Young performer in original 2004 production revisits HOLES

Frank Dragotta as Stanley Yelnats and
Mark Metcalf as Mr. Sir in HOLES, 2004
Frank Dragotta played Stanley in the original production of First Stage's HOLES. He recently attended the play and shared his thoughts with us.

How old were you when you played Stanley in Holes?
I was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school when Holes premiered at First Stage. 

What character resonated with you the most when you were 15?
Stanley Yelnats will always resonate with me not only because I was lucky to play him but also because we share similar qualities. In the book he was described as a stocky kid and I was definitely built like that in high school, actually all my life. We both also try to make the best out of any situation, good or bad.  Being optimistic makes life easier. Stanley is a nice guy too, even when people may not be so nice to him. For me that is something I try be, just nice to people - it goes a long way. I still feel very connected to his character after watching the show years later.

In what ways is the play different or the same than you remember?
The set looks very similar to how it did in the original First Stage production, very similar. Although I don't remember the ropes that connect to the moveable rocks that cover the holes. I would've liked those. I believe we just slid the rocks with our hands!  We also had to dig real holes with real dirt. (Just kidding on that last part!) The costumes were similar too, except for the Camp Green Lake badge on the orange jumpsuit sleeves – that was a cool new touch. It almost makes you want to visit the camp, almost. 

The dedication in the playbill to Molly Glynn was very thoughtful. She was a great person when I met her during Holes and it was so sad to hear when she passed away, it made national news.  

Is there anything else you'd like to say about this play?
I want to mention are how hard the cast and crew worked to make the show so wonderful. It was fun to be in the audience watching it because I never got a chance to see the show years ago when the other cast did it. I don't act anymore but I can see how much time and energy still goes into live theater, it really is awesome.  I hope the young cast feels proud of what they accomplished. You involve yourself in this because you have a passion for it and even after a good amount of time passes you will look back and still feel proud of all that hard work you put in.  

Frank Dragotta is a former First Stage Young Performer. He now works in special education at Capitol West Academy and also teaches for First Stage's Next Steps program. 

HOLES runs through February 14. CLICK HERE for tickets and information.

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