Young-audience Play

March 7, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720,

California State University, Bakersfield's Theatre Department presents "Wiley and the Hairy Man" as this year's play for young audiences, Saturday and Sunday (March 10-11) in the Arena Theatre on campus.

Director Kamala Kruszka said this American folk tale is a must-see performance set deep within the mysterious swamp. The play centers around a young fatherless boy named Wiley, his mother, his faithful hound dog, and the Hairy Man who haunts Wiley's days and dreams.

Magic rules in Wiley's world where he learns to rely upon his own resources and conquers two villains; the Hairy Man and his own fear. Through rhythm and rhyme a chorus creates the mystery of the swamp and the magic of survival comes to life as Wiley learns he can conquer his biggest fears.

"'Wiley and the Hairy Man' is different from other shows in that the cast becomes the environment," Kruszka said. "It is very much about the child's perspective … overcoming what you're afraid of, empowering the child, and showing that children can overcome great odds."

The performance will be held in the Arena Theatre, located inside the Doré Theatre, on Saturday at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m., and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults. Students and children under 12 are free. Seating is limited. Call (661) 654-6070 for reservations.