The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

“The Addams Family” to Open at WIS this Month


With rehearsals almost every day of the week, the WIS Upper School musical cast is preparing  rigorously for the big show. Consisting of actors, tech crew, stage managers, and directors amongst others, “The Addams Family” will open mid-November.    

Every year, the WIS Tregaron campus performs four different theatre arts shows for the public’s entertainment, these being two plays and two musicals. In the fall, the two shows going on are the Middle School play, and the Upper School musical, in which a group of the school’s students participate and produce. This year, the Upper School will put on a production of “The Addams Family” by Charles Addams. This musical is done in a spooky, kooky way that WIS has never tried before, and the nearly 20 students participating will have to work harder than ever.  

To prepare for the big day, the cast and crew need to be extremely flexible when it comes to time. Juliet Wallemacq, a freshman and member of the ensemble, is not fazed by this responsibility. “We rehearse for three hours, five days a week, and it’ll only get longer,” she said. “It’s a lot of late hours, but it’s definitely worth it, since I get to improve my vocal and acting skills.”  

During rehearsals, everyone in the cast has an extremely positive attitude, giving and taking criticism and praise, being enthusiastic, and just having a good time. While preparing may be stressful or time-consuming, the students participating all know the benefits that the production gives.

Story continues below advertisement
“Addams Family” cast gives it their all during rehearsal

Rami Mottu, a sophomore playing Lucas Beineke, the love interest of the protagonist, has a lot of experience with WIS musicals and productions, as he has been in every one of them since he was in seventh grade. “I enjoy it,” he said. “I like forgetting who I am and just performing.”

Freshman Ester Luna has a different take on the benefits of the show. Playing the part of Grandma, she said “It’s a good way to get a new experience and to get to know a different side of the WIS community. I really like interacting with people I wouldn’t usually see on a normal day, like students in a different grade or teachers that I don’t have in my classes.”

“The Addams Family” is a musical with a lot of history, dating all the way back to 1964, where cartoonist Charles Addams’ now famous characters were put into a black and white, thirty minute TV show. This 1960s show ran for two years, and it was about the lives of the Addams’, and their kooky, crazy ways. Then again in 1991, the family made a return to the big screen, as their story had been turned into a movie. This film was a success, and a sequel was produced two years later. In  the 21st century, The Addams Family was turned into a musical. The production’s first performance was in 2009, and the story is still popular today.

Two of the most important members of the production are the directors, as they plan the entire performance from beginning to end. Kerri Rambow, a theatre arts teacher at WIS, is one of these directors, and she is critical to the progression of this show. Rambow oversees all the action on stage, and she is the one giving the actors advice on how to best portray their characters.

Rambow also has a big say in casting, and as she has been doing productions at WIS for a while, she knows what makes an audition stand out.

“Be confident, and don’t make excuses,” she said. “Always be prepared and willing to do whatever the directors ask. And make sure you have a clear schedule.”

The other director is John Munt, a new vocal teacher this year at WIS. More specifically, he is the musical director for this production, and he is crucial to the singers as they will need assistance when trying to learn the songs they are given. Munt has never done The Addams Family before, and this is also his first year teaching IB music, so naturally this is a big time commitment for him as well as the cast.

“I am trying to learn how to do everything, and everyone has been very helpful,” he said. “The students I am working with are extremely talented, and they are putting in a great amount of effort.”

Something that often gets overlooked is the importance of the crew, the people behind the scenes making sure everything goes according to plan. The crew is a perfect role for the students who would rather not be on stage, and out of the spotlight, but would still like to contribute to the production in some way.

Jessica Jackson, a senior and assistant choreographer had done all the previous WIS musicals, but chose this year to instead help out with the choreography of the dances. “Now that I’m a senior, I have a lot more work than I used to, and that would have come in the way of me fully participating as an actor this year. Dancing is a passion of mine, so being a choreographer is the perfect role for me,” Jackson said.  

Claudia Mendez has similar thoughts, as the junior and assistant stage manager also had done most of the musicals in previous years.“I decided to stage manage this year because I felt that I would still be participating in the production, with my role being less time-consuming as the role of a member of the cast,” Mendez said.

The Addams Family is a type of musical that WIS has never seen before, and the cast and crew feel the pressure of having to make it amazing. However, they all know how to get through the stress, no matter how much time rehearsals demand. With the show days only a few weeks away, they will need to put in just a bit more extra effort to make sure that the show is up to standard.

“This cast is like a family, everyone comes together every single day to put in a hundred percent,” Yared Zegeye, a freshman and member of the ensemble said. “We all can’t wait to show our classmates what we’ve been working on for the past two months, and for all our hard work to finally pay off on stage.”  

Cast rehearses late into the evening

By Inaya Zaman

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All International Dateline Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *