Theatre Gigante Presents U.S. Premiere of TARZAN by Rok Vilčnik


presents the U.S. premiere of


written by Rok Vilčnik

at Kenilworth 508 Theatre

March 16 – 24, 2018


This could happen in any jungle …

Theatre Gigante is thrilled to present the U.S. premiere of TARZAN, written by award-winning Slovenian playwright, Rok Vilč nik, and translated into English by Isabelle Kralj, Mark Anderson and Melita Koletnik.

In TARZAN, “an exotic drama,” Vilčnik brilliantly plays with reality in a world where hyenas can talk Human, an older Jane can get pregnant, and Tarzan comes close to losing his position as Lord of the Jungle, all the while broaching questions and issues that are very real in today’s world.

TARZAN, which runs March 16-24 at Kenilworth 508 Theatre, is directed by Wes Savick, with lighting design by Eric Appleton, scenic design by Rick Graham, and costume design by Marion Clendenen-Acosta. The performers include Anderson, Kralj, and Don Russell.

Rok Vilčnik will be arriving from Maribor, Slovenia to attend the opening weekend performances. He will be present at the opening night post-show reception on March 16, and will participate in the post-show talkback on March 18.

Also attending the opening night performance will be Andrej Gregor Rode, Slovenian Consul General from Cleveland, Ohio.



The foundation of the drama played out in this black comedy is the most basic intrigue found in the relationship between two lovers – in this case, Tarzan and Jane.

As in most romantic comedies or melodramas in the theater and film worlds, Tarzan and Jane

clash with witty dialogue as they struggle with communicating, unsatisfied desires, jealousy, and the question of whether or not to have a child.

Placing the drama in the middle of the jungle gives us a strange new perspective on these issues – a twist – yet at the same time we find them completely familiar and recognizable.

Vilčnik compounds the drama by weaving into these existing complexities of the relationship questions about humanity, societal norms, happiness, stereotypes, and the boundaries between the human and animal worlds – which are far from being as clear to us as we like to think.


About the Playwright

Rok Vilčnik, also known as rokgre, is a Slovenian writer, playwright, poet, songwriter and screenwriter, living in Maribor, Slovenia. He started his career as a painter and earned a BEd in fine arts. Due to a hand injury his career took a turn and he started writing. He has been a freelance artist ever since, and has penned twenty plays, three radio dramas, four television series, three books of poetry, three novels, and three children’s plays. Vilčnik is also a founding member for the popular Slovenian bands Patetico, Papir, and Pliš, and a songwriter for various Slovenian singers.

He was recognized by the city of Maribor for his cultural achievements, particularly for his book of plays, titled American Trilogy, with the Glazer Charter award (2014). Vilčnik is also a three-time recipient of the Grum Award for Best New Slovenian Play (2000, 2008, 2016), and a recipient of the Slovenian Noble Comediographer award (2004).


About the Theatre Gigante

Now in its 30th year, Theatre Gigante enlivens the local performance scene with its unique style of original theater – often referred to as the Gigante Style – in ways that are thought-provoking, compelling and entertaining. The company has a strong history of dynamic collaborations with nationally and internationally known musicians, visual artists, composers, and performers. This boutique theatre of big ideas is exciting, challenging, and fresh.

[Kralj and Anderson] have been invaluable pioneers in forging a unique hybrid of dance and theater in Milwaukee. Their work is always intellectually and sensually engaging and, while playful and witty, a serious experiment with the variables of live performance.

John Schneider, Shepherd Express


About Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson

Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson have been contributing to the Milwaukee arts community for over thirty years, separately, then together. They are first and foremost storytellers, and they use their diverse/eclectic backgrounds to bring many styles and genres to their finished products. In 1996 the two became an artistic team. Since then, they have written or co-written over forty theater works, and developed an innovative, unique signature style of experimental, hybrid theatre.


About Don Russell

Don Russell is a member of Cooperative Performance and currently serves as Chair for their Board of Directors. Through Cooperative Performance he has had to the opportunity to write, direct, and perform in several innovative performance works and to build relationships with many artists in Milwaukee’s performing arts community. Recent performances include Cambrian with Cooperative Performance, Animolecules with Quasimondo, Cloud of Gnats with

Kathryn Cesarz, and Real-Time with Andrea & Daniel Burkholder. This is Don’s first appearance with Theatre Gigante.


TARZAN is made possible in part by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, UPAF, Milwaukee County CAMPAC and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Slovenian Arts Council.



Brown Paper Tickets



Ticket Prices:

$25 General; $20 Senior; $15 Student

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