Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 21, 2013

‘Tarzan’ scores a touchdown

By Chuck Williams
Special to the Corsicana Daily Sun

— Rough estimate sum is that I have written over 200 columns about Corsicana Tiger football, and zero about Corsicana High School Theater. Until today.

I had the privilege of spending most of my most recent Sunday afternoon in the auditorium at Corsicana High School watching some very talented CHS students perform the play “Tarzan.”

My 6-year-old and I went and for two hours we were very impressed with the acting, singing, staging, lighting and even acrobatic skills of CHS students and faculty alike.

Often times I write about the rigors of football and the two-a-days, the spring drills and just all out work that goes into a football season. The work may not be the same type of work for these drama students but based on the performance Sunday, just as rigorous.

“We have been working on the play since school began,” said freshman Coby Littleton, who also plays football on the freshmen team. “I had to split my time between football and the play, so I had to work extra hard to learn my lines and songs.”

Littleton also plays in the CHS band and besides playing a young Tarzan in the presentation, he also did a little “wobble wobble” performance at the Tiger football halftime show in their final two games.

The entire cast of “Tarzan” did a fantastic job of keeping the audience engaged. When my 6-year-old is able to sit still and ask at least 37 intelligent questions about the play in a span of 120 minutes without once asking for a break of some sort, the talented cast has done their jobs in the humble opinion of this dad.

My kiddo even picked up on the nuance of the “thumbs down — thank you” Tarzan gives to Clayton in a particular scene.

Diversification of interests was my theme of the day when I went from thinking of Tiano McDonald/Appleton as an outstanding tight end and defensive lineman on the football team to a very talented thespian. McDonald is featured in the opening scene of the play which is actually in film format and shot via video device. McDonald plays Tarzan’s biological father and also plays the part of one of many apes in Tarzan’s adopted family.

To the highly untrained eye of a football writer type of fellow, I thought Danny Phillips did an outstanding job playing the grown Tarzan while freshman Reagan Franze was fantastic in her role of Jane.

Also doing excellent work and adding a bit of comedy in his portrayal of Jane’s father was Christian Minniear. His mannerisms triggered the giggling mechanism in my 6-year-old and had the audience chuckling as well.

Being a football guy, I left the house with games in the balance on the NFL Sunday Ticket, but they pale in comparison to the tickets I bought to in the same commons area I ate lunch for four straight years many, many moons ago.

Sunday’s performance of “Tarzan,” as put on by the CHS students and faculty, was better than any football game the big network’s brought to my house.

Bravo CHS, Bravo. Avery and I thank you for a fantastic Sunday afternoon.


Chuck Williams is a Daily Sun sports columnist.