Friday, December 7, 2007

Flat Stanley

The First and Second grade children at our school went to see The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley at the Tribecca Performing Arts Center yesterday morning. The show is based on the endearing children's book series by Jeff Brown. In the books Stanley Lambchop is flattened one evening when the large bulletin board that hangs over his bed becomes unhinged and falls on him. He is discovered in the morning by his younger brother Arthur. Mr. and Mrs. Lambchop are unable to fix their son but have a refreshing 'oh, well' attitude and get on with life.

Being flat (he is only a 1/2 inch think) has its advantages. Stanley is able to mail himself to California in a large envelope to visit his friend Thomas and can fly like a kite. He even saves the day at least once in each book. The stories are imaginative, clever and just plain fun.

So when I saw that Intramusic Theatricals had included a stop on their current tour only a short bus ride away from our school, I knew we had to go. Tickets were only $5.00 per student and teachers/chaperons were granted free admission. I did have some drama trying to acquire a script to give to the sign language interpreters but eventually everything worked out wonderfully.

The great surprise was just how wonderfully. This was a great production. I was so impressed. The cast, headed by the gifted and charming John Ambrosino as Flat Stanley, were obviously enjoying themselves. I could not get over John's beautiful singing voice. I don't know what I expected exactly but I didn't expect the show to be this professional. Every detail was perfection. The students loved it. I was watching them watch the show as it unfolded. Their excitement made Lauren and I smile. If the tour comes close to your area I strongly recommend that you get tickets.

Jamieson Lindenburg, Ashley Eileen Bucknam, John Ambrosino, Nanci Zoppi and Rebecca Kutz

There is a whole Flat Stanley curriculum out there that includes links with geography, mathematics, language arts and science. It has become very popular for children to create their own drawings of Flat Stanley to mail to other classes or individual children. As Stanley travels from one class to another or one child to another, children share the adventures he had on his visit with them in letters to one another.

I can see this as being a motivating way to encourage children to write but I can't seem to get on board with this one. Maybe a class somewhere really cool like Paris or Australia would help me change my mind. Maybe then I would stick myself in an envelope and join him.


lettuce said...

wouldn't that be great? to be able to mail yourself to friends across the world?

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm a bit too claustrophobic to imagine that would be fun, but I like the idea of passing Flat Stan from person to person. Very cool.

Mikey T said...

i wish flat gary could mail himself to see his friend in california!!

Steve said...

I had no idea Flat Stanley was such an INDUSTRY! I have a teacher friend who brought a Flat Stanley to New York with her -- we photographed him all over the city. But I didn't know he was a book character.

Reya, I'm with you. But maybe we could be anesthetized. :)

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Looks like a great show. Having been an animated flat action figure in my own videos, I can relate to Stanley.

Dan said...

I never heard of Flat Stanley before now. I love that photo. That guy really does look flat! Sort of. Well, pretty close. :)

Anonymous said...

I've mailed a few Flat Stanley's to distant lands -- there comes a time in every kids life when they get all excited about Flat Stanley--and our family was filled with Flat Stan fans.

Anonymous said...

hi gary that anon.was me, Ched. I don't know why my sign in didn't take

Arielle said...

Flat Stanley visited me once! He was mailed to me by a child one year while I was in college. My job was to share with Stanley what one of my classes was all about and send him back. :)

la bellina mammina said...

I'm with Lettie! Wouldn't that be something??

WAT said...

Flat Stanley is awesome. I had no idea such a character even existed. Hmmm...I smell a Hollywood script for a movie or cartoon sometime soon, don't you? That is, if they ever get out of this strike.

Pod said...

yes, a class in australia would be cool. maybe i could take a class. i can't sign, but i got great eyebrows

Gary said...

Lettuce - I think if I had my choice I'd prefer to take the Samantha Stevens approach and just wiggle my nose.

Reya - It is a clever idea and motivating. So why can't I get into it? Hmmmm....

Mikey - Your turn!

Steve - Now taking pictures of Flat Stanley in different locations seems like more fun. I could get behind that, especially now that I have a digital camera (which I dropped today and damaged).


Dan - He did look flat. I was wondering how they were going to pull it off. Success!

Ched - I didn't know about Flat Stanley until I was an adult. There are so many wonderful characters just waiting to be discovered. But, none so great as Curious George or The Gingerbread Man.

Arielle - You have done your part in the circle of 'Flat Stanley' life. You put me to shame. I must do my part.

La Bellina - Do your kids know of Flat Stanley?

Wat - Perhaps you can write the script and make a mint yourself. I can serve as creative advisor if you need someone to fill the job.

Poddy - You are such a tease taunting me with promises of eyebrows and classes down under.


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