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Auditions for “Addams Family, the Musical” set for July 21-22

June 25th, 2019

Wheaton Drama proudly announces auditions for “Addams Family, the Musical” on Sunday July 21 and Monday July 22.  Callbacks will be scheduled for Tuesday July 23 if needed. The show is directed by Dan Hitzemann, Musical director is Amy Brockman and Choreographer is Kate McIlvain. The show will run Friday-Sunday, September 13 – October 6, with TWO shows on Saturdays (2p and 7:30p). There are no Thursday performances.

Auditions on Sunday July 21 will begin at 2PM.  Auditions on Monday July 22 will begin at 7PM.

We ask you that you sign up for auditions at  WDIAddams@gmail.com.  You can request which day you would prefer, but we will assign the times on a first come, first serve basis.  Each day will have three one-hour blocks to which you will be assigned. These blocks will rotate between singing, dancing and some cold readings.

Please complete the audition form found here and return to WDIAddams@gmail.com with your preferred audition date.  Something will get back to you with a confirmation of your time and any further information.

Audition Requirements

Please prepare 32 bars of a song, not from this musical but in the style of the show.  You must provide your own sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. You will also be asked to learn a simple dance combination, so please dress to move.  Cold readings will be provided, and you will have an opportunity to read for any desired role as well as at the director’s discretion. All roles are available. 

This is a non-Equity production; there is no pay.

DANCE WORKSHOP

A dance workshop will be provided for those who would like to shake off the rust or just get a sense of the steps that will be used for the audition.  This is NOT MANDATORY but provided for those who want to learn a step or two.

This will be held Sunday July 14th at 2PM at WDI.  Please come in comfortable clothing and shoes.  

Show Description

This is the Addams family, based on the Addams cartoons with nods to the 60’s TV show and the 90’s movies. The Addams children have grown, and Wednesday has fallen in love with a very normal boy.  Chaos ensures as the Addams roll out the red carpet for the boy’s family and secrets, potions and love help to win the day.

We are presenting this in a 30’s style “spotlight” show, with plenty of surprises and involvement for our ancestor chorus.

Character Breakdown

Please note, age ranges are ages of the characters, not necessarily the actors portraying them with the exception of Wednesday who must be 18 or older.

Gomez Addams –  Aged 35-55

Husband to Morticia, if indeed they are married at all… a crafty schemer, but also a jolly man in his own way… though sometimes misguided… sentimental and often puckish – optimistic, he is in full enthusiasm for his dreadful plots… is sometimes seen in a rather formal dressing gown… the only one who smokes.

Morticia Addams – Aged 30-55

The real head of the family… low-voiced, incisive and subtle, smiles are rare… ruined beauty… contemptuous and original and with fierce family loyalty… even in disposition, muted, witty, sometimes deadly… given to low-keyed rhapsodies about her garden of deadly nightshade, henbane and dwarf’s hair…” 


Wednesday Addams – Aged 19-25

Child of woe is wan and delicate…sensitive and on the quiet side, she loves the picnics and outings to the underground caverns…loves the color black…a solemn child, prim in dress and, on the whole, pretty lost…secretive and imaginative, poetic, seems underprivileged and given to occasional tantrums…has six toes on one foot…” 

Pugsley Addams – Aged 13-17

An energetic monster of a boy… blond red hair, popped blue eyes and a dedicated troublemaker, in other words the kid next door… genius in his own way, he makes toy guillotines, full-size racks, threatens to poison his sister, can turn himself into a Mr. Hyde with an ordinary chemical set… his voice is hoarse… is sometimes allowed an occasional cigar” 

Uncle Fester  – Aged ?

Uncle Fester is incorrigible and, except for the good nature of the family and the ignorance of the police, would ordinarily be under lock and key… the eyes are pig-like and deeply embedded… he likes to fish, but usually employs dynamite… he keeps falcons on the roof which he uses for hunting… his one costume, summer and winter, is a black great coat with an enormous collar… he is fat with pudgy little hands and feet.” 

Lurch – Aged ?

” This towering mute has been shambling around the house forever… He is not a very good butler but a faithful one… One eye is opaque, the scanty hair is damply clinging to his narrow flat head… generally the family regards him as something of a joke.” 

Grandmama – Aged ?

This disrespectful old hag is the mother of Gomez… she willingly helps with the dishes, cheats at solitaire and is roughly dishonest… the complexion is dark, the hair is white and frizzy and uncombed… she has a light beard and a large mole… foolishly good-natured… fumbling, weak character… is easily fooled.” 

Mel Bienkie – Aged 35-65

A midwestern conservative businessman.  Has done well for himself, but has spent too much time at the office to understand his wife or his son.  Would rather be anywhere else.

Alice Bienkie – Aged 35-65 

Mid-western housewife and Mom.  She has been waiting for something to come along to shake up her humdrum existence.  

Lukas Bienkie – Aged 19-25

College student who desperately doesn’t want to be his Dad.  Very in love with Wednesday as she represents all the adventure he is missing and is unsure of in his life.

Addams Ancestors – Chorus

15 Chorus members

Some of the chorus will be youth from 12-18 and the rest will be adults 18+.  Numbers may vary.

The Chorus will be made up of various characters from throughout Addams history.  The actors will also be used as scenery, puppeteers and extra dancers for various scenes.  We are looking for creative singers, dancers and actors who are willing to create these various characters (cavemen, soldiers, flappers, nurses, farmers, lords and ladies, etc…) and also play a variety of roles on the stage from statue to lamp.

