March 31, 2003
Travel to the mystifying Tombigee Swamp as HACC Theatre for Young People presents Wiley and the Hairy Man on Saturday, April 12, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Wildwood Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College. The play is directed by HACC associate professor of theater, Brenda C. Eppley, and was written by Suzan Zeder.

Wiley and the Hairy Man is an old southern folk tale set deep in the swamp where Wiley lives with his conjure woman mother, his hound dog, and the Hairy Man who haunts Wiley's dreams. Wiley, as a test of courage, must face the Hairy Man on his own. Without the use of magic, he is left to rely solely on his the dark swamp around him comes alive.

The tale has been passed down from generation to generation and has taken many forms from a legend set down by Donnel Van de Voot in a manuscript of the Federal Writer's Project of Alabama to the recent book by Molly Garret Bang. This live theater production is a slightly different version of the tale with a new ending. Wiley and the Hairy Man is an award-winning play which teaches all of us that courage and imagination are often the best weapons in overcoming childhood fears.

Featured in the production are Orlando Vazquez as Wiley and Matt Lorenz as the Hairy Man. Jackie Williams will play Mammy and Steve Moulton the role of Dog. Featured in the chorus is Suzanne Falcone, Molly Heckard, Brian Kiskis, Rachael Matthews and Jessika Peach. Stage Manager for this production is Kristie Grey.

Directed by associate professor Eppley, the play features costumes and set design that makes the patron feel as if they have traveled into the gloomy, shadowy depths of the Tombigee, complete with swamp creatures and sounds.

Costumes for the show were designed by Eppley and the set by Jiang-Chao Wang, HACC theater scenic designer. The lighting was designed by HACC student Brandt Evans under the direction of Lori Friedlander, theatre technical director.

Wiley and the Hairy Man is also the featured presentation for this year's HACC Theater Outreach presentation. Theater Outreach is open to school groups only. This educational opportunity runs each morning Tuesday, April 8 through Friday, April 11. The Outreach program this year is targeted to the first through fourth grade levels and will begin at 9:45 a.m. each day at HACC's Rose Lehrman Arts Center. Students view the live theater performance, followed by the popular, educational "talk-back" session with the cast, director and crew. Teachers or parents who would like registration information for school groups may call Linda Dale at (717) 780-2604. Tickets are $3. Pre-registration is required.

The public performances of Wiley and the Hairy Man are Saturday, April 12 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., all tickets are $7. This performance is recommended for ages 6 years and older. Tickets available at (717) 231-ROSE (7673). RLAC is online at

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