The Pittsfield Player Kids to present “The Addams Family”

  • The Pittsfield Players Kid’s Theater Workshop will present three performances of “The Addams Family, Young@Part” this week. Courtesy

  • The Pittsfield Players Kid’s Theater Workshop will present three performances of “The Addams Family, Young@Part” from Thursday through Saturday at the Scenic Theatre. Courtesy

  • The Pittsfield Players Kid’s Theater Workshop will present three performances of “The Addams Family, Young@Part” from Thursday through Saturday at the Scenic Theatre. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 2/20/2019 4:58:24 PM

Maye and Jim Hart never had any children of their own.

But over almost two decades, their family has grown by quite a few each year. The husband-wife pair have been with the Pittsfield Players Kid’s Theater Workshop since the beginning and have seen countless young actors and actresses pass through the program.

The once-a-year workshop is open to students ages 8 to 18 and is a couple month crash course in all things theater. Some stay for many years, while for others its a one year trial and that’s it.

Maye, the director for every show since the first one in 2000, always picks a musical. Over the years, they’ve done the King and I, Godspell, Jr., Singing in the Rain, Jr. and last year, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr. They always do the kid’s version of an adult show. Jim designs and builds the sets and comes up the lighting plan.

“It’s been a collective effort between the two of us,” Maye said.

The kid’s theater will take to the stage for this year’s show The Addams Family, Young@Part, for a three-show run beginning on Thursday. The performances will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Scenic Theatre, 6 Depot St. in Pittsfield.

In The Addams Family, Young@Part, Wednesday Addams is all grown up, has met a nice young man and fallen in love.

And she really wants to make it work. One big step is for her family to meet Lucas Beineke, but as a “normal” boy from a respectable family, Wednesday has her reservations about introducing him to the family. So she confides in her father, Gomez, and he must keep a secret from his wife, Morticia – something he never does. What happens next, as the extended family all join in the introductory dinner is nothing short of what you’d expect from the family unit made famous by the 1960s television show.

This year’s selection features a group of 35 including Peter Dudley as Gomez, Emma Molloy as Morticia, and Trinity Morse as Wednesday. Abraham Marcotte will play the role of Lucas Beineke, with Benjamin Marcotte taking on the role of Uncle Fester, Christopher Tedcastle as Pugsley, Spencer Griffin as Lurch, Julianna Hodson as Grandma, and Benjamin Tedcastle as Cousin Itt.

It is a younger cast for Hart, as she calls this year’s workshop a building year. After graduating four talented cast members from last year, who filled many important roles over the last few years, some of the younger and now more veteran stage performers have slid into leading roles. A good portion of the cast is on the younger side, but that also bodes well for the future – if they decide to stick with it.

“It’s a learning experience and we’ve had many building years over time,” Hart said. “But if you expect a lot from the kids, they always live up to your expectations.”

Hart admits she didn’t know much about The Addams Family. She never watched the show and hadn’t seen the 1991 movie (there’s another film set to come out this October). So she watched some videos online and gained an appreciation for the story and it seemed like a good fit for the program.

She always tries to pick a show that will challenge the group, while providing opportunities to learn about all aspects of theater. Auditions are held in mid-December and rehearsals start right after school picks back up in January. They have done two rehearsals each week after school and a Saturday session, that also allows those interested to learn about set building, lighting and sound. Of the 35, 33 will perform on stage.

“We teach them how it is all done,” Hart said. “They all have the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of theater. Some kids don’t perform and just want to be backstage.”

Earlier this week, workshop participants put on a pair of shows for local schools – all in an effort to hopefully get more kids involved for future years.

“Hopefully they get the idea that they might want to do it,” Hart said. “We try to encourage kids to look at theater.”

And the more students that get involved in theater at a young age, the more that may continue on that path well into their adult lives.

“Community theater is something they can do for their entire life, which is a wonderful thing,” Hart said. “I’ve had some of my graduates appear in adult shows I’ve done, so it’s very rewarding.”

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids under 12, and can be reserved by calling 435-8852 or purchased at the door using cash or check. The Scenic Theatre has room for 150 people.

“There’s not a bad seat in the house,” Hart said.

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