An Epic Musical Journey

Music and Lyrics by Phil Collins

Book by David Henry Hwang


April 2018








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Friday, April 13th at 7:30pm

Saturday, April 14th at 1:00pm

Saturday, April 14th at 7:30pm

Thursday, April 19th at 7:30pm

Friday, April 20th at 7:30pm

Saturday, April 21st at 1:00pm

Saturday, April 21st at 7:30pm


Based on Disney's animated musical and Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes, this classic comes to life! Washed up on the shores of West Africa, an infant boy is taken in and raised by gorillas. He struggles with his animal upbringing clashing with his human instincts. The FRT is proud to present Tarzan as a part of their "green season" of re-purposed costumes. Audiences can also enjoy a dramaturgical lobby display on the rainforest of Tarzan produced in partnership with NMU Zoology and Environmental Science students. 


Tickets are $15 for general public, $10 for students, and $5 for NMU Students.

Located in the Forest Roberts Theatre.



"Two Worlds" – Tarzan, Mother, Father, Kala, Kerchak, and Ensemble

"You'll Be In My Heart" – Kala and Ensemble

"Jungle Funk" – Ensemble

"Who Better Than Me?" – Young Tarzan and Terk

"No Other Way" – Kerchak

"I Need to Know" – Young Tarzan

"Son of Man" – Terk, Kala, Tarzan, and Ensemble

"Son of Man (Reprise)" – Terk and Ensemble

"Sure As Sun Turns to Moon" – Kala and Kerchak

"Waiting for This Moment" – Jane and Ensemble

"Different (Part 1 & 2)" – Tarzan and Jane



"Trashin' the Camp" – Terk and Ensemble

"Like No Man I've Ever Seen" – Jane and Professor Porter

"Strangers Like Me" – Tarzan, Jane, and Ensemble

"For the First Time" – Jane and Tarzan

"Who Better Than Me? (Reprise)" – Terk and Tarzan

"Everything That I Am" – Young Tarzan, Tarzan, Kala, and Ensemble

"You'll Be In My Heart (Reprise)" – Tarzan and Kala

"Sure As Sun Turns to Moon (Reprise)" – Kala and Tarzan

"Two Worlds (Finale)" – Tarzan, Jane, and Ensemble


Cast List

Tarzan's Father Nathaniel Langlie
Tarzan's Mother Katie Spengler
Kala Audree Stephens
Kerchak Devin Murphy
Young Tarzan Canyon Medina
Terk Hanna Numinen
Tarzan Ethan Bott
Jane Emily Burbey
Porter Jacob Laitinen
Clayton Justin Van't Hof
Snipes Max Stevens
Brooke Baneck, Erin Culp, Charlie Edwards, Riley Fields, Kyle Flickinger, Gracie Fries, Roenak Ghiardi, Raquel Green, Sadie Knill, Nathaniel Langlie, Megan Ludwig, Kortney Manchip, Patrick McCommons, Nathan Morgan, Abby Persoon, Andrew Pfeiffelman, Maddie Rayner, Nick Salin, Katie Spengler, AJ Stephens, Max Stevens, Jill Vermeulen

* Indicates work done in partial fulfillment of senior capstone project.

† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honors Fraternity.



Creative Team

Director Shelley Russell
Music Director Erin Colwitz
Assistant Music Director Anna Daavettila
Choreographer Jill Grundstrom
Lighting Designer David Pierce
Assistant Lighting Designer Hannah Cormier
Scenic Designer Victor G. Holliday
Costume Designer Shelley Russell
Assistant Costume Designer Taylor Ehle
Sound and Projections Designer Bill Digneit
Assistant Sound Designer Jacob Stipe
Properties Master Hannah Carey
Technical Director David Pierce
Production Stage Manager Lily Howder
† indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honors Fraternity.


Additional Artistic Staff

Stage Managers Emily Baker, Lilith Kontos
Rehearsal Accompanist Lynne Lanczy
Assistants to the Director Marissa Bekkering, Davontae Elam
Light Board Operator  Lily Howder
Master Electrician Justin Van't Hof
Audio 2 Seth Bowen
Spotlight Operators Megan Leach, Kayla Pederson
Flight Chief Steve McClain
Flight Operators Jake Dudeck, Noah Herington, Emily Kendall, Nick Salin, Skip Schorfhaar
Weapons Wrangler Emily Kendall
Costume Mistresses Helen Boburka, Sabrina Nelson†, Esther Teng
Makeup and Wigs Ryan White
Makeup Assistants Brie Rantala, Sari Nomura
† indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honors Fraternity.




