They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, and they’re coming to the Severna Park High School (SPHS) stage for the school’s fall production of “The Addams Family” this November.
The play will follow the plot of “The Addams Family” musical, a comedy set a few years after the movies. Wednesday Addams brings her “normal” boyfriend and his parents to dinner to meet her family. The Addams clan struggles with appearing ordinary for the night, interacting with a family that is very different from them and pondering the idea of change as Wednesday grows up.
“This is a really fun backdrop to have the camp level of ‘The Addams Family’ put into a more modern lens,” said SPHS English and theater teacher Karah Parks, director of the school’s “The Addams Family” play.
Parks and her creative team chose “The Addams Family” for the SPHS fall production.
“I want to do something that is fun and contemporary for the kids, so they could get that experience doing something really fun,” Parks said.
The story involves a large ensemble of characters, several storylines and many songs.
“It’s complicated, but it’s good,” said SPHS junior Kaelin Tufo, who will play Pugsley Addams in the musical. “The dancing and the blocking of the movement is just gorgeous and aesthetically beautiful.”
Along with practicing her lines and blocking for scenes, Kaelin has been using some of the media adaptations of the characters to help her prepare to play Pugsley.
“I’ve watched some of ‘The Addams Family’ films just to get a feel of how he is as a character,” Kaelin said.
Because the show is a musical, rehearsals tend to involve a lot of practice for singing and dancing. SPHS junior Maggie Moran serves as the production’s student music director. She helps the cast prepare for their parts and get caught up on music when they’ve been absent, even as she prepares for her own role as an ancestor.
Both Kaelin and Maggie have performed in other SPHS productions, including “Footloose,” which was more dance focused and “Freaky Friday,” which was more song heavy. This play incorporates some of both.
“It’s been a challenge for getting both down,” Maggie said.
Student producer Ronnie McIntyre is also using research to prepare for her role as Morticia Addams. The SPHS senior has participated in a variety of shows, including another production of “The Addams Family” for Children’s Theatre of Annapolis.
Ronnie enjoys the camaraderie of working alongside fellow students on SPHS productions.
“At school, we all live in the same area,” Ronnie said. “We know the same things about school, so it’s much easier and quicker to connect with them, which is really important to become a whole unit.”
Figuring out how to portray her character’s unique kind of passion has been difficult.
“The thing about Morticia is that she still has emotions,” Ronnie said. “She still feels things, but she doesn’t really show it in the same way. It is difficult to find that balance of maintaining the classic character while also conveying the things that you need to.”
Kaelin’s mother, Kristin Tufo, works as president of the Falcon Drama Boosters, which coordinates the volunteers and runs the ticketing, ushering and concessions. She and another parent, Kirin Sandhu-Leon, also make some of the costumes, along with designing and fitting the outfits based on what Parks wants.
During tech week, which is also the week before shows for this production, parent volunteers and chaperones start coming in to help with final preparations for sets, costumes and rehearsals.
“It really comes to be a big team effort between the cast and the parents at that point,” said Kristin Tufo.
Closer to the show, Ronnie will also focus more on her producing duties with Sara Metcalfe, producer and SPHS music teacher.
This year, cast members are more involved in the process of preparing for the show than in previous productions.
“We’re doing a little more of helping figure out what blocking is going to be and how the show is going to work,” Kaelin said. “We have a more creative role in production.”
As the production team gears up for its performances, the crew has utilized the time to bond.
“I feel like the directors are really sweet and all of the cast members know what they’re doing, and it’s fun to hang out with them,” Maggie said.
“The Addams Family” will have five total performances from November 10-12 and November 17-18. Most shows start at 7:00pm, but the show on November 12 is slated to begin at 2:00pm. Tickets are available at gofan.co/app/school/MD9637_1.
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