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.


The African Children's Choir To Perform In Hixson In October

The African Children's Choir will perform at Burks United Methodist Church, 6433 Hixson Pike in Hixson on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 10:30 a.m. "The African Children's Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances," officials said. The program features well-loved children's songs, traditional Spirituals and ... (click for more)

Auditions For “Harvey” September 8-9 At The Chattanooga Theatre Centre

Auditions for the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, “Harvey”, will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 8 and 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. Greg Rambin, Sr., will direct the play by Mary Chase about a man with an invisible giant rabbit as a friend. The show will play ten performances Nov. 6-22 on the MainStage. The story:  Elwood P. Dowd is an affable ... (click for more)

Hutcheson Medical Center Seeking Court Approval To Sell Trenton Family Practice For $350,000

Hutcheson Medical Center, continuing to make cost-cutting measures, is seeking court approval to sell the Trenton Family Practice at Trenton, Ga., for $350,000. Ted Rumley, county executive for Dade County, said the medical center is so important for the county that officials have arranged for the Dade County Industrial Development Authority to buy it. He said arrangements ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Says Chattanooga Shooting Was Illustration Of "Islam Terrorism"

"Communism with a god.” That’s how Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond sees Islam.   He also said Muslims are aiming to overtake Tennessee. He said, "They want Tennessee. They are building mosques as fast as they can."   In an address to the Pachyderm Club on Monday, Sheriff Hammond spoke again to the community on the effects of radical Islam and the dangers ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)