Tarzan set to swing to the stage

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Tarzan set to swing to the stage

By Sarah O'Hara

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By Sarah O’Hara | Staff Writer | April 3, 2012

This spring the Elings Performing Arts Center will be transformed into a jungle full of swinging vines, swinging students, and swingin’ tunes as the Dos Pueblos Theater Company brings the beloved Disney classic, “Tarzan” to the stage.

With memorable music by Phil Collins, “Tarzan: The Musical” will be performed on April 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21 at 7PM and April 14 and 21 at 2PM in the Elings Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for students and seniors and are available online at www.dptheatrecompany.org or can be bought at the door. But make sure to buy your ticket soon because opening night, April 13, is already sold out.

One hundred years ago Tarzan was introduced in the novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The character was an instant hit and Tarzan has since then been in 26 books and 44 motion pictures. Tarzan tells the story of an infant boy who is involved in a shipwreck that leaves him washed up on the shore of West Africa. This defenseless baby is taken in by Kala (Xeni Tziouvaras) a mother gorilla who has just lost her own child. As young Tarzan (Daniel Jimenez) grows up he only wants to fit in with his family, gain his father Kerchak’s (Aaron Lunt) acceptance, and find out why he is so different from the rest of his family of gorillas. Older Tarzan (Ray Cothern) encounters his first human named Jane Porter (Nanda Douglas) who is a young explorer curious to get to know Tarzan. The encounter changes both of their worlds completely.

Dos Pueblos is one of the few schools in the country that have been given special permission by Disney to do a high school production of “Tarzan: The Musical.” In preparation for this production, students took part in a week-long workshop with acclaimed movement specialist Charles Donlon, who helped the students believably walk like gorillas.

Sophomore Channing Fisher relished the opportunity of working with Charles Donlon.

“He is a world renowned movement expert and he talked to us for a week about gorilla movements and we did a study in gorilla movement,” said Fisher. “He was really awesome and super helpful. So now we’ve really attuned to the gorilla character and mannerisms and you will definitely see that a lot throughout the show. Our hard work has certainly paid off.”

The DP Theatre Company is partnering with the Santa Barbara Zoo, who allowed the cast to view their gorillas. Also, during the performances students will be handing out informational  pamphlets to raise awareness about endangered species, like the gorillas. There will also be a cell phone recycling program going on in the theater.

Director and theater teacher Clark Sayre, along with two Dos Pueblos alumni, have been working hard on the production of Tarzan. Gioia Marchese has been working as co-director, producer, and choreographer, while Janina Mason has been assisting with choreography. This production would not be able to come together without the innovative eyes of musical director John Douglas, costume designer Miller James, scenic designer Ted Dolas, lighting designer Leight Allen and master technicians John Faass and Jennifer Guerin.

More information on the Dos Pueblos Theater Company can be found online at their new website dptheatrecompany.org. Also ‘like’ their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DPTheatre Company) for updates on what is coming up in theatre.

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