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Augusta Junior Players to perform Disney's 'Tarzan'

Posted: July 21, 2015 - 11:21pm
Lizzie Drake, a rising senior at Harlem High School, will play Jane in the Augusta Junior Players production of Tarzan.   Special
Special
Lizzie Drake, a rising senior at Harlem High School, will play Jane in the Augusta Junior Players production of Tarzan.

While a lot of little girls dream of being a Disney princess, Lizzie Drake had her eyes on another character.

“I grew up watching Tarzan. It was one of my favorite Disney movies. I loved (Jane) with her intelligence and quirkiness,” said Drake, a rising senior at Harlem High School.

She will play the role of Jane in the Augusta Junior Players production of Tarzan on July 24-26 at Greenbrier High School.

Drake sees Jane as a multi-layered character – refined and “prissy” on one hand, but extremely interested in learning about the world around her.

Drake is one of about 40 actors between the age of 6 and 19 years-old in this production which is true to the Disney film.

It is filled with the familiar Phil Collins’ songs, according to director Laura Butler.

The most challenging roles in this production come from an unlikely source – the chorus.

“We have an ape chorus instead of a human chorus,” Butler said.

And while the chorus members won’t be dressed up in ape costumes, but will wear a tribal attire instead to give the feel of the jungle, they will move like apes and act like
them.

“When they come to rehearsal, it’s a workout,” she said. “They are in a squatting position, and their movement is different.”

To help members of the chorus get into character, she had them research the animals. She wanted them to learn how they slept, how they reacted when threatened and other habits. The members then shared their findings.

Another challenge was the large age range among players, Butler said. But actors, such as Drake, have taken the younger children under their wings.

“I love helping out the little kids,” Drake said. “I feel like a mentor.”

Scenes of when Tarzan and Turk are youngeruse the younger children.

Tarzan will be performed at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m., Sunday at Greenbrier High School. Tickets are $8 for children 12 years-old and younger and $15 for those 13 years-old and older.

For more information on the show, call the Augusta Players at (706) 826-4707.

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