The Journey of the Addams Family
Our journey began in January 2018. Adrian Hogg, Amy Nguyen and I sat around my kitchen table with a fair amount of disappointment as we had previously decided on performing “Aladdin”. We were unable to obtain the rights to Aladdin, as due to its popularity, Disney restricts the number of times any of their musicals can be performed in one year.
So the Journey truly began to find a suitable musical that was still available, that would challenge the students in all aspects of iCreate. We spent hours poring over various copyright houses. We narrowed it down to a couple of shows, but decided on “Addams". We rang the company immediately and had a confirmation while speaking on the phone and further confirmation when the copyrights were paid. In late February, we conducted auditions and named the cast soon after.
None of us realised the mammoth task we had taken on.
Slowly, Adrian created the choreography, which was a huge task! He also took on some of the director’s work, as I was finding that I had really become the CEO of a small but vibrant group of volunteers. In addition to Adrian, came some wonderful friends of mine. Narelle Tabone and Dale Pryor. After some intense planning, Dale designed and drew up the sets. Narelle was sourcing props from backyards, online buying and some of the most unlikely places we could imagine. Fortunately, she loves doing this kind of foraging and it wasn’t too long before my garage had been taken over by the Addams Family. Narelle is also an accomplished artist and her concepts of the props she created were of the highest quality. She also took on the task of sourcing the costumes and these came from all over the world. How lucky I am to have a friend like Narelle.
The brilliance of Ralph Richardson was seen in so many of the props; the biggest being the chandelier, the smallest being a light bulb. Helen Ifandis helped with the creation of trees, painting of various grave stones and the torture device.
This all sounds very morbid, but it was really just a lot of fun.
This is only a small image of what really went on. While all this building was happening around the rehearsals, the cast was working extremely hard to capture the characters, learning how to become a Family, as well as learning the dances, and the music. We all realised the importance of this and after the first excursion to the theatre in the semester holidays, this special feeling began to grow exponentially. Friends have been made for life! Songs are still running around our heads. Images will be remembered well past 2018 and many pathways have been opened for the members of the “Addams Family”.
We were also very privileged to be part of the VCA’s Outreach Theatre program. We worked with the best of the best from the VCA and the students were able to incorporate these techniques within their characterisations. This will come to a completion on Monday 29th October.
This is just a snippet of what we have achieved in Singing Dance Drama in 2018. All of this has been realised through Westall’s innovative program "iCREATE”.
Ms. Maggie Casey-Dalgleish
iCreate Singing, Dance and Drama