A Night of Entertainment Under the Stars

By PI Staff

Full skirt cheer by Grease cast members.

Sleepy Hollow Schedule:
July 9- 13

“The Sound of Music”
July 14-20

July 21-27

“The Sound of Music”
July 28-August 1

Director Dan Walstad on the Grease set.

Once upon a time there was a young man who grew up acting and performing in Sleepy Hollow plays. Then he went to college and obtained 3 bachelor’s degrees and a masters degree in theater. While he was in college, he came back to Bismarck each summer and helped again with Sleepy Hollow plays. His name is Dan Walstad and now he is directing the summer plays at Sleepy Hollow for the third year in a row. How exciting to see local talent grow from “one of the kids” to the Director of two fabulous plays this summer.

Sleepy Hollow is performing Grease and The Sound of Music for its summer productions. Dan is assisted by Amy Driscoll as the Assistant Director, two large casts and too many volunteers to mention. It is a huge undertaking to put on Grease and The Sound of Music in an outdoor theater setting.

Set of Grease designed by Dan Walstad

However, what better place to stage these shows than an outdoor setting. It lends itself well to the rock, pop and dancing of Grease and to the majesty of The Sound of Music being performed outside in the hills of Bismarck.

Audience members will love the musical scores of both shows. A 6-piece band will play the music for Grease and a full orchestra will be on set to play The Sound of Music score. That production lends itself well to a full orchestra and audience members will be highly impressed with the local musical talent.

One of the unique features of Sleepy Hollow is the opportunity for young people to be fully involved in a theatrical production. Music students from high school and college will be in the band and orchestra groups, acting students from high school and college will be in the cast of the two shows, and other high school and college age students will help work the background in a variety of ways. Putting on these shows is a lot more work than just recruiting the acting cast. It involves the work of several area professionals to do things like the lighting, the choreography, the brochures and programs, the costumes, the sets and set decorations, ticket sales and even the concessions. It’s a large undertaking to present “theater under the stars” like they do each year at Sleepy Hollow.

The Sleepy Hollow mission is to “play a significant role in the welfare and educational growth of our citizens while nurturing youth by providing quality pre-professional educational opportunities in the arts that result in the cultural enrichment of the state and region.” In simpler terms, a lot of the youth involved say they are “spending the summer with their Sleepy Hollow family.” The program builds a strong sense of camaraderie and family with the youth who are taking part. It’s a life long learning experience for most of them. And, finally, Sleepy Hollow provides excellent entertainment for members of the community.

Grease and The Sound of Music will run for 24 nights continuously and the schedule is listed above. The shows change on the week-ends so out-of-towners’ and locals can plan on seeing Grease one night and The Sound of Music the other night of the week-end. The plays start at 8:30 PM each evening and it is important to note that the temperatures drop significantly by that time of night. It’s great to be there when the sun goes down, the lights come on and the temperatures are in the 70’s. Bring a lawn chair and plan on enjoying some of the best local talent in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

Grease rehearsal with costumed cast members.

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