News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 7, 2013

Animal tails with Hanna, fairytales with Lightwire coming to RHIT

Stacey Muncie
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — If you’re looking for family fun this month, look no farther than Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where Hatfield Hall’s Performing Arts Series will feature two nationally recognized acts.

Zookeeper Jack Hanna will bring his menagerie of animal friends to Hatfield Hall for two shows on Saturday, 2:30 and 7 p.m.

Then on Wednesday, “America’s Got Talent”-featured act Lightwire Theater will put a high-tech spin on a pair of classic fairy tales when its presents “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Ugly Duckling.”

Jack Hanna

Hanna, whose enthusiasm and hands-on approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim as an author, television personality and conservationist, has made countless appearances on shows such as “Good Morning America,” CNN’s “Larry King Live,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Fox News and the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Hanna also created two of his own nationally syndicated television programs, “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures” and most recently “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild.” Unscripted and action-packed, “Into the Wild” won an Emmy for outstanding children’s series in its first season.

Hanna, author of 10 books, tells timeless tales that continue to captivate audiences of every generation.

In September 2008, Hanna released his autobiography, “Jack Hanna: My Wild Life.”

He also has recently released the newest book in his children’s series, “Passport Into the Wild,” taking readers on a journey across all seven continents to explore fascinating cultures and animals.

In the spirit of Hanna’s conservation efforts, Hatfield Hall will donate a portion of the proceeds from his appearances to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in nearby Center Point.

The facility, which currently houses 230 big cats, provides permanent homes for exotic felines that have been abused or abandoned.

Representatives from the rescue center will also be on hand to provide information about the center and its education and outreach programs.

Tickets for both Jack Hanna shows are $15 for students and $23 to $27 for adults, and may be purchased by phone at 812-877-8544 or in person at the Hatfield Hall ticket desk.

Lightwire Theater

What do you get when you add high-tech magic to timeless fairytales? You get a captivating new twist on storytelling through visual arts, with Lightwire Theater’s adaptations of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” and Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and The Hare.”

Recently featured on “America’s Got Talent,” Lightwire Theater’s unique brand of storytelling has captivated audiences across the U.S. and Canada.  

In an age when television, computers and video games reign supreme, the folks at Lightwire Theater, in conjunction with Corbian Visual Arts and Dance, use cutting-edge technology and moving sculpture to bring new life to a pair of classic tales.

Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” has helped generations of children understand one of humanity’s universal struggles. Lightwire Theater brings this classic story to the modern stage offering hope to us all as we root for the ugly duckling, who exemplifies resilience and heroism along the way to becoming a beautiful swan.

While Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” now more than 2,500 years old, continues to drive home the time-tested adage, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Lined with electroluminescent wire, these well-known characters illuminate the darkened stage as they tell the beloved stories of perseverance and resilience, imparting life lessons to their young audience.

Tickets for Lightwire Theater are $5 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased by phone at 812-877-8544 or in person at the Hatfield Hall ticket desk. For complete season information, including artist videos and more, visit