One More Weekend of Upcoming Performances: August 1-3 at the Eichelberger
Tarzan and Jane, played by Dakota Haines of York and Zoe Wildasin of Hanover lead an impressive regional cast assembled for Tarzan® the Stage Musical, the featured 2014 summer production by Acts of Kindness (AOK) Theatre Company with proceeds funneled directly back into the community via non-profit donations.
Performances are slated for Hanover’s Eichelberger Performing Arts Center on July 25, 26 and 27; and August 1, 2, and 3. Acts of Kindness Director Rene Staub says Tarzan fits the bill as the perfect show to celebrate the theatre company’s 10th anniversary show. “It’s a classic story, but the musical is done in a unique way. The show will make kids in the audience laugh, but adults will laugh at things that are over the kids’ heads. Disney does a great job with that—there’s something for everyone in this show.”
Heading up the 40-plus-member cast is York’s 19-year old Dakota Haines as Tarzan. Haines, a 2013 graduate of Dallastown Area High School, is a sophomore at Penn State University who will be auditioning for the school’s prestigious musical theatre program in the fall.
“Tarzan is a challenging role, but also a lot of fun,” Haines says. “To be acting very ridiculous and ape-like on stage and still have family, friends and the local community come out to support me… it’s very endearing,” he laughs.
Haines says music has always been a part of his life, nurtured by experiences with concert and symphonic band, as well as marching with the drum line, singing with York County Junior and Senior Honors Choir, and snagging leading roles in Dallastown High School’s musicals such as Legally Blonde and Hairspray. He is currently a member of an a cappella group as well as the acclaimed Blue Band at Penn State.
Tarzan is Haines’ first performance with AOK Theatre Company, unlike his co-star Zoe Wildasin, also 19, whose role as Jane marks her ninth consecutive summer show with AOK. She lists Titanic, CATS and Hairspray as some of her favorite past shows with AOK. But playing the role of Jane in Tarzan offers Wildasin the opportunity to show AOK’s audience how she has matured over the years.
“It’s a fun part because Jane is very mature,” Wildasin explains. “But at the same time, she’s also inquisitive which makes her youthful.”
A 2013 graduate of Spring Grove High School, Wildasin is currently a sophomore at Chicago’s DePaul University, majoring in public relations/advertising with a minor in theatre studies. She says being involved in nine of the ten past AOK productions gives her a unique perspective.
“Everyone involved in the show is a volunteer,” she says. “It’s a great group of people giving a lot of hard work and time. But from the audience’s perspective, it looks like a professional company and every year there’s a greater quality to the show. People expect more from us every year, and hopefully this year with Tarzan we’ll deliver again.”
Based upon Edgar Rice Burrough’s book Tarzan of the Apes and the 1999 smash-hit Disney animated film, Tarzan tells the story of an infant boy orphaned on the shores of West Africa. Taken in and raised by a tribe of gorillas, the young boy strives for acceptance by his ape father while grappling with his uniqueness. When a human expedition enters their territory, Tarzan—now a man—encounters strangers like himself for the first time.
Tarzan proceeds benefit Addy’s Team (Cystic Fibrosis), as well as the non-profit Adams County Arts Council, whose mission is to cultivate an arts-rich community. Executive Director Chris Glatfelter says proceeds from AOK’s summer shows are some of the largest contributions the arts council receives annually.
Contact the Eichelberger Box Office, 195 Stock Street, Hanover, Monday-Friday, 10 am-2 pm, or online anytime at www.theeich.org, or by calling the box office at 717-637-7086. Advance tickets are $12 for students/children and $16 for adults. Premium seating is also available for $19. On performance days, ticket prices are $2 more. A group rate of $12 per ticket applies to groups of 15 or more attending the same performance.
For more information: See www.aoktheatre.com.