Wednesday, July 15, 2020

‘Living or dead, family is still alive’ at Medford

For Randy Domstrand, who directed this year’s high school musical at Medford, there is one line in the play, “The Addams Family,” that always makes him chuckle: “Living or dead, family is still alive.”

“It kind of captures all the closeness of family and the silliness of the show,” said Domstrand.

The story of a weird, ghoulish family took center stage at Medford High School this past weekend as the school’s fall musical. It is the most popular high school play in the country right now, according to Domstrand.

The actual plot tells the story of Wednesday Addams, the daughter of the family. She’s grown up, fallen in love and arranged for her love interest’s family to meet her rather morbid family. Wednesday is portrayed in the play by Lily Roehrick, a junior.

“The show revolves around Wednesday’s turmoil,” Domstrand said. “She is a little high maintenance.”

The other main characters are Gomez Addams played by Rian Cloutier, a freshman, and Morticia Addams played by Irene Charro Vico, a sophomore foreign exchange student.

Domstrand called the trio of main cast members “pivotal and essential” to the success of the play. He described the play as “a dark comedy.” He said some may have gotten spooked by the zombies, but in general it was “dark in a silly way.”

Auditions for the play started back in mid-September. Domstrand said the biggest decision as a director is casting the show. “If you cast it well, shows can come together seamless,” he noted.

One of the greatest challenges this year was the decision to involve students in the play that were also committed to other school activities. “We allowed athletes and cheerleaders to participate in the show,” Domstrand said. He praised the decision for opening up a lot of opportunity for more students, but found it was challenging in trying to schedule around everyone.

Another challenge was the fact that Domstrand experienced serious health issues this fall and had to rely heavily on his co-director, Benjamin Beaupre, to pull things together. “Without his presence, it might have been insurmountable,” Domstrand said.

For Domstrand, he has the most fun seeing the performers pull it all together. “I love seeing students experimenting with their character,” he said, adding he prefers to let students come up with their own character rather than directing them to be a certain way.

There were 34 students in grades 7-12 involved in this year’s play.


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