Forest Roberts Theatre Staff

Costume Shop Supervisor Ann Juidici
Costume Shop Crew

Helen Boburka, Hannah Danforth, Regan McKay, Erin Perry, Sabrina Nelson, Taylor Ehle, Esther Teng

Scene Shop Foreman Steve McClain
Carpenters, Electricians and Painters

Emily Baker, Marissa Bekkering, Helen Boburka, Hannah Cormier, Keegan Downey, Nathaniel Langlie, Emmett Long, Audree Stephens, Jacob Stipe, Justin Van't Hof, Taylor Wilcox

Lighting and Sound Supervisor Dan Zini
Box Office Manager Bill Digneit
Assistant Box Office Managers Lily Howder†, Lilith Kontos
Box Office Staff

Sam Cole, Jordan Coutcher, Jordan Howell, Emily Kendall, Regan McKay, Heidy Paz, Amber Urban, Nathan Zaremba

Facebook Find us at FRT Theatre and Dance! 

† indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.


Cast Bios

Nathaniel Langlie (Tarzan's Father/Ensemble) is a sophomore Theatre and Outdoor Rec double major with a minor in Dance. Nathaniel is excited to bring the jungle to life in Tarzan. Nathaniel has appeared previously at Northern in Noises Off, The Addams Family, Scrooge!, the 2018 NMU Dance Concert, Antigone, and the Worth a Second Glance Cabaret. Nathaniel hopes that the show will sweep you off your feet with all it's monkeying around.

Katie Spengler (Tarzan’s Mother/Ensemble) is a freshman at NMU from Lake Orion, Michigan and Tarzan is her second play at FRT, the first being Scrooge!. In high school, Katie performed in musicals such as The Sound of Music, Bye Bye Birdie, Into the Woods, and Anything Goes. At NMU, she is studying Environmental Studies and Sustainability and in her free time loves exploring Marquette and painting. She is very excited to continue to participate in theatre in college and hopes you enjoy the show!

Audree Stephens (Kala) is a sophomore at Northern Michigan University, and Tarzan will be her 5th production here at NMU. She has been looking forward to this show ever since she found out that the FRT would be doing it. Audree finds Kala to be the most challenging role and the show itself to be the most challenging show she has ever been in, but she is so excited and knows the production will be incredible! She looks forward to the audience falling in love with the story and will hopefully come across more challenges in theatre throughout her next few years here at NMU!

Devin Murphy (Kerchak) is a Theatre major and Communications minor at Northern Michigan University. He has appeared in Les Miserables (Montparnasse and Enjolras u/s - Forest Roberts Theatre), Holdin’ Our Own (Bruce Hudson - Forest Roberts Theatre), The Secret Garden (Dr. Neville Craven - Forest Roberts Theatre), The Producers (Franz Liebkind - Lake Superior Theatre), Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? (Father O’Reilly - Lake Superior Theatre), Where a Certain Future (Levi Abramson - Forest Roberts Theatre), Scrooge! (Bob Cratchit - Forest Roberts Theatre), The Addams Family (Gomez Addams - Forest Roberts Theatre), Grease (Kenickie - Lake Superior Theatre), and Scrooge! (Ebenezer Scrooge - Forest Roberts Theatre).

Canyon Medina (Young Tarzan) is 11 years old and a sixth grader at North Star Montessori Academy. He finds great joy participating in theatre and loves all aspects of acting, singing, dancing, and sports. In fall 2015, Canyon joined Superior Arts Youth Theater in the cast of Aladdin Jr. and has since been in a variety of shows including The Wizard of Oz (Mayor of Munchkin City), James & The Giant Peach Jr. (James), The Lion King Jr. (Simba), Schoolhouse Rock Jr. (Joe), and Shrek Jr. (Donkey). He is excited to have a part in Tarzan and appreciates the opportunity to learn from and work with the wonderful directors and actors at NMU/Forest Roberts Theatre.

