Heartwood presents ‘Wiley and the Hairy Man’

Posted:  Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 8:45am

Story Location:
81 Academy Hill Road
Newcastle  Maine  04553
United States

More than thirty 3rd-8th grade students from 10 Midcoast schools and homeschools, are spending their January afternoons rehearsing in the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy, in Heartwood Theater’s fifth annual winter middle school production, “Wiley and the Hairy Man.”  

Written by Suzan Zeder, “Wiley and the Hairy Man” is adapted from a traditional African-American children’s story about a young boy who must overcome his fear of a tricky “hairy man” who lives in the dark shadows of the swamp.

Set deep in the mysterious Tombigbee Swamp, the spine-tingling tale unfolds, of a young boy (Wiley) facing his worst fear (the Hairy Man, who haunts Wiley’s days and dreams), with the help (or not) of his conjure-woman mother (Mammy) and his faithful dog (Dawg).  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.

This energetic, fun show is filled with foot stomping music, rhythm, rhyme and clever lines.  With the help of the swamp creature chorus and the on-stage student band (think Louisiana Bayou music), the story evolves with constant movement and sound.

For these young thespians, this is an intensive, rewarding and joyful time of shared learning and skill building - with friends they’ve made from other schools over the past several years, during this Midwinter Drama Adventure.   Some students act.  Some play musical instruments.  Some run the light board and sound cues.  All are part of the teamwork and ensemble environment, led by Heartwood’s Artistic Director, Griff Braley, and long time assistant director for this program, Heidi Kopishke.

Due to the large number of students wanting to participate, this has become an auditioned program.  Many students are returning for their third, fourth or even fifth midwinter production at Heartwood … and they arrived prepared.  Memorized.  Eager. Ready to work (and play).

Three daytime performances will be filled with 450 students and teachers from seven Midcoast schools on Feb. 1 and 2. The work of these 36 students will culminate with three public performances on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 3 at 2 and 7 p.m.  Tickets are $5/students and $10/adults.  Reservations strongly suggested by contacting Heartwood by phone or email: 207-563-1373 / info@heartwoodtheater.org. For more information, visit www.heartwoodtheater.org