A Halloween Spectacular

Malvern Theatre Society presented “The Addams Family,” for their fall musical this year. In tone with Halloween, the production added a spooky spin for MTS.

Steven Getsie ‘23, Managing Editor

On November 4th, the Malvern Theatre Society opened with its fall musical, the first production of the year. The Addams Family was picked for this year’s musical and was perfectly in tune with Halloween; however, a lot more than that goes into choosing what plays to run. 


The Addams Family was one of seven or eight shows that were on [the students] list. So we decided to go with that. A lot of ensembles allow for more students to be involved. We also had the right people to vocally meet the demands that the show required. And I think another reason is that we just have never done it before, it was just like something new,” Dr. James Fry, Director of the program said. 


From there on out, actors start learning the roles they are assigned and begin immersing themselves in the personality of their character. 


“I would spend at least 30 minutes a day going over our lines and songs just because it’s a lot of different material to memorize. When I originally got the part, I probably spent a couple of hours just going over the script. And then, especially with a character like Fester, I really needed to make a lot of changes to my own personality. The voice I wanted to do took about three weeks of practice to get to where I wanted to be,” Logan Kelley ‘23, who played Uncle Fester, said. 


Gabe Galiffa ‘23, who played Gomez, also had to adapt to playing a unique character that he has not played before,


“The Spanish accent and his persona, I had to do a lot of homework on that because he’s like very suave, especially with Morticia, but he’s also very stressed out at the same time,” Galiffa said.


And Francis Rogai ‘23 may have had the most difficult job of playing the role of Lurch. As far as the dialogue of his character goes, he didn’t speak any real words, instead, he would groan out sentences. Rogai said, “Dr. Fry helped me a lot by giving me feedback on how I delivered my groans Also, Mr. Liga helped prepare me for my solo at the end of the show by giving me special warmups to get my singing voice that low.” 


On top of that, to meet the physical attributes of his character he had to wear taller shoes.


“I had to wear a pair of seven-inch high platform shoes that completely changed my gait and stride. I had to be very careful about where I placed my weight in those and nearly had a couple of bad falls early in the rehearsal process,” Francis said. Their Choreographer, ”Miss Emily helped me get used to the shoes and also worked with me to figure out personal choreography as II had to do all my moves in slow motion AND stay in time with the orchestra” Rogai said.


In the beginning, as actors are still learning their lines and getting feedback on their characters, rehearsals are only a few times a week. But leading up to the play, practice really starts to ramp up. 


Logan Kelley, a senior member of the MTS cast, talked about how rigorous preparing for the show was for both the cast during Tech Week. 


 “Going into Tech week, which is the week right before the show opens, practice is every day for about six hours. Going into that there’s always a lot of nerves because usually, we haven’t put on the show in its entirety before. Tech Week is the first time we do [the show] with the orchestra, and we run it from start to finish every day,” Kelley said


After Tech week, when opening night comes around, a lot of emotions cycle throughout the cast and crew.


“Once we get the initial feel of the audience’s energy, it kinda fills us up too and makes the rest of the show into the performance that we all knew it could be. This is where the excitement piece comes in: we’re doing a performance we know really well and have a lot of fun with and can’t wait to share it with the wider community!” Rogai exclaimed. 


The Malvern Theatre Society is the only co-ed program on Malvern’s Campus, and having Theatre as an extracurricular and an extension of the classroom makes the show extra special.


“When I did community theater, you saw [the cast] once or twice a week and then left whereas here I see these guys like literally every day at school, so it just helps with our connection and then that translates on stage and it’s really amazing to be a part of. When the girls come it’s the same way, we are such a tight-knit community,” Galiffa said. 


There is so much that goes into making the performance a success, it wouldn’t be possible without the other roles being filled as well. A set has to be built, costumes need to be made, lighting and sound need to be adjusted, and so much more has to be done.


“Anybody can get involved regardless if it’s on or off stage. There’s always work to be getting done. And what’s really neat about theater is it touches on so many different skill sets and can attract so many different people because of the different jobs that are done. If you’re interested in being on stage, you don’t necessarily need to have any prior experience,” Fry said. 


Trying something new like theater, and getting out of your comfort zone can open you up to a world of new possibilities that you wouldn’t have ever been exposed to. 


“Most students that have done theater, who are not the normal theater students who never thought they would be on stage, do it once and they’re like, ‘I wish I did this earlier,’” Fry said.