Tarzan Character Breakdown

Tarzan – animalistic qualities as well as amazing human intelligence and perception; must be extremely comfortable with appearing onstage shirtless since he only wears a loincloth throughout the show. Must be able move and sing very well; tenor preferred; highest note Gb above middle C

Kerchak – male ape master of the herd; stubborn and righteous, but for a reason; stone outside but hides a warm center that often gets lost; huge presence.

Jane –  strong-willed Victorian spinster with her eye on adventure, nature, and eventually Tarzan. No prissy miss, but still guided by her gender role within her time. Strong alto/II soprano.

Kala –  loving and very important mother ape who risks expulsion from the herd by adopting the human child; a nurturing soul with just enough mothering control to be both doting and stern.

Terk – wildly energetic and fun-filled ape-buddy of Tarzan who thinks they know all and try to be his mentor and guide. A fun role filled with great one-liners and puns. (open to male or female)

Porter – elderly, doting adventurous father of Jane who is both delighted to be on an expedition, but also a bit frail to be climbing trees. Singing ability is not overly required.

Clayton – ego-driven, bombastic know it all who is both suave but cunning; loves his own ideas above all else. No singing required

Young Tarzan – (male child role) an innocent young human, raised by apes. He is immensely curious and possesses a keen ingenuity. Tarzan is daring but desperately wants to fit in with the rest of the family (solos are challenging as many of them sit in a high range - must sing and dance well, tenor) Acrobatics are a plus.

Young Terk – (child/young teen role) a sarcastic adolescent ape. He is an outcast due to his meager size and inability to keep up with his brothers and sisters physically. Terk replaces his physical inadequacy with eloquence and intelligence. Must sing and dance well (tenor), and have good comedic timing. Open to male or female

Snipes – Clayton’s weasily, but ultimately honest sidekick. Will likely double in ensemble.

 

Ensemble

Father – appears and sings in opening sequence of show and in a dream sequence in Act 2; typical Victorian Dad – forthright type. Will double in ensemble

Mother – she appears only at the beginning of the show and later in Act 2. Protective and loving. Minimal singing. Will double in ensemble

Ape Families – Must move extremely well, be able to jump, tumble, and be convincing as apes.

Jaguar – will be cast specifically by the actor/actress’ ability to move like a vicious, threatening predator. Will double in ensemble

Expedition Crew – smaller ensemble of Victorian explorers who follow Clayton’s beck and call. Non-singing, will be assigned members of ensemble