“They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.”
The curtain has closed for the final time on this year’s “mysterious and spooky” school musical, the Broadway hit The Addams Family.
Over 70 St Margaret’s students in Years 8-12 were involved in the cast, the orchestra pit and behind the scenes, supported by an expert team of passionate and creative staff, who together brought the stage show to life which played to sold out audiences at three shows at The Roundhouse Theatre.
Based on The Addams Family characters created by Charles Addams, the production followed Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, who has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family; a man her parents have never met. Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything changes for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner party for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
Director Annette Box said the storyline of the musical espoused relevant and appropriate values.
“Family first, acceptance and open-mindedness and honesty were messages portrayed within the production.
“We also chose this musical because the characters lent themselves to being played by males or females which is ideal when you have an all-female cast. It also portrays some really strong female characters,” said Ms Box.
Staging a musical production of this size is no mean feat and this year’s cast and crew spent only 13 weeks putting the show together, including five weeks in Term 4 last year and eight weeks of this year. The leading cast members rehearsed three times a week whilst the dancers and chorus rehearsed twice a week. There were also some full day rehearsals for the leads as well as technical and dress rehearsals for the entire cast in the venue.
Ms Box said the cast were “dedicated, passionate, genuine, good-humoured and fun! They were reliable and hard-working at every turn from start to end.”
In the orchestra pit, the performers were accompanied by an ensemble made up of students and professionals and conducted by Head of Music and Musical Director Mr Brad King.
“The school musical is always a very special event within the school’s calendar, bringing together many different parts of the school community and providing a unique performance opportunity for students to experience the magic of live theatre,” said Mr King.
The set design team, led by secondary art teacher Lisa Smith, was made up of eight students from Years 9-12 including the Year 12 Art Captains.
Together, the team created an original set design which involved a sinister hanging tree under which much of the show’s action took place.
The tree was sketched by Ms Smith and laser cut by James McHugh from the school’s facilities team.
The design team made paper lantern orbs as well as painted the set pieces and worked on various props including dismembering a very cute teddy bear for Wednesday Addams’ character.
Ms Smith said it was a lot of fun bringing the director’s vision to life.
“The brief was to create a stylised set, rather than a traditional creepy scene. This was a really fun concept to work with. We were fortunate to have a creative lighting designer who brought the sets to life to create a variety of atmospheres,” said Ms Smith.
The lighting and special effects used throughout the show included the use of gobos, spotlights, fresnels and profile lights along with LED and strip lighting. The paper lantern orbs were lit from within and a haze machine and hand-held hazer created a gloomy, eerie mood. The gauze scrim curtain hanging across the back of the stage allowed the orchestra to glow from beyong the grave as well as creating a canvas for casting shadows.
Congratulations to all involved in this year’s hit school musical!