"The Addams Family" set to take the stage

"The Addams Family" set to take the stage

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"The Addams Family" set to take the stage

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Senior Kylie Byers and junior Dan Bittner rehearsing for the upcoming production of "The Addams Family" (photo credit: Lauren Davis)

Senior Kylie Byers and junior Dan Bittner rehearsing for the upcoming production of “The Addams Family”
(photo credit: Lauren Davis)

Shaler Area High School will be putting on the production of “The Addams Family” for this year’s spring musical. The creepy, cooky, mysteriously spooky family is taking over the auditorium stage tonight at 7pm, tomorrow at 7pm, Sunday at 2pm, March 11 at 7pm and the final show will be on March 12 at 7pm.

“The Addams Family” may sound like a darker musical, but actually, it is comical and light-hearted. The story is focused around the daughter, Wednesday Addams, a twisted teenager, who falls in love with Lucas Beineke who comes from what seems like the perfect American family.

Wednesday wants to bring Lucas home to her family for dinner. Wednesday hopes for one normal night with her abnormal family. Throughout the story, Wednesday learns that acceptance and confidence is the most important thing.

“This show is mostly comedy and it’s a modern musical,” said senior Zak Marshall who plays Lucas Beineke. “There are funny characters and the show doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Mrs. Kristin Tepshich, one of the directors, said this story is not just about the quirky family you hear about from TV.

“I really think it’s about an underlying message,” Tepshich said. “So many people are striving for normalcy, but there is no clear definition of what normalcy is. The whole point of the musical is to teach you to accept yourself and others for who they are.”

The musical this year is considered a lesser known musical which presents challenges for the cast, pit and crew. From the music to the accents, this show tests the performers.

“It’s a different challenge, sound and genre for the kids to tackle,” director Ms. Kristen Susany said. “The hardest part is always putting all of the aspects together. Sometimes the pieces are seamless and sometimes we have giant holes and then sometimes the pieces just don’t mix.”

Challenges aside, this musical is unique for a number of reasons. One is that every ensemble member has the chance to be his or her own individual character that has to be developed. Senior Tori Lorenz, who plays Wednesday Addams, said this aspect makes the experience fun and interesting.

“This production is cool because it gives everyone the opportunity to be their own character,” Lorenz said. “In this show, we have the ancestors as the ensemble and they can be from a variety of decades which makes it really unique because they can create their own character. That brings something special to the show.”

In addition to the characters, the set for the production is also something creative and different compared to previous years. Set designer Mrs. Jeanne Marshall said that student artwork will be featured in the show this year.

“I wanted student artists to help because Shaler has a fantastic advanced art program,” Marshall said. “They’re painting a series of windows that will be suspended from a bar and they will drop in to suggest a second floor finished background. On either side of them, we will hang very large paintings and that’s the portraiture that the other artists are creating.”

“The Addams Family” is a comical show with humor that is intended for students and young adults. There is an overall entertainment factor that is made for high schoolers.

“The humor reaches from young adult to adult with some kid jokes,” said junior Dan Bittner who plays Gomez Addams. “The humor is something high school students will appreciate and come to love if they see the show.”

However, Tepshich said that some of the innuendos and jokes in the original production had to be modified to make the audience feel comfortable watching the show.

“There’s a fine line between keeping things authentic because that’s how they’re written and between making sure that we appeal to our audience,” Tepshich said. “We’re not just putting on a theatre production, we’re also bringing together a community. There’s still some subtle underlying jokes that adults will get a chuckle at but nothing blatant that a young child would question.”

Despite the changes, Tepshich also said the show still should intrigue the audience from the very start.

“It’s one of those shows that you can keep coming back to every single time and see something new,” Tepshich said. “I think the audience is going to want more. It’s one of those musicals that you get wrapped up in, you’re not just sitting back and watching the show because you feel included in this quirky family. You feel connected to everything going on. It’s going to be something that intrigues them to come back for more.”

Tickets are being sold in the Activities Office and at the door, Reserved tickets are $10 and General Admission tickets are $7.

 

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