MARQUETTE — Two worlds will collide in the Forest Roberts Theatre’s newest musical production of Disney’s Tarzan.
Everyone young and old knows the story of the “ape–man,” Tarzan, who is raised by an adoptive gorilla family, and thinks he knows the world around him – until he comes across some strangers from another world that make him question his own identity.
This show, however, marks a special occasion for the theatre – they have joined forces with the Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative out of New York City to put on one sensory friendly performance of their production this Sunday, April 15th.** The mission is to make theatre accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as their families.
“You know, Tarzan is so familiar – it’s one of those great stories, we love the idea of it – but I think what Disney brought to it, which I think is very interesting, in their Tarzan it’s all about family,” said Director, Shelley Russell. “That is the number one thematic piece that makes everything work in this.”
“Being a gorilla on stage is completely different because it’s an animal – nobody really plays animals in real life – everyone knows how to play a human on stage – but an animal is completely different and you have to think in their mindset, and you don’t really know what they’re thinking,” said actor, Devin Murphy, who plays Kerchak. “Being a gorilla is just a more physically demanding role.”
Tarzan opens on Friday, and runs through next weekend. You can reserve your tickets for the FRT’s performances at the FRT Box Office or online at tickets.nmu.edu. The theatre plans on continuing the “theatre for all” initiative into the 2018–2019 academic year.
**-Inclement weather forced the April 15th performance to be cancelled. The modified performance, geared toward children and adults who are on the autism spectrum or have sensory issues, has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 22nd.