Hanna Numinen (Terk) is a sophomore at Northern Michigan University with a major in Theatre and Entertainment Arts and a minor in Dance. She has recently appeared in FRT’s The Addams Family as Wednesday Addams. She also has performed as Jill Tanner in Butterflies Are Free (LST) and Meredith in Five Women Wearing The Same Dress (Twirly Hugs). Terk has been a challenge, but one of Hanna’s favorite roles to date. Her favorite song to perform is “Trashin’ the Camp” because of all the jazz scatting! 

Ethan Bott (Tarzan) currently studies English Writing and Theatre at Northern Michigan University. Recent performances on the FRT stage include Noises Off, Building Madness, The Secret Garden and Into the Woods.

Emily Burbey (Jane) is currently a freshman at NMU majoring in Graphic Design. She began theatre at the age of five with the Marquette Arts and Culture Center and has continued participating in productions with community and high school theatre groups. Emily has taken dance classes since the age of four and continues to take dance classes at NMU. She most recently participated in the 2018 NMU Dance Concert. Her hobbies include performing, dancing, singing, playing soccer, and drawing. Emily is so grateful and excited to be a part of Tarzan!

Jacob Laitinen (Porter) is a freshman Theatre major with a double minor in Music and Media Production. He is enrolled in school for the first time in 7 years, and is ecstatic to be back in the academic grind. His previous roles at NMU include Thenardier (Les Miserables) and The Snail with the Mail (A Year with Frog and Toad). He has also played The Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Herr Shultz (Cabaret), Sebastian (The Little Mermaid), Riff Raff (Rocky Horror), and Ali Hakim (Oklahoma). Jacob wanted to say thank you to everyone for coming out, and he hopes you enjoy this dazzling spectacle.

Justin Van't Hof (Clayton) is a freshman at NMU majoring in Theatre and Entertainment Arts. You may have seen him earlier this season in Antigone, which was part of the FRT's 2018 Fringe Festival. Justin has also appeared in The Rocky Horror Show (Brad Majors), Noises Off (Gary Lejeune), High School Musical (Ryan Evans), and Oliver! (The Artful Dodger).

Max Stevens† (Snipes/Ensemble) is a freshman from Farmington, Michigan appearing in his 4th production here at NMU. Having previously performed in Constellations, The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered, and Antigone, Max is grateful to have gotten the opportunity to do so much this year and looks forward to whatever the future may hold at the FRT.

Brooke Baneck (Ensemble) is a Public Relations major with a Theatre minor at NMU. Tarzan is her second production here and the largest scale production she’s ever been a part of. Brooke has had so much fun running around like a gorilla for hours with an amazing cast. Everyone involved has worked so hard, and she can't wait for the public to see the final product!

Erin Culp (Ensemble) is a freshman majoring in Psychology. She is from Marshall, Michigan, and has been performing in theatre since 2009. You may have recognized her in APO’s production of The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered as Danielle, and in The Rocky Horror Picture Show as an Usherette/Transylvanian. She hopes you enjoy the show!

Charlie Edwards (Ensemble) is a junior English Writing major with a double minor in Dance and Computer Information Systems. Charlie has been involved in the performing arts since he was 9 years old, originally training in voice and piano before making the decision to shift his focus toward dance at age of 11. As an NMU student, Charlie has found joy performing in and choreographing for the annual NMU Dance Concerts, as well as dancing with the NMU Hip Hop Dance Crew. Last semester, Charlie performed in Scrooge!, and he is very excited to return to the FRT stage this semester in Tarzan. He hopes you enjoy the show!

Riley Fields (Ensemble) is a newcomer to the Marquette area this year, but has already enjoyed performing in NMU’s production of Scrooge!(2017) and in Antigone in the Fringe Festival (2018). With over ten years of dance experience, Riley has loved the physical challenges of this show and is thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic production led by an equally dynamic team of creators. She and her husband, Alex, work for Contrast Coffee Company, where she is the social media coordinator and content creator. Riley looks forward to more theatre opportunities in the Marquette area including her upcoming costume design for the Superior Arts Youth Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Kyle Flickinger (Ensemble/Tarzan Understudy) is a junior Biochemistry major at NMU. In addition to being involved with theatre, Kyle is a National Qualifying member of NMU's Men's Diving team, and a member of the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center, where he is slated to complete a Lundin Fellowship during the summer of 2018 involving cancer metastasis. Tarzan is Kyle's third show with NMU, and fourth show in the Marquette area. He is very excited to be a part of this wonderful and exceptionally talented cast.

