The second time’s the charm

Auditions for the Spring Musical are just around the corner


Northwest Academy

Who will play who? Find out what roles your fellow classmates will be performing. “Come see it! It’s going to be great!” Andersen said. “It’s a fun musical that I feel like a lot of our students and community can connect with.”

Luke Loving, Reporter

Buh duh duh dum (snap, snap). An opening sound that resonates with people everywhere across the country. For those of you who don’t recognize that sound, it is the opening music from the TV classic, The Addams Family. The Addams Family is being performed at West High School for the Spring Musical on May 21 and 22. It was originally planned to be last year’s Spring Musical; but with the rest of the school year being called off after Spring Break, it was impossible for the musical to be performed. This year will be different.

Nicholas Anderson teaches theatre at West and is the director of the Spring Musical. Anderson has directed two other musicals, Oklahoma! and Little Shop of Horrors, prior to this one. 

“[My favorite part about directing is] when I get to turn it all over the night of the show, and I don’t have any more anxiety because it’s just like, ‘Okay, we’re here. It’ll be what it’ll be.’ I just get to turn it over to the students, the student directors, and stage managers, who are all high schoolers. That’s fun and rewarding for me when I finally just get to sit down and watch them do their thing,” Anderson said. 

Anderson had the cast already selected last year before the musical was cancelled. He has decided to recast every role in the Spring Musical partially due to the fact that four of the roles last year were filled by graduating seniors. The new auditions are now set for March 23 and 25 and possibly March 26 if you’re called back. 

“We’re really looking for ‘where does your voice actually fit?’ because no matter what, we can’t put somebody in a role that they can’t hit vocally. Even if they are a great actor or actress, it doesn’t work,” Anderson said. “It’s actually unfair to put somebody in those roles if they have to struggle to hit their notes.”

“[We wanted to recast] out of fairness to everybody […] We want to make sure that everybody’s on board and goes through the audition process again,” Anderson said. “We never want to precast the show. When I’m choosing shows, I always have to choose a show I know I have the actors and actresses to fit, but what’s nice about the audition process is that somebody will come out of the woodwork that we might not have known before and they kind of blow us away.”

The students who are auditioning are expected to learn two songs for their audition. One of the songs is in the lower range and the other song is in the higher range. Senior Renee Casad has experience with performing in musicals with The Addams Family being her fourth musical. Casad was given the role of Morticia Addams last year before the musical was shut down. 

“[I’m] not really [upset about recasting] because it’d be unfair if the roles were kept,” Casad said. “Hopefully I get the same one because I like the role, but I understand if I don’t get the same one.” 

Auditioning can be a difficult task for students who may not have much experience in theatre. Nicholas Andersen is a music teacher at West, and he is the Music Director for the Spring Musical. He plays a vital role in the audition process. 

“I teach the music, I work one on one with the leads, and then I also work with the ensemble. I make sure everybody knows their parts and knows what they’re supposed to be singing,” Andersen said. “Then as we get closer to production time like when we’re doing a run through of the musical, I’ll sit there and take notes and what they can do to improve and get better.”

“Do [Mr. Anderson] and I drive each other nuts sometimes, yes but that happens when you work with people,” Andersen said. “You might get frustrated with them, but the fact is that we are able to communicate and work those out and we are able to work well together and do what is best for the kids.”   

Although this year’s musical is still on schedule, it was difficult to prepare during the first half of the school year because of the hybrid model. Davenport Central High School already performed a musical this year, and Anderson wants to learn from their mistakes.

“Central had a show that they were supposed to perform the first week of December. They didn’t end up doing til the last week of February,” Anderson said. “That is a big time difference in the theatre because eventually if you are rehearsing over and over again, you eventually get bored and you don’t want to be there anymore because it’s too much rehearsal, so I’m sure they were going through that.”

Anderson wanted to perform a fall show, but outside circumstances prohibited that from happening. However, he is glad that he didn’t have to go through the same issues as Central. 

With the Spring Musical being the only show this year, you’ll want to make sure you see it. The audience size will be controlled so buy a ticket as soon as possible. Tickets are five dollars for students and ten dollars for adults, and once you hear the buh duh duh dum (snap, snap), you’ll know you’re in for a treat.