“When you’re an Addams, you’ve got to have a lot of passion!”
Lively music filled The Robert B. Gaw Theatre as our High School (HS) students put on a spooky, wacky, and fun performance of The Addams Family musical. With more than 50 students participating in the production, this line from the opening number truly resonated as students showcased their passion and depth of talent. We met with ISKL’s Performing Arts Director and HS and IB Theatre Teacher, Tina Casey, for an all-access pass to the highly anticipated show and learned how the production symbolizes hope for our Panthers.
Just like how the quirky family embraced change in the musical, our students also had to adapt and pivot, especially with SOP restrictions that prevented them from running the show like how it used to be before COVID. On this point, Tina applauded the students’ resilience and passion for theater. She said, “They were so resilient and kept up their passion for it. Even if we teach them nothing else, we’re teaching them that they can overcome anything amidst these hardships.”
At ISKL, the opportunities to learn outside the classroom are invaluable in supporting our students to be all they are. These experiences are so important in helping our students discover new passions and interests and develop lifelong skills. They also create memories that last forever. Joining the HS Musical production is the perfect example of such opportunities. When asked whether The Addams Family was exclusively for theater students, Tina’s words were as clear as day: anybody can do it. “That’s the nice thing about the production. You don’t have to be in drama or music classes to join, so it is a wonderful opportunity for students to be a part of the theater.”
Central to ISKL’s focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ), Tina, along with Head of the Department for the Performing Arts Jaymin Baird and HS Band Teacher Dan Miles, scoured for a community-friendly show with accessible music that could cater to female, male, or non-gender roles. This is evident throughout the entire Livestream performance as the audience saw familiar characters such as Fester, Morticia, Wednesday, and Pugsley being played by our diverse community. Yet the differences do not separate our students, as everyone becomes stronger as a family, much like The Addams.
Echoing the sentiment, Tina added, “There’s a line in the show that goes, it’s family first and family last and family by and by, and I get choked up because I love it so much, and that was really the whole theme.”
On making the show happen in these extraordinary circumstances, Tina reiterates how they all overcame the obstacles together. From virtual rehearsals during Continuous Learning to a full rehearsal the day before the show, the students were in it with each other. “Especially in this pandemic where we are all inherently torn into these separate houses and boxes, everybody just came together at this magic moment. It was a glimmer of hope.”
We also caught up with the students themselves, and here’s what they had to say about their journey in The Addams Family musical:
It was exhilarating to perform live again! Our show created magic that I think everyone involved could really feel. – Evelynn S. ’22
“Working together with the cast and crew was incredibly fun in and of itself. We were able to build excitement and support each other in our performances—but just being able to pull together such an amazing show during an incredibly bizarre time? I’m still in awe of that.” – Gabi W. ’22
“The Addams Family was more than a musical; it was a group of people with passion who recreated a masterpiece. It wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect for us. We gave it all we got.” – Carla G. ’23
“Despite all the limitations we had, we were still able to come together and put on a wonderful show.” – Jason R. ’25
“The Addams Family was a really fun experience, especially since we haven’t been able to do full shows with light and sound in such a long time. I remembered how much I missed it.” – Ellie C. ’24
“Despite the slow rollout of our schedule, the experience was thrilling—a breath of fresh air for all performers.” – Carmen F. ’24
“It’s family first and family last and family by and by” – Arshiya S. ’24
Congratulations to our talented students; we are #ISKLproud for their hard work in helping the arts shine at ISKL! Keep up with other ISKL news by reading our blog and following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.