NOTE: This article was previously published on the author’s Medium blog, and can be viewed here.
Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. Rivals. Enemies. Roommates?
Thanks to the critically acclaimed troupe Shipwrecked Comedy (Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Party, Little VVomen, The Case Of The Gilded Lily)’s successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for their latest project Headless: A Sleepy Hollow Story, the once unlikely pairing of two of literature’s greatest characters living under one roof is headed (no pun intended) to the small screen.
Headless’ extensive fundraising effort concluded on July 18th, earning $201,947 in contributions from new and longtime fans of Shipwrecked’s hilarious mash-ups of legendary novels with modern humor. As a result of those contributions, production of Headless (closely adhering to COVID safety guidelines, of course) will commence within the next few months, and all 10 episodes of the series will premiere on Shipwrecked’s YouTube channel (linked to below).
Employing a sizeable ensemble cast and using several historical locations that date back to when Washington Irving’s classic short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was originally published, Headless places Irving’s iconic characters – timid school teacher Ichabod Crane and his decapitated pursuer The Headless Horseman – in the equally timeless framework of a TV sitcom.
In this case, Ichabod (played by Sean Persaud, who co-created and co-stars in Headless with sister and longtime creative partner Sinéad) is stuck living with the diabolical rider and now faces the humbling challenge of finding the long-missing human head that has eluded its owner. As Headless progresses, Ichabod soon understands that some of the oddest couples can often be the best of friends, and that some of the unlikeliest people can accomplish the greatest things.
Headless co-star and Shipwrecked veteran Mary Kate Wiles (who plays Ichabod’s love interest Katrina van Tassel) is among many celebrating the success of the series’ Kickstarter campaign. “We’re so happy to have reached our goal and to now be one of the most funded web series ever on Kickstarter,” she says.
Though Shipwrecked initially aimed to raise $150,000 to produce Headless, the additional dough raised during the campaign will allow for a more extensive shooting schedule that itself guarantees the Persauds and their collaborators many opportunities to perfect the expansive production style that’s been a signature of Shipwrecked’s previous fare.
“It (the funding) will just help us make something closer to the show of our dreams! We still have some whittling down of the original script to do – Shipwrecked dreams big – but since we’ve been able to exceed our goal, that will only mean more days on set, which will give us more time to shoot the show and feel slightly less rushed,” adds Wiles.
Shipwrecked’s devoted supporters worked overtime to make Headless’ campaign a triumphant effort. “We were still getting people upping their pledges and new pledges coming through down to the final minutes of the campaign,” Wiles recalls. Thanks to those pledges, and the loyalty of Shipwrecked’s fans, Headless will continue the company’s tradition of making high quality comedy adventures for bookworms and binge watchers alike.
For the Persauds, Wiles and everyone who’s part of the Shipwrecked family, the fans are what make their work fun, and chances are it will certainly be fun when cameras finally roll on the set of Headless. “We are so lucky to have an audience that is so devoted to helping us succeed,” says Wiles. “We owe them everything.”
Find out more about Headless, and the complete work of Shipwrecked Comedy, on the troupe’s official website:
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