BEAT Children’s Theatre Takes to the Jungle

What makes a classic story a classic? Themes that resonate over generations. Characters that help us better understand ourselves. An adventure that sticks with you long after you’ve heard it, and affects your life. Music that makes your heart pound and your feet dance.
All of these things apply to the story of Tarzan of the Apes. Originally written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912, the King of the Jungle has inspired many people to embrace their connection to a more primal, more wild life. Brought to screens big and small many times over, Tarzan became a Disney animated classic in 1999, with the rhythm of the jungle provided by the bold and exciting music of Phil Collins (winner of an Oscar for You’ll Be In My Heart in 1999).
The film and music were so popular that a Broadway adaption was opened in New York in 2006. It is this version of Tarzan that BEAT Children’s Theatre brings joyfully to Central Oregon this May. Under the direction of Jonathan Shepherd, a cast of nearly 70 actors, ages 7-20, and student musicians in the orchestra pit, are proud to present this spectacular vision of two worlds colliding—a story of loss, of acceptance, of rite of passage, of humor and ultimately, of love.
To speak to Director Jonathan Shepherd you begin to get a sense of the level of passion involved in this production. “Tarzan is a sensational epic exploding with energy every other page,” he says, “but every fire begins with a small spark, a subtle hope or hurt that prompts that first breath before a song. My most terrifying job as a director is handing that tender spark to my actors, watching them blow on it, nurture it and pass it themselves to other characters.
“My favorite moment is recognizing that same spark of passion weeks later and recognizing too that the fire isn’t my fire anymore; it’s their fire. And then I put all 70 actors on stage at once and it’s much more fire than I can stand close to. I love it!”
Have you ever dreamed of running away to live in the wild? We invite everyone to come and let their inner King of the Jungle share the fire!
On stage May 6-15 at Summit High School Auditorium–for more information go to

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