By Madilyn Moore
The Yukon High School fine arts department will perform a production of the musical adaptation of “The Addams Family,” this Thursday, Feb. 27 through March 1 at the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave.
In this musical rendition of the occult sitcom, Wednesday, portrayed by senior Kalista Grizzle, is 18 years old and has secretly become engaged to her boyfriend, Lucas Beinicke, played by junior Caleb Pendleton and sophomore Josiah Reyes. Unlike the Addams, Lucas and his family are entirely normal.
One night, Wednesday welcomes Lucas and his folks over for supper and begs her own family for one typical night; be that as it may, pleasantries don’t last long and the supper rapidly goes askew.
Theater teacher Megan Day works as the stage director, while choir directors Derek and Darin Chapin are the music director and producer, respectively.
“My title is producer, so I’m essentially the logistics guy,” Darin Chapin said. “I set up all of the rehearsals, figure out all of the money, create advertising and programs, find the tee shirts and kind of do the leg work behind the scenes. Everyone else has their assigned roles as well and I might step in to give help every now and again if needed.”
Another responsibility that Chapin and his fellow directors share is deciding who plays lead roles in the musical.
“Comfort on the stage is something we look at,” Chapin said. “We also have these kids on a daily basis and so we get to see their general attitude, how they work under stress and how they respond to the stress.”
“For the most part, the leads have all had roles prior to this. We’ve never handed out a role to someone who is in the musical for the very first time, because we like to see them grow from being in the ensemble and making progress.”
Those who were given leads were given ample time to memorize lines over the break.
“Auditions were held a week before Thanksgiving and they were casted,” Chapin said. “Leads all got their books before they were sent home for Christmas break and they came back with it memorized.”
Senior Benjamin Wilkins, who plays Gomez, found that learning his lines were a key to success.
“You’ve got to meet deadlines and memorize your lines,” Wilkins said. “It’s crucial to the process and it can be really embarrassing if you get up there and you don’t know your stuff.”
“If they say to have it memorized by the time you get back from Christmas Break, then you should have it memorized by the time you come back from Christmas Break.”
There are different ways performers learn and memorize their lines. For senior Kalista Grizzle, writing is the way to go.
“A big part of memorizing for me was writing the lines down,” Grizzle said. “Writing them down over and over again. When I would just read them, it wouldn’t process as easily compared to writing them down.”
Grizzle was thrilled to play her lead role as Wednesday.
“After finding out I was playing Wednesday I felt really blessed and really excited that I would even get the experience,” Grizzle said. “It just feels like I got to enter a different world. Once that cast list came out, I knew that I had to be a different person for a while.”
Grizzle hopes to continue musical theater in the future, inspired by early memories of Broadway.
“I’ve been wanting to do this my whole life,” Grizzle said. “When I was younger I watched the show Wicked on Broadway and I saw Elphaba singing “No Good Deeds”. When she was singing that song I was just like, whoa, she’s really cool and I want to do that.”
During preparations for the production, dance captains were appointed. Senior Justin Hardy works alongside choreographer Elizabeth Dragoo to help performers know the dance steps. Hardy has learned life lessons along the way.
“I’ve learned a lot about making sure everyone’s included and not neglecting people,” Hardy said. “Just because one person isn’t getting something right away, doesn’t mean anything because people take time, some more and some less than others.”
“Everyone has the ability to get to the point they are needing to be at and it’s just the matter of having patience with them, having patience with yourself and not getting too frustrated with other people because we all have different learning speeds. It’s one show, one bound and one goal, so we have to work together.”
Tickets may be purchased online, on the YHS choir website, or at the door.
Admission costs $12 online for adults and costs $15 at the door. Senior and student tickets cost $10 online and cost $13 at the door. Children six and under can go free of charge.