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Swinging Into Homecoming Season with Tarzan

Each year, students at Oklahoma Christian University showcase their musical talents and abilities by participating in the Homecoming Musical. 

“I absolutely love musical theater and have since I was little,” Junior Cora Harper said. “My grandmother took me to see shows, and my sister performed in shows in high school, so it’s only natural I fell in love with it.”

The Disney musical ‘Tarzan’ was the choice for this year’s production. The musical tells the story of a man longing to belong to a community and struggling with his differences while being raised by gorillas in the rainforest. Eventually, he meets a woman named Jane, the only other human being he’s ever met, and he must choose between the human world or the animal kingdom he has come to love. 

“My favorite thing about Tarzan is how different the concept is from other shows,” Freshman Sadie Brock said. “Most of the cast is spending the whole show acting and performing as a different species. It’s actually quite a challenge, and it’s exciting to see the cast grow as performers in this way.”

Roles include the titular Tarzan, his love interest Jane, his gorilla mother Kala and Tarzan’s best friend Turk, among others. 

“I have been cast as a gorilla in the ensemble of this show. It’s been a ton of fun so far,” Harper said. “The part of this character I am the most excited for is the chance to be able to do some really cool dancing on stage.”

Actors and crew are required to put in multiple hours of work in order to learn dance routines, complicated vocal melodies and various stagecraft procedures. 

“I love the entire rehearsal process, from beginning choreography to the final performance,” Brock said. “Being onstage is an incredible feeling.”

In addition to performing onstage, cast members must find the motivation to consistently give their best effort in every single rehearsal. 

“The cast and crew work their tails off,” Harper said. “Everyone works really hard to bring a positive attitude to rehearsal and give everything they have to make the show great.”

Each musical presents its own challenges, but maintaining a supportive environment where performers are free to be themselves helps foster an atmosphere of love and acceptance.

“I love performing in general, but doing so alongside my closest friends makes it especially enjoyable,” Brock said. “It’s been so fun sharing this experience with my favorite people.”

The cast and crew also manage to keep their love of Christ close to the heart of the production. 

“The thing I find so unique about Oklahoma Christian musicals is that their focus is on glorifying the Lord through the show,” Harper said. “The cast and crew get together every performance night and pray all together.”

‘Tarzan’ will premiere on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Baugh Auditorium. Tickets can be found here.

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