Tarzan cast performs children’s show Saturday amidst weekend performances


Courtesy of Vishal Vijayakumar

One of many child performers in this year's All School Musical Production. This year, the ASMP also had a children's show in their weekend of performances.

In an age where technology and machinery reign supreme, childcare experts agree: it’s of the utmost importance to expose young adolescents to the arts. Though some people view artistry as frivolous and non-essential, according to the Child Development Institute, exposure to the arts helps children “find an expressive outlet” and “uncover talent that may not be seen otherwise.” Conveniently, the All School Musical production of Tarzan is allowing parents an unprecedented opportunity to introduce musical theater to their children.

       According to Tarzan director, Susan Van Buskirk, her background in educational theater and the cultural relevance of the show inspired her decision to dedicate a whole performance to children. “More and more things compete for kids’ time,” she said. “They’re in sports; they’re in nine hundred different activities. Not all parents are into theater the way that we are, so to provide an opportunity to expose kids to [theater] at a time when they are so receptive to it is key.”

To keep the show interesting for children, Van Buskirk has “cut about a half an hour” to accommodate short attention spans, and softened up the “gushy romantic stuff that kids don’t want to see.” Additionally, during the intermission and after the show, Van Buskirk and some students will moderate a question and answer panel with members of the cast.

        Although the children will only be able to speak to cast members, senior wardrobe manager Charlotte Giacomini hopes “that some of the kids take note of the costumes. It’ll help show that even if kids can’t dance or sing, they can still participate [in the arts.]”

        The addition of a children’s show not only benefits the youngsters, but also the high school students working towards their varsity letters for the musical.  Students who have participated in either cast or crew for at least three years are eligible for varsity credit. Varsity students are required to form groups and create a project that will benefit the musical in some way. For seniors Liz Piña, Emily Mendello, Christina Haverilla, and Arianna Zahos, this varsity project included work on the children’s show.

“We put together small gift bags to give to the children on Saturday,” said Piña. “We included a coloring book that Christina designed, crayons, and some temporary tattoos.”

        The children’s show begins at 2:00 PM on Saturday, and despite the name, all ages are welcome.