Musical production begins audition process


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Actors perform the musical The Addams Family in Sydney, Australia.

by Abby Stern, Contributing Writer

The Addams Family musical delighted audiences on Broadway from 2009 to 2011, and now it has a chance to delight the audiences of Glen Rock.  This show is the musical adaptation of the characters created by Charles Addams in his cartoons from the late 1930s.  The cartoons were adapted to television from 1954 to 1956 on the ABC TV network.  The show was later aired again from 1991 to 1992, and, in 2009, the ghoulish, ghastly family made its way to Broadway.

The Glen Rock High School production of The Addams Family will be performed from Feb. 9 to Feb.11.  Approximately 35 people are expected to audition for this performance with students from each of the four grades auditioning for the cast.  They will combine to form a mix of students that otherwise may not have known each other if not for the musical bringing them together.      

The show is produced by the choir staff.  It is directed by Mr. Barker with Mr. Carl Helder as the musical director. Helder has been the musical director since 2005.  Although he took a short hiatus, Helder continued doing the show four years ago.    

“We are going to do our best to put together a quality production with hard work and dedication from the students and staff,” Helder said of this year’s show.     

Rehearsals will begin right after Thanksgiving and the cast will be rehearsing every day after school until the second week of February.     

The show is expected to be full of excitement and fun music.     

“The music is very interesting.  A mix of contemporary sounds, rock, latin rhythms, solo numbers, but harmony numbers.  Very entertaining,” he said of the show’s music. “It’s always tricky to find ensemble shows that give our talented kids a chance to shine.  The Addams family has many parts and lots of harmony singing.  Being a choir director, that’s always my favorite part of a show.”    

Tina Rivara will be auditioning for this year’s musical.  She is a junior and has been in five Glen Rock High School productions.  She has performed in 25 total shows and has worked as stage crew or stage manager in seven shows.  She is overjoyed that this year’s production will be The Addams Family.    

“I credit The Addams Family for really inspiring me to do theatre. I saw it on Broadway when I was 9 and really just fell in love with the production and the idea of pursuing musical theatre professionally, so to get the opportunity to perform one of my favorite shows is really a dream come true,” Rivara said.      

Overall, Tina’s favorite part of doing the shows is getting to work with Helder and Barker.      

“They are so incredibly passionate about their work, and it is nice coming to rehearsal knowing you will be working with an amazing production team that wants you to succeed,” she said of the duo.    

Auditions take place on Monday, Nov. 21 and Tuesday, Nov. 22.  Students will choose an audition song from a list of options provided by the directors.  Each student picks a song to match his or her voice part, whether it be alto, soprano, bass, tenor, etc.      

“The auditions are approximately a week long process.  First, it starts with your initial audition where you sing a song from the audition packet provided ahead of time.  Then, the following week we have callbacks where you can be called back for a specific part and sing and read materials for that character with a scene partner.  There is also a dance audition at the callback,” Rivara explained.    

Cat Merkle is another student auditioning for the show.  She is a sophomore and has participated in all kinds of shows, plays, and showcases.    

“My favorite part of any show is definitely the first dress rehearsal.  I love the butterflies I get, and I love seeing the show come together with costumes, hair, makeup, the set, and the amazing performers,” Merkle said, and this show is expected to have a lot of crazy makeup, hair, and costumes. 

“I am most excited for the costumes and makeup for this show.  The Addams Family has a lot of scary characters.  Hair, makeup, and costumes really pull the show together in the end,” she said.    

Although many students will participate in this year’s production, one student is taking on a bigger role than most.  Tricia Whyte, a senior, is this year’s student director.  She has done the show all three previous years of high school.    

“I like the people.  It’s a really positive environment and rehearsal is a great place to come to after school,” she said of what she loves about the shows.  “I’m always excited for the musicals.  I really enjoy working with Mr. Helder and Mr. Barker, and, with the fall and spring shows, there’s no singing, so it’s fun working on the music.  With this show, I get to be student director, so that’ll be really fun.  I’m really pumped for that.”  

Whyte became student director by working hard throughout the three years that she participated in the spring musicals.  She originally became the choice for student director at “strike,” when the cast and crew clean up from the show of last year.

“Last year at strike, Mr. Barker kind of casually asked ‘so who’s going to be my student director next year?’ and everyone said ‘Tricia!’  Then he asked me if I was interested, and I told him I would love to.  So that was kind of funny!” she said.    

Whyte’s favorite part of doing the show is actually performing on stage.  She is going to miss the show very much when she graduates, as it has meant so much to her over the years.  She is especially going to miss the directors and the cast.    

“You get really close with your castmates after doing a bunch of shows with them,” she said.