The Addams Family - November 02 - November 10, 2018

Harrington Theatre Arts Company

 Director's Note 

"The only normal people are the one's you don't know very well.”- Alfred Adler


Growing up, I always felt that my family wasn’t normal. I would constantly notice things my family would do that my friends’ families wouldn’t. We would belt music in the car even if we were only driving down the block, most of our conversations sound like arguments, even when we are in agreement, and for some reason we have to be extremely early to everything. I used to wish that my ‘crazy’ family could be like everyone else’s normal families. Now as an adult, I have learned that everyone has felt this way at least once in their life, but if it is true that everyone has a crazy family, what does it actually mean to be normal?


Since it’s creation in 1938, the purpose of The Addams Family has been to poke at the concept of the normal family. The Addams represent outsiders who stray away from the traditional path. Morticia and Gomez share more equal roles within the family’s hierarchy, Wednesday and Pugsley are encouraged to misbehave, Fester and Grandma are seemingly both from another world, and Lurch is a lovable, possibly dead butler. The Addams Family Musical centers around Wednesday’s attempt to introduce her boyfriend Lucas Beineke and his family to the rest of the Addams. At first, the Beinekes represent a traditional American family; Mal is the patriarch of the family who constantly tries to keep control of situations, Alice is a devoted mother and housewife who spends all of her time writing poetry and keeping secrets, and Lucas is a young man trying to find his own path.  Once the families collide, chaos ensues, truths are unveiled, and life for the Beineke’s becomes anything, but normal.


The Addams Family Musical is more than its spooky aesthetic. The show is about how people from various walks of life are able to communicate and to maybe even find some common ground. In today’s world, it is so easy to label ideas or practices that are different from our own as weird or even bad without truly knowing the full context in which they exist. The magic of The Addams Family and theatre in general, is the ability to motivate the audience to relate to characters they have nothing in common with. Just like Wednesday, I was once embarrassed by my family’s oddities. Like Gomez, I hold great pride in my family’s history. Like Fester, I love a clear night sky where you can see the moon and stars.


This show has taught me that ‘normal’ is not something to strive for. If anything, the need to be normal, the need to fit in, limits us in our understanding of one another. To truly accept someone is to accept all qualities of that person, no matter how crazy those qualities may be. The Addams Family has taught me that normality is relative. To quote the Morticia Addams, “Normal is an illusion... What is normal for the spider is a calamity for the fly.”


Chelsea Kirnum



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