AT theater successfully put on a live musical performance of The Addams Family in front of a small audience of people on Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13.
The show, which was live streamed for free to anyone who wanted to watch, seemed to be a miracle in the midst of a year plagued by a pandemic. Members of the cast were not only surprised, but also incredibly grateful for the chance to perform on the stage.
“When the show was first cast, and we began auditioning, I definitely did not expect to be in person. I still had hope that things might turn around, but I knew it was a stretch. I am extremely happy and grateful for how we came together and put on an in-person performance,” said Jack DiDomenic, the only freshman to be cast as a lead.
The opportunity to practice and perform in person, although difficult with distancing and masks, was a considerable upgrade from early practices which were held on zoom.
“It is extremely hard to learn and rehearse dances over zoom because there’s no good angle to show full body and you can’t really sing because of the lag on zoom,” said senior Elizabeth Bernar, who played Alice Beinicke.
Senior Emily Stevenson, who played Pugsley Addams, agreed.
“We’re so lucky that we were able to go in person,” she said. “It was just so difficult to try and do a whole musical on Zoom.”
Addison Trail was in the small minority of Illinois high schools that performed the musical live and in person. Utilizing social distancing, masks, and lots of hard work, director Mrs. McSweeney and the cast and crew were able to break a leg.
“I was so incredibly proud of our students and staff, and the show exceeded my every expectation,” said McSweeney. “It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, and it wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect for our situation.”
The students and staff alike had loads of fun acting as the odd, eerie Addams family despite the strange and mysterious situation. Singing songs, dancing wildly, and just being together made the show memorable for every member of the cast. The seniors’ only scene near the end of the play was a reported favorite.
“We had a song called ‘Crazier Than You’ during the senior scene,” said Bernar. “It was nice to have one last performance with all of the people I’ve known over the past 4 years, especially because this song had lots of fun dances and we were able to goof around more while learning it.”
Newfound boldness and opportunities were also cited as reasons for the memorability of the show.
My character, Pugsley was really loud and sometimes funny and strange, which was a little intimidating for me because I’m such a shy person,” said Stevenson. “Being a part of this helped me to step out of my comfort zone and became an experience I never would have had otherwise.”
In addition to personal strength, the bond of the group became stronger as well. Didominec, who played Lurch Addams, described how special the rest of the cast was.
“Being the only freshman, I barely knew anybody and didn’t expect the kindness I received from everybody I met on the first day in person. If there was anyone who ever recognized me as a freshman, it was in the most loving way possible. Everybody was so welcoming and easy to talk to,” he said.
As seniors look back at their time from being a freshman on the first day until their senior year musical, they feel no bitterness.
“While it’s been hard not getting things our senior year, we still found the good in what we did get,” said Bernar. “Our musical was still everything we wanted. Of course, there were some issues, but we worked around them each time.”
The uniqueness of Addams family and the time period will ensure that this is certainly a production AT theater will never forget.