By: Christina Mancuso
As the Broadway production of MARY POPPINS comes to a close, we tracked down all the past and current kids who played the iconic roles of Jane and Michael Banks, from the original cast in 2006 to the current group as they take their final bow on March 3, 2013.
We asked them to share some basic information about themselves, as well as special memories, fun backstage moments, and what the magic of Disney means to them. Below is an exclusive look at all 44 kids, in chronological order, sharing some special thoughts.
Delaney Moro (2006 - Apr 2007, Original Cast). Pomona, NY
What was your most humbling experience? There was a huge group of child cancer patients that came to see the show. Afterwards, we all got together in the lobby and took a picture with them. They were so grateful for our performance and kept telling me how lucky I was. One little boy came over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I'll never forget that.
How has the show impacted you? Answering this question is completely nostalgic. The show downright changed my life. It gave me the opportunity to debut on Broadway at age 11; I worked with extraordinarily talented and kindhearted people who taught me so much about the business and about life; and I met five of the most amazing kids who have been my best friends since the first day of rehearsal. I feel so blessed to have been a part of this truly spectacular production.
Katherine Doherty (2006 - May 2007, Original Cast). Dover, MA
Name your favorite memory. I'll never forget the moment before the curtain rose on your first opening night. As I stood beside my stage mother, Rebecca Luker, I couldn't help but feel a rush of excitement and gratitude for being a part of such a magical show.
How has the show impacted you? At the end of the show, Mary Poppins teaches Jane and Michael the valuable lesson, "Anything can happen if you let it..." These words seem to capture the impact of Mary Poppins in my own life. As a child actor, the show taught me the value of discipline, hard work and dedication in any profession you chose. In addition, I've created lifelong friendships with cast and crew members that serve as a vital support network. There's nothing quite as strong as a "Poppins" family bond.
Kathryn Faughnan (2006 - Oct 2008, Original Cast). Pleasantville, NY
Name your favorite memory. One of my fondest memories was when I had fallen while running up the stairs to the nursery. It reminded me that I was still just my normal, sometimes clumsy self, and that imperfections often come with live theatre.
How has the show impacted you? Mary Poppins has really made me who I am today. Delaney Moro and Katherine Doherty are still my best friends to this day and Devynn Pedell surprised me my senior year by coming to see me perform as Belle in my high school's production of Beauty and the Beast last year. I realize how fortunate I am to be able to say I was on Broadway. This show was my childhood and though I was forced to mature quicker than your average 12 year-old, I learned the importance of community, and most importantly the meaning of family.
Henry Hodges (2006 - 2007, Original Cast). New York City