Turk swinging on a vine during rehearsal.
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

ST. CLOUD - GREAT Children's Theatre has Tarzan flying through the air at the Paramount Theater. Director Jon Legg says it's been challenging, but fun to bring the play together with flying effects.

He says, "It's very different to direct a play with flying in it because normally you're in rehearsal, and you can stand next to the person you're having a scene with. Here it's you're going to be saying this line, but you'll be ten feet in the air, and the other person is on the ground. It was kind of interesting, visually, to try and figure it out." 

But how exactly do the actors fly across the stage with such ease. For that answer we went backstage to meet with crew member Ben Dahlager who assists in the flying effects. He says, "We actually take and hook them in. There's a couple different methods, but mainly there's a hook here, there's a harness on the back of their body, or in the front, that we clip them in, and then basically it's just a rope and a pulley system." 

The crew members who are running the pulley systems listen for different cues to know when to send the actors airborne. Dahlager says they look for hand motions, and listen for sounds to tip them off to start their different pulls. The crew knows it's serious work backstage, but they are still having fun with the production.

Legg says the top of act two is a highlight of all the flying scenes in the play.

"Right when act two starts, we start with Trashing the Camp," says Legg, "We've got Turk flying through the scene a bunch of times. He's rolling upside down, he's tipping on his side, he's waving things in the air, it looks like he's just holding onto the rope with his feet."

Tarzan flies onto stage starting tonight, and will run through Sunday, April 19th.

Tarzan swinging onto stage during Thursday night's rehearsal. (Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

Friday, April 10th, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 11th, 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 12th, 2:00 p.m.
**Wednesday, April 15th, 9:30 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.
Friday, April 17th, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 18th, 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 19th, *2:00 p.m.
*ASL Performances
**School Matinees