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.



WTCI-PBS To Air Encore Broadcast Of The A List With Alison Lebovitz

Bob Dorough (1923-2018) was a jazz pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, arranger and producer but he is best known for his role in the Schoolhouse Rock! series.  Chattanooga has enjoyed a relationship with Mr. Dorough and WTCI, the region’s community PBS station, will honor his life in an encore broadcast of an episode of “The A List with Alison Lebovitz” that features him. ... (click for more)

Lee School Of Music To Present Faculty Brass Concert

Lee University faculty members Gordon James, Bill Pritchard, Dr. Doug Warner, and Dr. Nathan Warner, along with Lee graduate student Caleb Hall, will present a brass quintet concert on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Pangle Hall.  The evening will feature works by J.S. Bach, Victor Ewald, Georg Frederic Handel, and Maurice Ravel.  As Principal Horn of the Chattanooga Symphony ... (click for more)

McCallie Coach From 90s Who Is Now Deceased Is Accused Of Abusing Students

A McCallie School coach from the 1990s who is now deceased is being accused of abusing students at the private prep school. Two former students said Steven Lee "Steve" Carpenter sexually abused them. Carpenter was the basketball coach at McCallie for 11 seasons - through 1999. He was boys basketball coach at Ridgeland High School beginning in 2000. Carpenter was ... (click for more)

Famed Radio Broadcaster Tommy Jett Dies At 77 At His Flintstone Home

Legendary radio broadcaster Tommy Jett (Thomas Wayne Reynolds) died Wednesday in his sleep at his residence in Flintstone, Ga.   He was 77. The native of Smithville, Tn., first was heard on Chattanooga radio in 1961 when he joined WFLI. He was known for his gaudy rings and his "Hey Now" greeting. He switched to country on WDOD in the 1980s and later was on "The Legend" ... (click for more)

Pluses And Minuses Of Tennessee's New Opioid Law

It was clear when Governor Haslam announced his TN Together plan in January that lawmakers were going to do something to try to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. With the passage of SB 2257/HB 1831, Tennessee now has one of the most comprehensive and restrictive laws of any state.   The Tennessee Medical Association was actively engaged in the process and appreciates ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘We’ll Lose The Senate!’

A guy who I admire and respect wrote me yesterday. He had just read my story defending Bob Corker for honoring “The Code” due to his true friendship with Phil Bredesen. He is also no stranger to my vivid dislike of the Republican choice to replace Corker in the Senate. Marsha Blackburn is no match against Bredesen on any tier and it is clearly the Republican Party itself that has ... (click for more)