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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The show must go on: cast of The Addams Family discusses the challenges and stresses of bringing a play to life

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Katherine Lian
The Addams family production.
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Now that the lights have dimmed and the curtains have closed on the Nightingale Theatre Company’s production of The Addams Family, both the people on the stage and in the audience shared their thoughts on this spring’s musical. 

Due to spring break’s late occurrence, the show premiered earlier than usual, putting added pressure on the cast and crew. Junior Julia Waters, who played Morticia Addams, said, “One of the biggest challenges we had this year was not having enough time for rehearsal. We had to rush during tech week to pull the show together, which was very inconvenient and stressful.” 

To add to the stressful atmosphere, senior Sally Zheng, who played the lead role of Wednesday Addams, lost her voice before opening day. Coincidentally, junior Anastasia Gonidelis was performing in a separate production of The Addams Family, and knew Wednesday’s role well. Co-director and English teacher Ryan Dunbar spoke to her about performing as Wednesday’s voice (both for dialogue and for songs) offstage while Sally performed the role wearing a black face mask, which she agreed to do. 

Senior Mikolas Taveras, who played Gomez Addams, said, “We had no idea what we were going to do, but thankfully, the wonderful Anastasia Gonidelis stepped in and became our stand-in for her voice for the Friday shows.” 

Taking up the temporary role went smoothly for Anastasia. “Luckily, I was familiar with the show as I’m performing in a production outside of school. The cast was very welcoming and made sure that I still had fun getting ready for the show,” said Anastasia. “I had a lot of fun jamming out with the Tech Crew during the show too. I’m really glad that I was able to help so that by Saturday, Sally could give an amazing performance like she always does.”

Despite these challenges, the company was able to push through and put on three shows through, as planned. According to Mr. Dunbar, this show sold more tickets than last year’s musical, suggesting stronger interest from the audience in the production.

Many Harrisites watched the Addams Family performance on the showing days, and spoke to the Classic about their thoughts and experiences.

Junior Sanikoy Bryan, who witnessed the switch in Wednesday’s role, said, “It was an amazing show, I enjoyed the musical atmosphere and the phenomenal acting. I think it was much better than last year’s production, especially since there was a richer plot and storyline. Even with these challenges, it was a [smooth] and successful show that I loved.”

Freshman Morgan Ma said, “You could really tell the Nightingale Theater worked hard and it paid off. The art, music, and actors complimented each other very well, it was incredible. The show was better than I expected, and I’m excited to see what show the company will perform next year.” 

Sophomore Aydin Yildiz, who attested to the production’s authenticity, said, “I loved every moment of the show. The songs and acting were so amazing, I truly felt transported to the Addams family.”

Sophomore Angela Lee said, “ [The show] made me forget that high school students were the ones leading the production, as it seemed like a show off Broadway. The vocals and choreography were great and the cast had a lot of energy. The acting was very natural and the couples had good chemistry too.”

For the students involved, the show offered them a chance to explore the possibilities of the theater. Mikolas said, “Like many around me, [the show] has sparked a kind of thespian fire in me that desires to be honed…[I want to] improve my acting abilities to become an even better performer than I could ever imagine.” 

For senior Eliana Varkoutas, who played Thing, this was her final show with the Nightingale Theatre Company. She said, “[The musical] has been such a huge part of my high school experience, and I couldn’t imagine my life without theater. The Addams Family made my love for theater even deeper.”

Freshman Morghan Dalrymple said, “The show helped me realize that I just love to be a part of something that is very collaborative and leaves room for creativity.  

Eliana said, “I absolutely plan on continuing to do theater after I graduate, it has been such a huge part of my high school experience.”

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Katherine Lian
Katherine Lian, Multimedia Chief
Katherine Lian is a senior at Townsend High School who enjoys taking pictures, dancing, and trying new things. Her favorite memory with The Classic was her trip to Albany with her peers.
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