Performances Slated for July 25, 26, 27; August 1, 2, 3
Described as “acrobatic, innovative, entertaining and family-oriented,” Tarzan® the Stage Musical is the featured 2014 summer production by Acts of Kindness (AOK) Theatre Company, presenting regional talent ranging in age from 6-60+ and benefitting the non-profit Adams County Arts Council.
Performances are slated for Hanover’s Eichelberger Performing Arts Center on July 25, 26 and 27; and August 1, 2, and 3. Rene Staub returns as show director; his wife Jessica Staub returns production coordinator. Together, the pair heads up Acts of Kindness Theatre Company, which formed ten years ago in order to present a quality summer production that would also give back to regional nonprofit organizations such as the arts council.
“For the 10th anniversary show, we were looking for something celebratory and family-oriented from Disney,” explains Rene Staub. “Since Tarzan is a fairly new release to community theatre, it allows us to offer something fresh and extremely innovative to the area audience.”
“The story of Tarzan will pull at the audience’s heartstrings, and the show overall will dazzle them—through effects, acrobatics—with cast members swinging from vine to vine, innovative dancing, beautifully lush sets, and moving music by Phil Collins including the Grammy Award-winning song ‘You’ll Be in My Heart.’ It’s going to be a full experience.”
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.
Heading up the 40-plus-member cast is York’s 19-year old Dakota Haines as Tarzan. Haines, a graduate of Dallastown Area High School, is currently a student at Penn State University. Dawn Glass of Gettysburg’s Vibe Performing Arts Studio is show choreographer.
The producers are quick to point out that it takes talent of all ages to create a successful production. “I think some of the most valuable performing experiences occur when kids, teens and adults perform side by side,” says Jessica Staub. “That happens on stage, as well as backstage and in our orchestra. It’s truly a team effort.”
AOK’s productions typically attract an audience ranging between 2,500 and 4,000 over the two weekend-run. Organizers project Tarzan will be on the high end of that range due to two main factors—Tarzan’s wide appeal, and a switch to the professional grade venue, Hanover’s Eichelberger Performing Arts Center. Previous shows were held at New Oxford High School, and while organizers continue to enjoy a wonderful relationship with the school, the district’s decreased summer staffing would not support AOK’s 2014 show.
Tarzan proceeds benefit the non-profit ACAC, 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.
“Grateful does not even begin to describe how we, as a staff and board, feel every year when we partner with Acts of Kindness Theatre Company,” Glatfelter says. “Vital arts education faces severe cuts in our public schools, and we strive to fill this gap by offering quality arts instruction, bringing enriching arts performances to public schools and the community, and instilling an appreciation for the arts among audiences of all ages. It is a challenge, especially economically, but with generous support such as that from AOK, we continue to meet our mission.”
Tickets to Tarzan can be obtained through 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.
Hope to see you at the show!