The family behind “The Addams Family” 


Amina Cisija, Staff Writer


After a long three months, many days of building, countless hours of training and rehearsals, after three months of making so many memories, from nervous auditions to sets breaking on stage, The Addams Family has arrived at Mayo High! 

The Fall Musical brought to you by Mayo Stage Door Productions, The Addam’s Family is dark, mysterious, and full of surprises. What goes on backstage and before opening night, where guests cannot see, will definitely prove that. However, now the public can buy tickets, then come see the musical for themselves.

All the actors had many different thoughts during auditions: some felt nervous, but all were hopeful; some confident, others just learning and taking in the experience. “Quite frankly, I just wanted to get in. I haven’t been in live theater in ages, so I just wanted to get in. I didn’t even care if it was in ensemble,” Lucas Shaffer commented, the actor who plays both Death and The Professor, who is an ancestor. 

Regarding his audition, Rhys Van Ert commented that he “was super nervous and overthinking everything.” Van Ert is the actor who plays Lucas Beineke. “I was like, absolutely ecstatic and excited,” said Van Ert, after learning he had earned a spot on the cast.

After auditions, the directors set down to decide, who would be the best fit for each part in the musical; they look for the one who truly screams that role. After final decisions were made, the cast list was posted outside the auditorium, and a calendar was also made and posted. 

Excitement mounted at the first company meeting, when everyone in the cast, crew and directors met and discussed how the months would go, leading up to the performance. From that point on, every member of the organization felt a deep bond: theater at Mayo is one big family. Mayo Stage Door Production accepts everyone, fostering a caring environment that leads to great, lasting friendships. Anyone walking by the theater during the buildup to the performance could tell that it is a lot of fun there, but it can be stressful. 

When it came to the set for the musical, the set director Christopher Smith had already made a miniature model of the set to go off of, as well as detailed drawings. This was crucial, since as set construction began, many members were new. One saving grace was that many of the freshmen were already familiar with each other; they quickly became friends with upperclassmen who were either new or had already been there. Needing a leader to guide them through the work before them, Amina Cisija was appointed: “I sort of just rolled with it, I had more experience than most there. Sambora Chea has more experience than me, but he wasn’t able to be there every day. Whenever he was there and knew something that I didn’t know I asked him, or asked the crew to ask him.”  The set was still being finished throughout November, it was done about a week or two before opening nights.

Any show on stage cannot just be costumes and set pieces, you also need props, and this year’s show has many of them, from tiny candles to skeleton animals and even the moon. Austin Couch was props master for this production. He explained that, “Props can almost never have everything; we made lots of props and bought quite a few as well.” Props worked very hard on every item used in the show. Theater loves to bring the show to life, and Props is a big part of making that happen. “We know what we need because our director is kind enough to go through the show and write down everything we need!” Couch said.

When the performances begin, Props and Set members become running crews, so not only do they have to learn about making and acquiring props, but they must also learn how to run them and set pieces on stage, where to put them, who to watch for their cues, when to begin to get ready. It takes a great deal for a show to be amazing; clearly, everyone works their hardest.

The actors are never complete without their costumes, makeup and hair; fortunately, Ant Van Brunt is the lead of makeup and hair this year. The results that the team have put together are breathtaking. Still it hasn’t been easy: “Makeup for the musical has been very hectic, but I’m glad to have such an amazing hair and makeup team behind me,” Brunt said. The makeup for The Addams Family is very diverse, with many variations on everyone having to look dead while still being alive. Things have gone well though, because as Brunt explained, “I’ve seen The Addam’s Family movie and musical, so I already knew the premise behind what makeup would have to be involved.” 

The week of performances is hectic, with final rehearsals, opening night, and much more. Getting everything perfectly down, everyone works their best to make it through the show. The entire family behind the making of The Addams Family is excited to show the public what they’ve been working on all of this time. Some members are tired from the stress, but everyone has many positive emotions, many hopes for a big success. When the curtain opens and the lights go down, they will see how well their efforts have paid off.

The director Amy Monson commented “We have so many new systems this year, new lights, new sound, and about 80% new members.” Despite all of the new aspects to Mayo Stage Door Productions, Monson said “ I’m pretty proud of people going out on a limb and doing something different, as well as putting so much dedication into it.” Her hopes for the performances is that people will “enjoy [and] laugh.” 

Tickets are now available. Performances run from Thursday, November 18th through Sunday the 21st. This production has been granted permission for actors performing to be maskless; everyone else in the theater is asked to wear a mask. Tickets can be purchased through the Hometown app or online here