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Wauwatosa Teen Appears in First Stage's 'A Wrinkle In Time'

Feb. 3, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Wauwatosa resident, Erin Stapleton, is currently performing in First Stage’s production of A WRINKLE IN TIME, playing at the Todd Wehr Theater at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts through February 19.

The novel from which this play is adapted turns 50 this year, and it comes from a time before there was Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. Meg Murry is the original sci-fi/fantasy hero. She is an outcast at school, her father is missing, and the town thinks her brother is some sort of freak. Meg is angry at a world that makes no sense to her. But when a strange visitor arrives at her family’s home on a dark and stormy night, she embarks on a wild journey through space and time to rescue her father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet.

Erin has been participating in theater since the second grade. “I think there is nothing like [performing]. I love that acting gives me a chance to be someone else: take on a new past, new hopes, dreams, new relationships, dilemmas. How else could I get the chance to do that?” Erin said. Erin has been in numerous shows, both at First Stage and in the community. Some of her previous roles include: Fruma Sarah in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Nerissa in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, Bet in OLIVER!, Snow White/Cinderella in BROTHER’S GRIMM SPECTACULATHON, Isabelle in U:BUG:ME! (First Stage), Harriet in AESOP’S FABLES (First Stage), Lucius in JULIUS CAESAR (First Stage’s Young Company), and the Witch in INTO THE WOODS (First Stage’s Young Company). She can currently be seen as Meg, the heroine of A WRINKLE IN TIME, at First Stage.

Erin has learned a lot from her involvement in theater. “I have noticed that I've never played a faultless character. From that, I have come to accept that I cannot be perfect, and I am not alone in that,” she said. Erin revealed that her favorite part of First Stage is the accepting environment that First Stage offers. “I can be creative and do something crazy that, anywhere else, I would be ridiculed for or laughed at... I have no reason to be insecure,” she said.

She had some advice for any aspiring actors: “Get out there! If you love to act or even if you have never before and are interested, audition! It all begins with that. Once you get the part, be a sponge. Take everything in.” She added, “Do not let anyone convince you that what you are doing is foolish or a waste of your time; it is not. Whenever you love something and have passion for it, it is not. Be proud!”

Erin believes that the audience can learn a lot from seeing A WRINKLE IN TIME. “The audience can learn the lesson of acceptance: the acceptance of others' love and the love for yourself.”

A WRINKLE IN TIME runs through February 19 at the Marcus Center, with tickets starting at just $13. For more information, visit www.firststage.org.

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"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

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