You’ve watched them on TV and on the movie screen; on April 12, you’ll get to see the Addams Family on stage at Brown County High School.
This year’s spring musical is a bit darker and more outrageous than last year’s musical production of “Annie,” said Laurie Godfrey, head of the high school’s theater department.
“The Addams family house and grounds are a little over the top. It’s not what normal people live in,” Godfrey said. “We had fun putting the sets together.”
The production is based on the Broadway show that opened in 2010. It’s one of the newest Broadway shows BCHS has ever done. “There aren’t too many new ones that come out that are school-appropriate,” Godfrey said.
Story continues below gallery
Audiences will notice images projected during some scenes, and that’s another first for the high school theater department.
“It’s brand new,” Godfrey said. “Because of what we’re using in the shows, and using it in one weekend, this is, by far, the costliest show we’ve ever done, besides ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”
The musical will run for one weekend, Thursday, April 12 to Sunday, April 15.
Usually, musicals are performed over two weekends. However, these actors were busy. Saturday rehearsals wouldn’t work this semester because many of the students had other extracurricular conflicts.
“We’re stretched. There’s no doubt about that. We haven’t had as much rehearsal time as usual, by any means. We’re just watching to see how this all pans out,” she said.
“But the kids love the show. They’ve had a blast working on it.”
This is senior Vera Wagler’s second time in a lead role this school year. She also played Lavinia Hubbard in “Another Part of the Forest.”
“That was wonderful, but she was an abused housewife, as opposed to Morticia Addams being this beloved, treasured wife. It’s a very nice change,” she said.
Wagler said there’s a lot of responsibility when returning to a lead role.
“It’s difficult going from one to another, because you can’t always take everything you’ve learned from your past roles into your present (role). But with that being said, there are very valuable things that you’ve learned throughout your high school career through acting that definitely help you,” she said.
One of those valuable lessons is learning how to work off other actors.
The Addams Family will be the second time that Wagler and senior Jake Hunter have acted alongside each other. The two had roles as sophomores in the musical “Hello, Dolly!”
“It’s definitely different from the first time. We’ve definitely grown since then, but I love working off Jake. He’s such a great person to grab emotions from,” she said.
This is Hunter’s first lead role in a theater production. He is playing Morticia’s loving and emotional husband, Gomez Addams.
“Gomez and I are very similar. Gomez is very flamboyant and out there. He doesn’t really care what he says, but he’s definitely still emotional,” Hunter said.
Hunter plans to attend Indiana University and study performance arts with a possible major in musical theater. He is also a show choir member.
He said he tried out for “The Addams Family” for extra experience. “Show choir is one thing; the musical and learning the lines and being a part of that and having such a big role is something I haven’t necessarily done.”
Gomez Addams has a Spanish accent, but Hunter said he was able to pick it up fast. “I am really channeling Sofia Vergara (from the TV show ‘Modern Family’) for the role. I am trying to play a dumb dad, but he cares,” he said of his part.
“The (Addams) family is intimidating. It’s very dark and the humor is backwards. What you would normally say to someone you love and care about, that’s not at all what they say. It’s super fun and makes you want to keep listening.”
Sophomore Madison Cook plays Morticia’s and Gomez’s daughter, Wednesday. She said the musical is filled with unexpected dark humor.
“Throughout the musical, whenever somebody does something, you don’t expect it at all. That’s basically what the Addams family is,” she said.
This is Cook’s first lead part. She played an orphan in “Annie” last spring. She said she was shocked when she heard she got this part.
“A lot of people say I look like her. I saw similarities. I also really like how the character is portrayed. … She just knows what to say to somebody who is mean to her. It’s really shocking to see her have emotion,” she said.
Homeschooled student Ben Dwyer will play Uncle Fester Addams, who acts as an onstage narrator throughout the show.
“Pretty much everyone thinks I’m pretty cut out for it. I have to agree. It’s been a lot of fun,” he said.
“He’s kind of there behind the scenes running the show and no one really even knows it. I think he has a sinister sense of humor about the whole thing. … I would say it’s not really that hard to get into the character of it. Everyone has bad days.”
Senior show choir and theater students will be involved in this production. That’s one reason Hunter said the community should come out and catch a show. “We’ve really led these two departments for so long and we’re handing it off,” he said.
“We really do pour our heart and souls into every performance that we do,” Wagler added. “But mostly (they should come out) because it’s just fun. It’s an incredibly fun show to put on.”
Gomez Addams: Jake Hunter
Gomez’s understudy: Noah Hostetler
Morticia Addams: Vera Wagler
Morticia’s understudy: Emma McClintock
Uncle Fester: Ben Dwyer
Uncle Fester’s understudy: Jarrod Landry
Wednesday Addams: Madi Cook
Wednesday’s understudy: Meghan Cassiday
Pugsley Addams: Joey Drew
Grandma: Evelyn Pool
Grandma’s understudy: Virginia Lecklider
Lurch: Cole Lewis
Lurch’s understudy: Cameron Casada
Lucas Beineke: Caleb Hayes
Lucas’ understudy: Jarrod Landry
Mal Beineke: Jacob Landry
Alice Beineke: Rachel Bessire
Alice’s understudy: Jade Crouse
Men: Jacob Byrd, Cameron Casada, Samuel “Reid” Davis, Nathan Lewis, Landyn Dugan, C.W. Hostetler, Noah Hostetler, Jarrod Landry
Women: Violaine “Vi” Barral, Kendall Cochrane, Mattie Cochrane, Jade Crouse, Marie Fields, Trista Fields, Virginia Lecklider, sixth-grader Lela Leslie, Hailey Lindsey, Emma McClintock, Jordyn Parks, Gracelyn Patton, seventh-grader Faith Robertson, sixth-grader Lily Voils
What: Brown County High School theater production of “The Addams Family”
When: Thursday through Saturday, April 12 to 14 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $5 for students, $7 for adults at the door. Kids 3 and under are admitted free.