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Wiley and the Hairy Man' on Stage in Feb. Impact
Fairmont State News

Wiley and the Hairy Man' on Stage in Feb.

Dec 19, 2007

Under the direction of Dr. Francene Kirk, members of the Theatre Department will present "Wiley and the Hairy Man." Originally an African-American folktale, written down only in 1932, it has become a popular short play for young audiences.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 23, 2008, and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2008, in the Wallman Hall Theatre. For tickets, please call the Box Office: (304) 367-4240. Actors using American Sign Language will shadow the speaking actors in this performance.

School day performances are planned in Wallman Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 26, Wednesday, Feb. 27, and Thursday, Feb. 28. The cast will be touring to schools in the central part of the state during spring break.

A product of the New Deal's Federal Writers Project, "Wiley and the Hairy Man" was one of the many folktales recorded as part of a collection from the state of Alabama. The story was adapted as an award winning play by Suzan Zeder.

During the course of the play, Wiley learns to understand what magic he possesses and to overcome his fear of "things that go bump in the night." This is a tale about magic--good and bad--the magic of survival.

Wiley, spoken by Zachary Masters of Fairmont and signed by Thomas M. Cosner of Terra Alta, must match wits with his nemesis, the Hairy Man, spoken by Michael Vozniak of Fairmont and signed by Jeana M. Barnes of Romney. Wiley does this with help of his crafty mother, spoken by Samantha L. Huffman of Fairmont and signed by Laura Evert of Romney, and his trusty dog, played by Anthony Marchese of Gerrardstown. Ruth Knupp of Gerrardstown is the puppeteer for the Hairy Man.

A chorus of actors brings to life the swamp where Wiley confronts Hairy Man, alone, in the dark. The chorus includes Adam McHenry of Clarksburg, Demian Moneypenny of Salem, Celi Oliveto of Fairmont, Jennifer Rinker of Fairmont and Mela Stewart of Morgantown who will be signing. The production is directed by Dr. Francene Kirk, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts.