PIQUA — The Piqua High School Music Department will present “Tarzan” the musical, beginning Wednesday, March 11, at 7 p.m. Additional show times include Thursday, at 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available online, at www.piqua.org.
“It’s a show we’ve never done here at Piqua High School, and I feel like we have the right number of people and the right group of people to make it happen,” said head choral director Tom Westfall.
According to Westfall, the production will include a cast of about 30 students, around a dozen crew members, and several parent and staff volunteers.
The cast consists of students from grade nine through 12, including a foreign exchange student, as well as an even younger actor.
“A young boy from Piqua Junior High School will be playing young Tarzan,” Westfall said.
A graduate of PHS himself, Westfall said he participated in all four musicals throughout his high school career, the first being in 1988 while he was a freshman. While in college at Ohio State University, Westfall would return to PHS choreograph shows.
“I think there were two musicals after I graduated high school that I did not choreograph, and in 1994, I started choreographing on the production of ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ and I have worked on every musical since then,” he said.
In 2001, Westfall directed and produced the production of “The King and I,” and in 2002, he was hired as head choral director, where he has remained ever since.
Westfall said he is looking forward to presenting “Tarzan,” which brings with it a unique set.
“I had an idea of how I wanted it to look and how I wanted it to feel and I just tried to make that happen,” he said. “My goal for the production is that if you are an audience member that you feel as though you are in the show, that you are in the jungle and are a part of the story.”
Auditions for the musical were held before Christmas break, with rehearsals beginning upon return to school in January. Students are currently rehearsing about four times per week now up until opening day.
“It’s been so fun; the set and things are really different — it’s in a jungle — and we rehearsed for basically two and a half months with me kind of describing what the set was going to look like,” Westfall said. “Now that the set is here and (the students) can see it, I think they have just gotten super excited about getting to play on the jungle and swing from the vines and do all the things that one does when one thinks of Tarzan.”