Gracie Fries (Ensemble) is a freshman here at NMU from Kingsford, Michigan pursuing a bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Dance. Her passion lies in the musical arts, with sixteen years of dance instruction and vocal lessons. In her freetime, she enjoys playing bass and singing lead in several local bands, and she is also one of the co-captains for the NMU Hip Hop Dance Crew. Being one of the first of her family to attend college, she is proud to be a Wildcat with much support from her family and friends.

Roenak Ghiardi (Ensemble), age 11, is in fifth grade at Graveraet. His NMU experience began with Scrooge! (2016 and 2017), and he is thrilled to now be part of Tarzan! He has enjoyed working with older actors and is extremely grateful to Shelley for this experience. Roenak first became involved with the Superior Arts Youth Theater in 2015, joining the cast of Mary Poppins, and has since been involved in numerous other productions, most recently Schoolhouse Rock Jr. (George) and Shrek, Jr. (Pinocchio). He likes biking, skiing, basketball, reading, and all things science. He thanks his family for their encouragement, and especially thanks NMU and SAYT for the opportunities he’s been given!

Raquel Green (Ensemble) is a senior at Marquette Senior High School. She has been in several theatre productions including Thoroughly Modern Millie and Sister Act. In her free time, Raquel enjoys singing, hiking, and being outdoors. She is beyond thrilled to be in her first NMU show. 

Sadie Knill (Ensemble) is a sophomore at NMU majoring in Neuroscience. She has been dancing since the age of three and immediately fell in love with the art of ballet. Sadie has taken classes in all styles of dance and has danced in competitions and performances across the country, and has also performed with Michigan Ballet Theatre. During her time with this preprofessional company, she danced in numerous full length ballets such as The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. Sadie performed in her first collegiate musical at NMU last year, in which she played the Ballerina Ancestor in The Addams Family. Sadie would like to thank her family and friends for their ongoing support.

Megan Ludwig (Ensemble/Jane Understudy) is currently a junior at Marquette Senior High School, and has been involved in theatre since the age of 9. She began theatre through Superior Arts Youth Theater and has participated in several NMU productions growing up. Megan is also currently dual enrolled, taking dance classes at NMU. Her hobbies include singing, acting, dancing, yoga, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. She could not be more excited about this production of Tarzan!

Kortney Manchip (Ensemble) is a sophomore at NMU. Tarzan is her second NMU production, preceded by The Addams Family in which she was featured as an ensemble member. She is excited to work on such a challenging show with such a talented collective. Enjoy the show!

Abby Persoon (Ensemble) is extremely excited to join the company of Tarzan! Abby is a Zoology major and Theatre minor from Mahtomedi, Minnesota. Abby has appeared in several productions at NMU including Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II Puppetteer), The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon (Hansel), and The Addams Family (Flapper Ancestor). She has also appeared in The Little Mermaid (Dance Captain), Urinetown (Ensemble), and Children of Eden (Storyteller) around the Twin Cities. Abby has directed and choreographed several shows through Washington County 4-H, and last semester, she participated in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World. Abby would like to thank her family, friends, and magical boyfriend for all their love and support!

Andrew Pfeiffelman (Ensemble) is a freshman at NMU from Farwell, Michigan. Tarzan is his first musical at FRT. In high school, Andrew took part in plays such as Virgil Wins The Lottery, The Cow Tippers, and Annie Play Will Do. Here at NMU, he is studying Political Science with a focus on International Relations, and enjoys spending time with friends or practicing his instruments. He is excited to continue to perform in theatre during his college career, and hopes you enjoy the show!

Maddie Rayner (Ensemble) is a junior Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences major with a minor in Theatre & Entertainment Arts, and she is currently the Secretary of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honors fraternity at NMU. She is extremely excited to be a part of this cast as this is her first mainstage production at Northern. Maddie would like to thank the cast and production team for all of their time, effort, and hard work to make this production great. She would also like to thank her family, friends, and House DeBergerac  family – Abby and Erin – for all of their love and support.

Nick Salin (Ensemble) is a Double Theatre and Mathematics major at NMU, and this is his seventh performance at Northern. You might remember him as Vito Deleoni from Building Madness or as several different characters ranging from Rumplestiltskin to Dwarf #2 who always wanted to be Cinderella in APO's production of The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon! You will be able to see Nick again in the ensemble this fall in Sweeney Todd. Nick is thankful for all the support he has received and hopes everyone enjoys this amazing show!

