Wooster drama club set to present ‘The Addams Family Musical’

Wooster drama club set to present ‘The Addams Family Musical’

Gomez Addams, played by Danny Proańo, middle, is caught between lying to his wife Morticia, left, played by Emily Hammond, and keeping his daughter Wednesday, right, played by Daisy Carmon, happy. The Wooster High Drama Club's production of "The Addams Family Musical" will begin Nov. 11.


While Halloween may have been a few days ago, that does not mean the spooky season has left the hearts and minds of the Wooster High School Drama Club, as it will present “The Addams Family Musical” on Nov. 11, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 12 and 19 at 2 p.m. in the WHS Performing Arts Center.

Based on the characters created by Charles Addams, the original story follows Wednesday Addams, who has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man, Lucas Beineke. He is from a respectable family but is a man her parents have never met, nor do they even know of him. And if that were not upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father Gomez and begs him not to tell her mother Morticia.

Now Gomez must do something he has never done before: keep a secret from his beloved wife.

Meanwhile, his brother, Uncle Fester, has helped bring all the deceased Addams ancestors back from the grave to help him foster the love between his niece and her fiancé, all while looking for love himself.

Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night the Addams family hosts a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents. As go many initial meetings with potential in-laws, things go comically awry.

The motivation for spending some time with “The Addams Family” came rather quickly to Brett Hiner, Drama Club advisor and director.

“I have a long list of musicals that I hope we are able to produce someday,” Hiner said. “‘The Addams Family’ has been sitting there for a bit, and the success of the ‘Wednesday’ Netflix show moved it up quickly. After listening to the music, I felt it would be right for our group.

“The strength of the show is the eclectic stylings of the songs. Fans of musical theater will hear some Rodgers & Hammerstein and Sondheim influences, as well as more contemporary composers like Tom Kitt (‘Next to Normal’). The diversity of the songs match the quirkiness of the characters.”

They are characters that many members of the cast are glad they were given the opportunity to portray, mostly for the challenge.

“Figuring out Wednesday has really been a challenge because our personalities are very different,” Drama Club President Daisy Carmon said. “And the music is a major challenge, but that makes the learning more enjoyable.”

Castmate and Drama Club Vice President Emily Hammond, a senior, agreed with Carmon, noting she has appreciated the challenge of Morticia as well.

“Being a morbid, matriarchal wife and mother where I walk, act and talk in an entirely new way, with no room to break that character for even just a moment, is a challenge,” Hammond said. “But the nature of rehearsals, being surrounded by a set and ensemble that is completely ‘Addams,’ has brought out everyone’s darkness and made becoming that character a really enjoyable experience.”

Taking on the lead of Gomez is first-year club member senior Danny Proańo, who has been immediately welcomed by the cast of over 50 students.

“I really enjoy ‘The Addams Family,’ and being constantly surrounded by fun and supportive people has been so meaningful,” he said. “My experience so far has been amazing. I leave every practice with more energy than I came in with, wishing I could have given more.”

While the show itself dabbles a bit in the absurd, the overall emphasis of family has not been lost on Kristi Hiner, assistant director.

“I am not sure it was our intent, but the overriding theme for the past four years of musical theater for our group has been an examination of the roles and definitions of the family dynamic,” she said. “‘Addams’ has certainly been different than all the others, but mixed in amongst the macabre and dry, stoic sense of humor of the characters is a family that cares deeply for one another. How our students interpret that compassion with these quirky characters has been fun to watch.”

The compassion for the characters also is felt for the club and its storied history as a whole.

“In ninth grade I was a scared, timid girl whose greatest fear was being on stage in front of a crowd. But throughout the years, I have built relationships with people who are like my second family,” Hammond said.

“Drama Club is very special to me, and I am so thankful to the Hiners and their entire adult production team for making the PAC feel like a loving home to every club member. It is a true family,” Carmon said.

And with this show, their family gets to play with one of the kookiest and spookiest of all time.

Rounding out the leading cast are seniors AJ Bennett (Pugsley), Benji Wright (Mal Beineke), Caleb Kostohryz (Lurch), Soren Veney (Cousin It) and Harrison Alexander (Uncle Fester). Junior leads include Camryn Nelson (Grandma Addams) and Mara French (Alice Beineke) and freshman Dane Kuzma (Lucas Beineke). They are joined by over 50 ensemble and crew members.

Tickets for the production are on sale for $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketpeak.co/whsdrama. Tickets also will be available at the door.

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