WMU News

University Theatre stages inspirational story of courage

Oct. 17, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Wiley and The Hairy Man, an inspirational story of courage, will be sure to captivate audiences of all ages. Wiley and the Hairy Man runs Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 1-3 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Multiform Theatre of WMU's Gilmore Theatre Complex.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors and WMU faculty and staff, and $7 for all students. For tickets, call the Gilmore Theatre Ticket Office at 616 387-6222. Ticket office hours are noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays and two hours prior to each performance.

An opening night reception on Oct. 25 is sponsored by T.E. Murch's Country Market. On Thursday, Nov. 1, there will be a post show discussion with the cast and production team.

Wiley and The Hairy Man is not only going to be performed for the community, it is going to be taught in the elementary classrooms around the Kalamazoo area. The Theatre Education students at WMU have created a devising team that is working to gather and create materials to prepare students for the production. The materials will also include post show activities to help the students process the play after they have seen it. Some of the elementary school students will have the opportunity of being presented the materials by the members of the devising team.

Wiley and The Hairy Man is based on a folk tale. Suzan Zeder, professor of Youth Playwriting and Theatre For Youth at the University of Texas, is the playwright.

Says Zeder, "The most rewarding aspect of writing plays about young people is the possibility of dealing with dynamic young characters of enormous emotional velocity at a time when their lives change forever. The dignity and depth of children are sources of constant inspiration and challenge me to render their world as faithfully as I can."

Zeder came from Austin this past September and spent a weekend with the cast and production team of Wiley and The Hairy Man.

This production will be brought to life on the stage by Allen Van Houzen who portrays Wiley, Andy Luther who portrays the Hairy Man, Sylvia Beasley who portrays Mammy and Aaron Michael Adamkiewicz who portrays the dog. The cast is completed with Phil Korth, Mark Jaynes, Chris Barrett, Hilary Hernandez, Le-Anne Garland and Nylda Mark who make up the Chorus.

The production team includes junior, Jeff Rogers as both Scenic and Lighting Designer, junior, Liesl Sietz as Costume Designer and senior, Matthew Ferrara as Sound Designer.

Media contact: Shauna Thieman, 616 387-6222, shauna.thieman@wmich.edu

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