This article was originally published in the spring 2013 Harker Quarterly.
This year’s grade 5 show, “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr.,” directed by Jennifer Sandusky, gave all grade 5 students the chance to showcase their musical prowess in late January at the Bucknall Theater.
A musical re-telling of Jeff Brown’s beloved 1964 children’s book, “Flat Stanley,” the show recounted the tale of Stanley Lambchop, a young boy who is literally flattened one night by a falling bulletin board. He soon learns to use his flatness to his advantage, traveling the world by placing himself into envelopes destined for far-off places such as Paris and Hawaii.
Stanley’s story was told through such entertaining musical numbers as the wistful “I Wish I Were,” the light-hearted “The Funny Sunny Side” and the Beach Boys-flavored “Surfin’ the Mail,” all with lively choreography by Kimberly Teodoro and Stephanie Bayer. Each character had multiple actors to ensure stage time for all the students, who ably handled the often complex song-and-dance sequences, some of which included the entire grade 5 class on stage at once.
The show also featured some very creative usage of costumes and props (courtesy of costume designer Marylin Watts, prop master Karoli Clever and assistant prop master Feline Clever), such as the outfit worn by the actors in the role of Stanley, which amusingly conveyed his flatness.
For this show, lower school teacher Danny Dunn acted as both technical director and set designer, with help from technical assistant Oahnha Ly. The scenery on-set was painted by local artist Whitney Pintello. The production also received generous help from Dunn’s grade 5 technical theater students and middle school tech club. Veteran sound engineer Brian Larsen once again manned the soundboard, and Daniel Clark ’10 managed the microphones. Stage manager Karoli Clever and assistant stage manager Ken Boswell kept everything on cue, along with stage engineers Marcus Clever and Beric Dunn.