They’re creepy and they’re COVID-safe: The Addams Family musical


Audrey Turley

With COVID-19 on the rise, The Addams Family Musical had to be put on hold.

With COVID-19 on the rise in spring of 2020, many school activities and sports found themselves on Zoom. As school transitioned online, the idea of the spring musical taking the stage seemed hopeful at best. Nonetheless, many people hoped The Addams Family Musical could take place despite the pandemic. However, they were met with disappointing news. With just a couple more weeks before performance, the cast and crew were told that they would not be putting on the show as planned. 

“It was devastating,” Elizabeth Button, senior KH Player, said. “If we’d had just a couple more weeks, we’d have been done with the show entirely. To get that far and be so close to the finish line was really frustrating and difficult.” 

To get that far and be so close to the finish line was really frustrating and difficult 

— Elizabeth Button

The show ended up being postponed to spring 2021. The filmed performance will be streamed for audiences at 7 p.m. on April 29, April 30 and May 1. Button said that unfortunately, more complications arose due to the delay of the show, such as if the 2020 seniors would get to participate. 

“We were scared and sad for the seniors because this was supposed to be their last bang,” said Button. “They never really got that.” 

Liv McMahon, junior crew member, had similar feelings about the rescheduling of the musical. She said having the musical postponed was frustrating for the crew members as well.

“We’d been working for months on the set, rehearsals and painting and building everything and then we didn’t know if it was actually going to happen,” McMahon said. “On top of that, all of the seniors wouldn’t get to have their last musical.” 

Kelly Schnider is the director of The Addams Family Musical and the KHS drama teacher. She said she did everything she could to make the musical happen. 

Are we ever going to perform?

— Kelly Schnider

“Everything shut down, and we thought ‘OK well maybe we can do it in the summer’ and then ‘OK maybe we can do it in the Fall.’” And when nothing seemed to work out, Schnider said she even wondered, “Are we ever going to perform?”

Luckily for the musical, the company who released the script, also released a “Quarantine-style” version of the musical. This version of the script included COVID-19-safe adjustments to the song choices and acting. This was the script used in the performance for 2021.

“We decided to reboot [the musical],” Schnider said. “We contacted all the kids who were involved in the production last year to see if they were still interested in performing.” 

She said that unfortunately the seniors from 2020 were not among those who would be able to participate in the 2021 version. All of the seniors from last year ended up having to be recast for this year’s production, and were never able to have their last performance at KHS. 

Another adjustment to the show was the audience. Instead of the cast performing for a theater full of people, they had to adapt to acting for a camera and with the entirely new COVID-19 script.

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“The script was so different, it was almost like doing a completely different show in some ways,” Button said. “Though, I actually got some new opportunities because of COVID, like getting more second chances than you do in live theatre, and learning how to act on film.”

Even as the cast adapted to the new conditions for the performance, Schnider still said if there was something she could have changed about how the musical went, it would have been the addition of a live audience. She realizes how important an audience can be to the students in a show and said that just telling them how much an audience would love the musical isn’t the same.

 “The students [in the production] get that high from hearing people laugh in the audience and knowing the moment we worked out in rehearsal connected to the audience in the same way we thought it would.” Schnider said. “I know they [the audience] just would have gone gangbusters over the show.”