Help TDF hit our spring fundraising goal by June 30! Donate today to support performing arts access for all.

Press & Media

Translate Page

500 Students who are deaf and hard of hearing to see Disney's TARZAN as part of Theatre Development Fund's "Talking Hands" Program.

Date: Mar 02, 2007


Facebook Twitter

New York, New York - Over 500 elementary and secondary school students who are deaf or hard of hearing from 19 schools in the tri-State region will have attended three Wednesday matinee performances of TARZAN® by the end of March. Two upcoming performances (March 7 and March 14) will be simultaneously sign language interpreted and open captioned by Theatre Development Fund, which is bringing the students to the theatre through their “Talking Hands” program. The first “Talking Hands” performance of TARZAN® was this past Wednesday, February 28. By the time the students attend the performance, TDF will have sent a teaching artist to each class to provide a workshop in preparation for their theatre outing. “Talking Hands” is provided at no cost to the school or the students.

“We’re thrilled to have begun our twelfth year of ‘Talking Hands’ with Disney’s production of TARZAN®,” said Lisa Carling, TDF’s Director of Accessibility Programs.  “For our first “Talking Hands” show in 1995, we brought 100 deaf and hard of hearing students to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which provided a wonderful gateway to the theatre for these children for whom Broadway had, until then, been inaccessible.  Since then we have been able to open up the world of theatre to 10,000 of these students with hearing loss.”

"Disney is delighted to continue our education and outreach partnership with Theatre Development Fund”, producer Thomas Schumacher said.  “TDF’s programs such as "Talking Hands" and “Open Doors” go hand-in-hand with Disney Theatrical Productions’ desire to ensure that diverse audiences are able to experience our productions.”  


Talking Hands is Theatre Development Fund’s Arts-in-Education program for elementary and secondary school students with hearing loss in the tri-State area. Talking Hands provides access to the theatre for these mostly first-time theatergoers by simultaneously providing sign language interpretation and open captioning at performances of Broadway productions. Prior to attending the performances, TDF provides a teaching artist who meets with the students in their classrooms for a pre-performance workshop.  This program is offered by TDF to schools at no cost. Since it was founded in 1995 with special sign language interpreted performances of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Talking Hands has reached over 10,000 students who are deaf or hard of hearing, from 25 different schools in the New York area. For more information, please contact TDF’s Accessibility Department at:  (212) 719-4537, TTY • (212) 768-1563, FAX • (212) 221-1103, VOICE • or on our Web site,


TDF is the largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts in the United States, was established in 1968 to foster works of artistic merit by supporting new productions and to broaden the audience for all the performing arts. Since then, TDF has played a unique role in strengthening New York City’s performing arts.

TDF’s combined programs have filled over 60 million theatre seats; provided subsidy support to over 800 plays, including 28 Pulitzer prize honorees; and returned over a billion dollars in revenue to theatre, dance and music organizations. TDF’s TKTS ticket booth, known the world over for its same day discount tickets is currently operating at a temporary location outside the NY Marriott Marquis during the construction of a new booth and revitalization of Father Duffy Square.  The new booth is scheduled to open this summer.

TDF’s membership and voucher programs touch the lives of thousands of New Yorkers who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the unique experience of theatre. TDF also presents highly regarded sign language interpreted performances for the Deaf Community (in addition to open captioned performances), sponsors comprehensive training courses for future producers, and maintains a 65,000 item Costume Collection. More about TDF and its programs may be found at our Web site at


From the producers of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, TARZAN® is based on the Disney animated film and features music and lyrics by Phil Collins. 

TARZAN® opened May 10, 2006 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street).  Previews began on March 24, 2006. TARZAN® is presented by Disney Theatrical Productions (Thomas Schumacher, Producer).


The original cast recording of TARZAN® was released by Walt Disney Records and is available now at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, in music stores nationwide and at online retailers including Amazon, iTunes and Disney Shopping.


The production stars Josh Strickland as Tarzan, Jenn Gambatese as Jane, Merle Dandridge as Kala, Shuler Hensley as Kerchak, Chester Gregory II as Terk, Timothy Jerome as Professor Porter and Donnie Keshawarz as Clayton.  Alex Rutherford and Dylan Riley Snyder alternate in the role of Young Tarzan.


Three-time Tony Award® winner Bob Crowley (Aida, Carousel, The History Boys), directs and designs scenery and costumes for TARZAN®.   Oscar® and seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner Phil Collins has written the music and lyrics, expanding his songs for Disney’s film into a complete theatre score.   Tony Award®-winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) has written the book, based on Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the film, Tarzan®.   Choreography is by Meryl Tankard, with aerial design by Pichón Baldinu (De La Guarda).  Lighting design is by Tony Award®-winner Natasha Katz (Aida) and sound design is by John Shivers.   Other members of the creative team include Paul Bogaev (Music Producer/Vocal Arrangements) and Doug Besterman (Orchestrations).


More than 90 years ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs introduced TARZAN® to the world in the October 1912 issue of “All Story Magazine.”  The character was an instant sensation.  Since then, he has been featured in 26 authorized novels and 44 motion pictures.  Now Disney Theatrical Productions brings TARZAN® to the Broadway stage.


In addition to performances Wednesday at 2:00PM and 8:00PM and Thursday at 8:00PM, TARZAN® plays five weekend performances:  Friday at 8:00PM, Saturday at 2:00PM and 8:00PM, and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM.  Tickets for TARZAN® are available at, the Richard Rodgers Theatre Box Office, and all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster’s Disney on Broadway hotline at (212) 307-4747.  Prices range from $20 - $110.  For group sales and information please call (800) 439-9000. 



                                                © 2006 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and Disney Enterprises Inc.  All rights reserved. 

TARZAN® owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and used by permission.