The Unsilent Picture, New Signature Event from Historic Hudson Valley

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by Rick Pezzullo – 

Historic Hudson Valley has announced the expansion of its Halloween-themed events with The Unsilent Picture, an immersive theater experience coming to Philipsburg Manor in October.

The centerpiece of the new event is an original black-and-white silent film starring Tony Award winner Bill Irwin (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Rachel Getting Married) and directed by Alex Harvey (Walden: Life in the Woods). The 16-night experience screens the film accompanied by live musicians and a special effects Foley artist in an immersive environment.

Historic Hudson Valley commissioned the film, which is based on the Washington Irving short story, “The Adventure of the Mysterious Picture.” Shot on location in Croton-on-Hudson, at Van Cortandt Manor, a National Historic Landmark owned by Historic Hudson Valley, the short film explores what happens when a man of science has a brush with the possibility of the supernatural.

“At once buffoonish and gothic, The Unsilent Picture is a playful homage to a bygone era of storytelling,” said Harvey. “Based on a tale from the father of the American ghost story, Washington Irving, the film reminds us that no matter how much we grow up, our childhood fear of the unknown is always lurking nearby—waiting to be provoked.”

The critically-acclaimed actor Irwin plays the role of the man of science, Geoffrey Crayon. “You don’t get asked often to be part of the making of a silent film. It’s an art form, a craft, of the past. If silent storytelling is what keeps you up at night—if you feel like the movies of the ’20s are one of America’s great contributions to world culture—it’s hard to be contained and composed when you hear an homage to the silents is being made,” Irwin explained. “Bravo to Historic Hudson Valley for commissioning maestro Alex Harvey to make a gothic salute to the era of filmmaking that came first—the one that began the moment the camera was invented. And to them both for hiring me.”

The Unsilent Picture is a ground-breaking event combining live theater, film, music, and art—unlike anything else in the area,” said Rob Schweitzer, Vice President, Communications and Commerce for Historic Hudson Valley. “We were thrilled to work with Alex Harvey and living legend Bill Irwin to bring this project to life and can’t wait for it to become part of the Halloween tradition here in Sleepy Hollow Country.”

Details: The Unsilent Picture

Dates are Oct. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 25-31. Performances times are at 6:15, 7:15, 8:15, and 9:15 p.m. Online tickets are $18. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a $5 per ticket discount.

The experience is recommended for ages 10 and up. It contains scenes of drinking alcohol, smoking and snuff tobacco use, implied violence, and mature themes.

Tickets are available online at or by calling 914-366-6900 ($2 per ticket surcharge for phone orders and for tickets purchased onsite, if available).

Philipsburg Manor is located at 381 North Broadway (Route 9) in Sleepy Hollow.

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