year is no different!

I have been working with Acting Out Theatre Co and Sleepy Hollow since the first year. We set up at the old “Into the Woods” stage and I ran the sound for the barn scene from behind a tree. The next year, we turned it up a notch and headed for the old barn by the farmhouse. Somehow, Sharon and Julie convinced me the best way to run sound was from the loft, behind a bunch of hay bales. I sat up there alone, except for the little mice friends I made each show. After a few years up in the rafters, I started running sound for the tractor ride. It was so much fun to see all the guests reacting to the hauntings and workings in the hollow! I guess you can say I’ve seen many sides of Sleepy Hollow. It’s crazy to think how much this production has changed over the years, but each year, these wonderful people behind the scenes have the drive to make each year better than the last!

This year is a completely new adventure for me. I’ve relocated to the Hollow and get to hang out with some of the cadaverous people you’ll ever meet! Thank you Sharon & AOTC for allowing me to step into this new role! Without giving too much away, all I can say is be ready. This isn’t your typical “walk in the park”. You will experience Sleepy Hollow up close and personal more than ever before. Enjoy the adventure, and don’t lose your head.