“No one torments my family but me,” says Wednesday Addams in the newest animated rendition of America’s favorite outsiders, "The Addams Family."
In the case of Georgia Southern's newest production of the classic black comedy, the kids are all grown up.Get Savannah arts and culture news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our morning, afternoon and Dine newsletters
“While the focus is still on the full family and family dynamic,” says director Pam Sears, “Wednesday provides the inciting incident for the conflict in this production. The young Wednesday and Pugsley we know and love from the comic strip are a little bit older now, and as they’re becoming teenagers the loner in Wednesday is fading into something a little different, and in comes the pursuit of love.”
“I think that’s part of what’s so interesting about this play,” said Sears “is that audiences will have various prior experiences with these characters. Folks who are more mature might remember the comics, or some people might have grown up watching the live-action TV show, younger people may remember the cartoon series and some people may have only seen the more recent movies, regardless, it’s going to be spooky fun for the whole family! Everybody working on the production knows the characters from the comic strip or the subsequent tv shows as well, so there’s also a joy in that familiarity for them. The actors and directors themselves receive the opportunity to breathe their own life into these iconic characters, which is a fun thing to explore from an artistic point of view because everyone has their own different images of these characters.”
True to the original Charles Addams comic strip the adaptation is based off, the Addams’ Family homestead is a foreboding mansion set in New York City’s Central Park and comes equipped with all the secret hallways and hideaways you might expect of a hidden maze.
“A lot of the setting will be the inside of the Addams Family mansion, which is a large, sprawling, once prestigious or pristine home that’s now falling down around them, but still has good bones architecturally,” said Sears. “It’s a two-story home with lots of entrances, exits, and strange cubbies where the characters go down to or emerge from, places like Gomez’s grotto, which is like his man cave. Characters exit from under the staircases, there are doors concealed behind bookcases, all types of stuff like that, if it’s eerie and we can build it we’re going to try it out.”
“While the play is centered around the house,” Sears said “it takes place in a lot of different locations, so there’s one main large structure on stage but we’ll also be bringing in various furniture pieces that help to transport us along with lighting and projection into those various locations, we go into Central Park where their home is located, we go into the banquet hall and all kinds of other various locations within the house."
Sears said she hopes audiences will take away a renewed appreciation for this classic cast of modern American archetypes. “I just want people to see that these iconic characters can be and are still relevant to us and that black comedy is fun and a good time for everybody.” Sears also made sure to mention her sincere appreciation for the foundation created by the local theatre community.
“I’d like to thank all of our peer theaters around town, who have all been super supportive. I love the collaborative nature that is the Savannah theatre community.”