By Nicholas Voltaggio
This week’s Morristown High School production of The Addams Family showcases a wide range of acting, singing, and set design talents, infused with a generous helping of humor.
Bringing the classically creepy family onto the MHS stage has been a labor of love for the extensive team; it’s been no easy task turning a high school auditorium into a macabre world of frights and delights.
For several months, under the guidance of Michael Hession, the set-
and lighting director, students have worked to craft a spooky ambiance.
“The goal,” Hession noted, “is for the audience to feel an environment that compliments the action of the story. An eager theater-goer should expect to be transported to a world of the paranormal from the moment he or she enters the building.”
This quest for extraordinary results has prompted the theater department to introduce technologies and techniques never before seen on the MHS stage.
The team constructed especially large set pieces to adorn and flank the stage, illuminated by professional-quality, state-of-the-art lighting.
Scenic artists Wanda Ardila (Grade 12) and Maggie Sullivan (Grade 10) incorporated multi-step finishing techniques to enhance the production’s sense of realism. Together, these strategies aim to present one of the most exciting arrays of visual effects of any MHS musical to date.
Creating something out of nothing, starting with nothing but piles of wood and fabric, is a massive undertaking, especially when it comes with the added pressure of being displayed for family, friends and peers in the community.
Hession expressed great satisfaction in “seeing a young crew, some with no prior theater experience at all, grow in skills, confidence, and accomplishment through the process of creating.”
Learning through action is a powerful experience for students.
“Our sets and lighting are 100 percent student-produced and we still end up with professional-quality results,” Hession said, adding that he holds them “to the same standards I would a group of college-trained professionals.”
In keeping with the mysterious spirit of the show’s protagonists, Hession promises special scenic surprises for those bold enough to visit the Morristown High School auditorium this weekend.
Tickets are available here.
The Addams Family at Morristown High School, 50 Early St.:
- FRIDAY, MARCH 22 @ 7:00 PM
- SATURDAY, MARCH 23 @ 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
- SUNDAY, MARCH 24 @ 2:00 PM (add the Spook-takular Ice Cream Social before the performance!)
Nicholas Voltaggio is a member of the Morristown High School class of ’21.