Off-Beat Addams Family Entices Eager Vocalists

Amanda Young, Staff Writer

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130 hopeful vocalists auditioned for The Addams Family, this year’s spring musical, during Academy period on October 25 and 27.  Each individual’s audition consisted of a 30 second performance on the CPAC stage.

Choir director Mark Roberts said The Addams Family was chosen for this year’s production because it can accommodate a large cast and because it is a clear contrast from previous productions. “We did a Disney show last year, so it was very child-friendly and upbeat. This one is more comedic and a little bit off the path in terms of content and music,” he said.

The Addams Family musical follows Wednesday Addams, a girl from a quirky family, as she falls in love with Lucas Beineke, a seemingly normal young man from a respectable family. Tension mounts when the Addams family invites Lucas and his parents over for dinner.

The artistic team of Roberts, director Dave Pinkham, vocal coach Grace Chaffey, and production manager Michele Miller served as the panel for the auditions. When casting, Roberts said he and his team primarily look for vocal quality and acting ability. According to Pinkham, stage presence is also an important factor in choosing the cast.

“[Casting] is nothing to do with how perfect you are or how perfectly in-tune you sing or how perfectly you read the script. That comes with practice. It’s more of an impression that we’re trying to get,” Pinkham said, specifying that “owning the space” and sparking the “this is someone I want to pay attention to” feeling are what he looks for during auditions.

About 50 people were called back on November 1 from 6-9pm to audition for specific roles. At the callbacks, participants introduced themselves, sang parts of a songs with piano accompaniment, and acted out a couple of scenes so that the artistic panel could get a sense of their ability.

Freshman MacKenzie Bunzel-Hardie was called back to audition for the parts of Grandma Addams, Wednesday Addams’ grandmother, and Alice Beineke, the mother of Wednesday’s love interest, Lucas Beineke.

Although Bunzel-Hardie admitted that the auditions were nerve-racking, she said, “It was really fun. Everyone is incredibly talented.”

Sophomore Kiera Glenn, who was called back for Wednesday Addams and Grandma Addams, said that she decided to audition for the musical because she loves performing and has been doing so for a long time. Glenn participated in last year’s musical, Beauty and the Beast, as a member of the ensemble.

This year, Glenn auditioned with her sister, junior Arriana Glenn.

“We’re both very different people and we both have very different voices and different abilities. Not better than each other, but just different,” Glenn said, “[Arriana is] my best friend. We get along with each other; we always have each other’s backs, and we’re just there to have a good time. She’s really supportive.”

Junior Will Grubbs was the Beast in last year’s production. He has been part of Campolindo musicals since his freshman year. This October, he auditioned for the parts of Gomez Addams, Wednesday’s father, and Fester Addams, Wednesday’s uncle, as well as Mal Beineke, Lucas’ father, and Lucas Beineke.

Being able to perform for people is special to Grubbs. “The experience that you have during the musical is so valuable. You make so many friends and memories that you’ll always remember,” he said. “That last moment, when you’re standing in front of the audience and they’re clapping –all that work pays off in that moment, and it’s just so satisfying.”

Pinkham said that the experience is just as rewarding from a director’s standpoint. “To hear [alumni] say how valuable the time they spent doing the musical was to them, in what they did in college and on into their careers, and how life-changing it can be –that’s all a teacher or coach can ever ask for,” said Pinkham.

Pinkham said that he is looking forward to the show. “We’re really excited about the casting,” he said. “I can’t wait to get going.” 

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