A.J. Stephens (Ensemble) is a junior double Theatre/Business major with minors in Communications and Music. Not only is she involved in the Theatre program, but she also is a co-director of Northern Lights A Cappella, the Membership Recruitment Chair of Phi Sigma Sigma, and a lead singer of her band “TEASE." Some of A.J.’s memorable roles include Hodel in Fiddler On The Roof (2015), Martha in The Secret Garden (2016), and The Sour Kangaroo in Seussical (2017). A.J. would to thank her parents for their continuous support inside and outside of theatre and her sister Audree for always supporting her and being her best friend. 

Jill Vermeulen† (Ensemble) is an NMU graduating senior majoring in Theatre and Communications with a Dance minor. Some of her favorite roles include Noises Off (Belinda), The Addams Family (Morticia), Proof (Claire), Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), Scrooge! (Mrs. Cratchit), She Kills Monsters (Kaliope), and Chicago (Hunyak) at the Forest Roberts Theatre and The Producers (Ulla) at Lake Superior Theatre. This summer, Jill will direct Superior Arts Youth Theater's production of High School Musical, Jr. at Lake Superior Theatre. She also spent the summer of 2017 working as a Marketing Intern at Adirondack Theatre Festival in New York, and is currently a Student Writer at NMU Marketing and Communications. She would like to thank her family and boyfriend Tom for their incredible support.


Creative Team Bios

Shelley Russell (Director/Costume Designer) is a professor of theatre arts at NMU. Shelley teaches a variety of courses, including playwriting and stage combat. She's directed over fifty productions including Beauty and the Beast, RENT, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan and Legally Blonde. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, and has acted and sung in numerous productions, created dance and fight choreography, designed costumes and written plays and musicals which have been honored by the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award Competition, KCACTF, the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of Michigan. She served as executive director for LST and in 2011 was honored by NMU with the Distinguished Faculty Award. Playwriting credits include Holdin' Our Own, Beacon on the Rock, Haywire, Points North, and Water, Woman. 

Erin Colwitz (Music Director) is a native of Wisconsin, and received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota. She later completed the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Southern California in choral music. As a professional singer, Dr. Colwitz was contracted to sing with the Dale Warland Singers (of Minnesota) in 1999. She can be heard on three of their albums, one of which was nominated for a Grammy: Dominick Argento's Walden Pond (2003) on Gothic Records. Dr. Colwitz is currently the Director of Choral Activities at NMU; she conducts the Marquette Choral Society, University Choir and Arts Chorale, teaches choral methods and music in society, as well as specialty classes such as The Beatles: their music, their times. She is frequently a guest conductor, contest adjudicator and choral clinician throughout the U.P., Michigan, Wisconsin and the Southeast. She also serves on the Michigan ACDA board as the Membership Chair.

Jill Grundstrom (Choreographer) is the Program Director for the NMU dance minor, has a BS from NMU in secondary education with majors in English and French, an MA in dance education from NYU, and is certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. She was also the author of the dance blog for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance during seasons four through seven. Miss Grundstrom is the resident choreographer for the Superior Arts Youth Theatre, Lake Effect Show Choir, and NMU Theatre productions. She was the recipient of the MACC Outstanding Performing Artist of the Year Award in 2011.

Victor G. Holliday (Scenic Designer) has been the designer for the Forest Roberts Theatre since 1982, and also served as technical director from 1982-2000. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Johns University (Minnesota), and his Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Before coming to NMU, he was designer and technical director at Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey). Vic has also designed for summer and community theatre companies in Hawaii, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and North Carolina. Outside of the theatre, his major interests are history (particularly military and naval history), ship modeling (pre-deadnought steel navy), and he is an active ailurophile.

David Pierce (Lighting Designer/Technical Director) came to NMU from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY where he had been technical director for the department of theatre and dance. Other TD credits include Adirondack Theatre Festival, Little Theatre on the Square, and Four Seasons Theatre Company. David holds a BS in construction management from Ferris State University and an MFA in theatre technology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his spare time, he loves to be outdoors. He enjoys hiking, boating, fishing, biking, and bonfires. He's also a boisterous Tigers fan!