30th Season Of CTC Youth Theatre Opens With Wiley And The Hairy Man

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Members of the Mojo Cast rehearse Wiley and The Hairy Man, the first production of the 2013-2014 Youth Theatre season at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. From Left are Noah Phillips as The Hairy Man, Adia Wilde as the Dog; Eliza Carpenter as Wiley, and Savannah Tucker as Mammy.
Members of the Mojo Cast rehearse Wiley and The Hairy Man, the first production of the 2013-2014 Youth Theatre season at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. From Left are Noah Phillips as The Hairy Man, Adia Wilde as the Dog; Eliza Carpenter as Wiley, and Savannah Tucker as Mammy.

The spooky tale Wiley and the Hairy Man opens the 30th Youth Theatre season at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre Friday.  

Review for Wiley and the Hairy Man:

Written by Susan Zeder, Wiley and the Hairy Man follows a young, fatherless boy named Wiley, his conjure-woman mother, his faithful dog, and the Hairy Man who haunts Wiley’s days and dreams. Through rhythm and rhyme, a chorus creates the mystery of the swamp. The magic of this play is not fairy dust – it is soil: the magic of the earth and mud of the swamp…the magic of survival. At last, in an exciting duel of wits, Wiley learns to rely upon his own resources and conquers two villains: the Hairy Man and his own fear. 

The play features two casts – one (the ‘Voodoo’ cast) is directed by Youth Theatre director Scott Dunlap; the second (the ‘Mojo’ cast) is directed by Rodney Van Valkenburg. This production is the first from the Youth Theatre since 10-year CTC veteran Mr. Dunlap took over the job this summer. Mr. Van Valkenburg, now with ArtsBuild, was the Theatre Centre’s first Youth Theatre program director when it began in 1983. Mr. Van Valkenburg served as youth theatre and education director for 12 of the 18 years he worked at the CTC. Mr. Dunlap was one of the young actors who once performed in Mr. Van Valkenburg’s shows.

Mr. Dunlap says Wiley and the Hairy Man is scary "but not over-the-top scary" and he estimates that kids in third grade and above should be fine. "It’s fun to be scared," he says. "And 90 percent of the time the anticipation is more frightening than the event."

"Wiley and his mother have a good relationship," explains Mr. Dunlap. "She leaves him on his own to solve problems, and it builds his independence and confidence. Wiley learns not to be afraid."

"Wiley and the Hairy Man represents the great tradition of the Youth Theatre offering the most outstanding plays written for young audiences," said Mr. Van Valkenburg. "The play has been performed by professional theatre companies for many years and our young actors are again up to the challenge of presenting an excellent production to be enjoyed by young and old alike."

"I directed Wiley the first time it was produced at the CTC in 1986-87 and I am very pleased to revisit this great play with amazing casts of young actors," said Van Mr. Valkenburg. The show was also part of the 1998-99 Youth Theatre Season.

"This show is fun for the actors as well as the audience," says Mr. Dunlap. "It’s classic storytelling; I’m surprised Disney hasn’t made it into an animated film."

Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for all ages, all performances, and are available online at TheatreCentre.com or by calling the box office at 267-8534 Tuesday-Friday between 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre, a community theatre celebrating 90 years of continuous operation this season, is at 400 River St. next to Coolidge Park. The Chattanooga Theatre Centre is a funded agency of ArtsBuild.

Performance Dates are Friday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22, at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at 2:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. School shows will be Thursday, Oct. 3, at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.


Darrell Scott Plays At The Camp House Thursday

Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Darrell Scott will be performing at The Camp House on Thursday.  Angel Snow will be opening the show, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Review for Darrell Scott: Darrell Scott is touring in support of his album Couchville Sessions which released on May 13 via Full Light Records. The project has already been featured in The Associated Press, ... (click for more)

Auditions For Halloween Show War Of The Worlds Are Aug. 8-9

Back Alley Productions is hosting auditions for the upcoming Halloween show War of the Worlds. Based on both the H.G. Wells novella and the Orson Welles radio show, the production is seeking talented community actors in the local area. Auditions are Monday, Aug. 8, and Tuesday, Aug. 9, at any time from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Mars Theater. The theater is at 117 N. Chattanooga ... (click for more)

County Schools Receive Community Gift For Almost $1 Million To Fund Public School Bible History Program

Bible in the Schools presented a community gift for nearly $1 million to the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to reimburse 100 percent of the costs of funding a Bible history program in 18 public schools for the 2015–2016 academic year. Enrollment data for 2015–2016 reported 3,582 students in grades 6–12 elected to take a Bible history classes. “This gift from the ... (click for more)

DA's Office Defends Suspended Sentence In School Bus Driver Rape Case

The District Attorney's Office defended a controversial suspended sentence in a rape case involving a substitute county school bus driver. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said the victim, who was 15 years old at the time of the March 2015 incident, was in agreement on the plea and refused to testify against Alexander Rodriquez. Rodriguez, 34, last Thursday pleaded guilty to ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Keep Mike Carter’s Genius

Mike Carter, who has just been chosen as the “Best Overall” member of the Tennessee Legislature by a group known as the Tennessee Forum and “Legislator of the Year” by Citizens for Home Rule, is truly both. A lawyer and then a Sessions Court judge for 8 ½ years, he is overwhelmingly favored to win a third term during next Thursday’s election and rightly so. While it is laudable ... (click for more)