April 20, 2004
Harrisburg Area Community College's Theatre for Young People will present The Ice Wolf by Joanna Halpert Kraus, on Saturday, April 24 at 1 and 4pm in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center. This drama for youth ages 9 and up, directed by Brenda C. Eppley, HACC Associate Professor of Theatre, will also be presented April 20 through April 23 to school groups for the 16th annual HACC Theatre Outreach Program.

The Ice Wolf is an authentic Inuit/Eskimo tale originating from the East Coast Hudson Bay region. The story centers on a pale-haired child, exiled by her own people because she was "the different one ... Anatou." In a village ruled by spirits, by shamans, by superstition and myth, such a different one has no place. During a famine, in which her parents disappear in a storm, Anatou is cast out. She seeks out the forest, into which no Eskimo goes, and begs the Wood God to turn her into a wolf. Even as a wolf, Anatou harbors a desire for revenge against those who hurt her, and this leads to a deadly outcome.

In 1977 the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, held in Barrow, Alaska, officially adopted Inuit as the replacement for the term "Eskimo." Inuit means the real people and is the preferred term for the native peoples of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland.

Featured in The Ice Wolf will be: Storyteller, Maggie Stroyan; Anatou, Mandy Scott; Karvik, Joel Gothel; Arnarqik, Jennie Kelly; Tarto, Tiffany Tirado; Kiviog, Sean Adams; Atata, Steve Zivanovich; Shikikanaq/Beaver, Emily Albert; Motomiak/Fox, Jacquie Williams; Villager 1, Molly Heckard; Villager 2, Ada Smith-Sparling; Wood God, Jessica Tripp; and Ermine, Shaunna Schaeffer. Heather Diehl is the Stage Manager for the production.

This seemingly simple tale illuminates social issues present on both local and global levels, exploring prejudice and the passion for revenge it inspires. The play helped break new ground in children's theatre by exploring serious subject matter instead of the usual lighter fair generally produced for youthful audiences.

The Ice Wolf and its author have been honored and anthologized many times. The play's relevance to children's experiences today is without parallel in theatre for young people. Its use of spare, poetic language and striking visual imagery create a haunting theatrical experience. The set, designed by Jiang-Chao Wang, will draw the viewer into the cold, bleak, snow and ice covered wilderness of far Northern Canada, complete with totem poles, tall evergreen trees and falling snow. Shimmering northern lights, along with other special lighting effects are designed by Lori Friedlander. Visually exciting costumes, designed by Brenda Eppley, are fashioned after authentic Eskimo/Inuit clothing of the period, utilizing leather, fur and ornate trim. Large colorful masks/headdresses, designed by Performing Artist Series Box Office Manager Linda Dale, will compliment the costumes of the animal spirit characters in this tale.

The Ice Wolf is the feature presentation for the 16th annual HACC Theatre Outreach Program. HACC Theatre Outreach, which reaches over 1,000 area students each year, is targeted this year to the third through sixth grade level and includes the live presentation and a talk-back session with cast and crew. These special performances run April 20 through April 23 and are for pre-reserved school groups only. Call Linda Dale at 717-780-2604 for information.

Public performances of The Ice Wolf will be Saturday, April 24 at 1 and 4pm. All seats $8. Call the RLAC Box Office at 717-231-ROSE (7673) to reserve your tickets.

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