Though each summer seems to come and go in a blink of an eye, the memories and growth that students experience at Summer Stage can last forever. Five years ago, Upper Darby Summer Stage opened its 38th season with the premiere of “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr. Five years later, past cast members reflect on their experience as “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr.” opens Upper Darby Summer Stage’s 43rd season.
Nick Taddeo, who played Stanley in the 2013 production, is eagerly waiting to see his favorite show play again at Summer Stage. Nick is currently studying Show Production at Full Sail University in Florida. He flew 1,000 miles just to experience the story that changed his life five years ago.
“Flat Stanley was my first lead role ever. It was pretty cool to have the director and creative team take a chance on me,” said Nick. “Flat Stanley” taught me to believe in myself, be confident, and to make strong choices on and off stage. Summer Stage definitely helped me choose a career path: I started as a performer and now I’m studying to be on the other side.”
Mark LaVecchio played Stanley’s quirky little brother, Arthur, in the 2013 production and also spoke about the impact the show had on him. Arthur was his first role at Summer Stage and he spoke about how the role boosted his confidence.
“My experience at Summer Stage affected me a lot,” Mark said. “I have made lifelong friends and memories I will always look back on fondly. Once you do Summer Stage your heart will be there forever.”
Nick and Mark got the chance to meet current actors playing Flat Stanley and Arthur. They shared stories, good luck wishes, and took a few photos. The current Stanley, Jack Williamson, and Nick have something in common—Stanley was their first lead role at Summer Stage.
Lastly, we asked Nick and Mark, “Why should people come to see Flat Stanley?” Nick stated, “There are so many fun, catchy songs, and dances. There are so many featured characters with hilarious moments.” Mark agreed stating, “’Flat Stanley” is a heartwarming story that I think people of all ages can get something out of.”
Who knew that roles such as Flat Stanley and Arthur could make such an impact by building confidence and creating last memories? It is heartwarming to see how Summer Stage not only teaches students how to act, dance, and sing but also builds up great human beings.
“The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr.” is at Upper Darby Summer Stage July 3, 5, and 6 at 10:30 a.m. and July 5 at 7:30. For tickets visit udpac.org or call the box office at 610-622-1189.