North Central College - Naperville, IL

"The Sleepy Hollow Plays," an original play by Chicago artists

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of media relations, 630-637-5306 

Sept. 9, 2010--North Central College welcomes Matthew Miller, guest director and producer of an original collection of one acts titled "The Sleepy Hollow Plays," for four premiere performances Oct. 21-24.

"The Sleepy Hollow Plays" features North Central students and will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21, 10 p.m. Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23, and 2 p.m. Oct. 24 in the College's Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. Tickets are $10/adults, $8/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/showtix. The show runs 85 minutes and is recommended for ages 13 and up. The performances are part of the College's Homecoming Weekend celebration and 2010-2011 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season.

Miller commissioned four Chicago-area playwrights--Brett Neveu, Marisa Wegrzyn, Jonathan Mastro and Steve Amick--to write short 10- to 15-minute plays inspired by Washington Irving's famous short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He also asked singer/songwriter Sad Brad Smith to compose and perform original music for this new production. Smith is known for composing the title song "Help Yourself" for the 2009 film "Up in the Air" starring George Clooney. "His music is funny, witty and melancholy and just perfect for this set of plays," says Miller.

Miller says he's always been a fan of Washington Irving and his haunting short story. "With the Halloween season upon us, I felt like ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' would be a good springboard for the playwrights to create these brand new, never-been-performed pieces of theatre. Each writer is enormously talented and successful."

As a stage director, Miller's recent credits include the highly acclaimed world premiere of "Graceland" by Ellen Fairey for Profiles Theatre and Serendipity Theatre Collective's hit Chicago and Los Angeles productions of "girl, 20," also by Fairey. He's directed productions for various Chicago companies, including CollaborAction, The Sinnerman Ensemble, Pine Box Theatre, American Theatre Company and Profiles Theatre. He is an associate casting director at Tenner Paskal & Rudnicke Casting and teaches on-camera acting as part of the faculty at The Acting Studio Chicago and as an adjunct instructor with The Theatre School at DePaul University.

About the playwrights:
Brett Neveu is the recipient of the Goodman Theatre's Ofner Prize for New Work, the Emerging Artist Award from The League of Chicago Theatres and has developed plays with The New Group, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, The 42nd Street Workshop, The Marin Theatre and is a resident-alum with Chicago Dramatists.

Marisa Wegrzyn is the recipient of the 2009 Wasserstein Prize for her play "Hickorydickory." The award, named in honor of Wendy Wasserstein, is given to a female playwright under 32 who has yet to receive national attention.

Jonathan Mastro is a writer, actor and musician. He is a member of the Neo-Futurists and just finished performing in the award-winning Off-Broadway production of "Our Town." As a musical director, he has worked with Second City, Steppenwolf, the Hypocrites, Barrel of Monkeys, Lookingglass Theatre Company and the Chicago Children's Theatre.

Steve Amick is the author of "The Lake, the River & the Other Lake" and "Nothing But a Smile." His short stories have appeared in "Playboy," "The Southern Review," "The New England Review," "Story," "McSweeney's," the anthology "The Sound of Writing" and on National Public Radio. He is represented by The Veltre Company in New York.

This performance is among many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/show or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

09-20-2010