1st Street Players in Birdsboro has continued to honor the legacy of a theater loving teen lost too soon, by hosting a Broadway Plus workshop for the children cast in their annual memorial production.
Maddie Cunningham, 19, of Douglassville, was killed in a crash while riding her bicycle in Delaware in 2021. She had just completed her freshman vear at Kutztown University, and was an alumna of Daniel Boone Area School District.
“Maddie Cunningham loved all aspects of the theater, from performing, to building sets, to selling concessions,” 1st Street Players said in a statement. “She had such an incredible ability to talk to all ages and all people. She was the kind of person that made you feel heard. She always had a smile on her face.”
1st Street Players, the theater where she spent countless hours backstage and onstage, decided to honor her legacy and love of the little theater by designating the May production in each season as the “Maddie Cunningham Memorial Youth Production.”
Part of the proceeds from the productions are used to fund educational programs at 1st Street. “Maddie wanted to be a special education teacher, and the funds from the shows will help this small theater create more inclusive programming.”
With last year’s proceeds from “Dear Edwina”, the theater was able to hold a Broadway Plus workshop for the cast of this season’s production of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.”
On March 25th, 2023, 1st Street Players hosted Zan Berube, who is currently starring as Queen Anne Boleyn in the North American Tour of “Six: The Musical,” playing at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia until April 9th. Berube told the staff at 1st Street that she loved spending time with the kids, and that she is passionate about serving her community through the arts. The cast had a blast learning vocal, dance, and audition skills from a true theater professional.
“Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” is the 2nd annual Maddie Cunningham Memorial Youth Production. The award-winning Disney musical comes to life in this version of the beloved fairytale, and highlights themes of love and acceptance.
Performances are on May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 at 7pm, and May 7, 13 and 14 at 2pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children at 1ststreetplayers.org/shows or call (610) 404-8436.