2019/2020 Audition Schedule

June 23rd, 2019

Wheaton Drama is proud to announce its audition schedule for the 2019/2020 Season. Save the date information is listed below for each of the shows, and more information about time, place and requirements for each show are forthcoming on our website and social media. Mark your calendars now – and join us in making the 2019/2020 Season at Wheaton Drama remarkable!

  • The Addams Family Auditions – July 21, July 22; Callbacks – July 23; Optional Dance Workshop –  Sunday July 14. Auditions will be scheduled in group rotations.
  • Moonlight and Magnolias Auditions – Sep 15, Sep 16; Callbacks – Sep 17. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.
  • Merry Mad Mid-Mod Auditions – Aug 4. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.
  • Little Women The Broadway Musical Auditions –  Nov 3, Nov 4; Callbacks – Nov 5.
  • Hauptmann Auditions – Jan 19, Jan 20; Callbacks – Jan 22. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.
  • Peter and the Starcatcher Auditions – March 22, March 23; Callbacks March 24. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.

Costuming Wheaton Drama’s Sweeney Todd in the Hands of a Talented Area Student

May 16th, 2019

By Elena Dansdill

A show with 23 different actors, a wide variety of costume changes with full 19th century style outfits, and starting mostly from scratch is enough to make any experienced costume designer overwhelmed. But Wheaton Drama’s new costume designer for Sweeney Todd – Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Abeline Glenzinki is doing it all, at only age 17. Since March, Abeline has been planning, sketching, researching the period, and watching other adaptations of the show for inspiration on how to create the world of Sweeney Todd through costumes.

Abeline Glenzinki works on designs for
Wheaton Drama’s upcoming production of Sweeney Todd – Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Starting from scratch, Abeline says she’s, “terrified but excited” to head the costumes for this show. While still only in high school, she’s certainly qualified. She began sewing in only third grade and quickly got involved with costumes and theatre throughout middle school and high school. You might have seen some of her pieces at Wheaton Drama in Elephant Man or Willy Wonka, but this is the first time she’s been the sole head of costumes.

It’s quite an accomplishment, and the first time someone so young has led such a daunting production at Wheaton Drama. “This is a huge show, from all aspects – the music, the set, the props, and the costumes,” say Wheaton Drama President, Stan Austin. “That someone as young as Abeline has so much vision, drive, responsibility and talent is really incredible. What she’s been able to create really has to be seen to be believed.”

 “My favorite character I’ve been designing at the moment is Mrs. Lovett,” Abeline says, “I’m planning to make or sew most of her pieces.”

Design sketches for Mrs. Lovett’s costume – one of more than 23 creations
Abeline Glenzinki is designing for Sweeney Todd

Taking a glance through her rough sketches, the characters have already started to come to life. For Mrs. Lovett’s second act costume, Abeline says she’s “channeling a more Victorian look with a super fun red skirt and jacket combo.” Even the small snippets of descriptions and color themes on her sketches show her talent and eye for blending traditional Sweeney Todd costumes and her own style. But you can only do so much on paper; the fun doesn’t really begin until the actors and dress rehearsals come into play.

Besides having to think about the actors comfortability onstage, Abeline says she’s learned a lot more about fully designing a whole show: “You have to consider what the lights and set are going to look like so colors don’t clash. You have to decide what is considered a prop and what’s hair and makeup. You have to develop an organization system or else you’re just left with piles of clothes.” The final product is still far from finished, but with only a couple weeks left until opening night, Sweeney Todd is sure to excite all audiences with its thrilling blend of costumes, lights, music, sets, and theatre magic.

Sweeney Todd will be on stage at Wheaton Drama from May 24 through June 16, 2019. Performances are Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm & Sundays at 3pm. Tickets available NOW at www.wheatondrama.org or by phone at 630-260-1820.

Sweeney Todd is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Tony-Award Winning Epic Comes to Wheaton Drama

May 10th, 2019

By Mike Frale

Wheaton Drama’s upcoming production, Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, is currently in rehearsals, with the cast and crew working to navigate the extremely difficult and famous piece.

Sweeney Todd tells the story of barber Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, as he tries to get revenge against his arch-enemy for the murder of his wife, Lucy, with the aid of the cheerful and amoral pie shop owner, Mrs. Lovett. As he opens his shop up above Mrs. Lovett’s store, he gets caught between the destined love between his daughter, Johanna, and a naïve sailor, Anthony.

Director, Randy Knott

Randy Knott is directing this epic and we had a chance to sit down with him –

What drew you to direct “Sweeney”?  

Boy.  I guess I’d ask “what didn’t?”  The music is amazing; challenging, yet satisfying to the ear.  The story is as old as stories themselves.  I love the ambiguity of who the bad guy is, and I love the idea that all of us, if we look into our hearts, probably are capable of the atrocities that are committed in the show.  We certainly, through the play, find ourselves capable of cheering for the guy committing them.  THAT, I find delicious.  My favorite villain in film is Michael Corleone, because his bend towards evil is a choice.  “…Todd” lets us see that, also.  

Is there something you hope audiences will be able to learn from watching “Sweeney”?

I always hope that any show I direct allows the audience to find some part of themselves during the evening.  Even the comedies.  This show, I believe, really looks at things like class, revenge, love, ambition, opportunism, injustice, and abuse of power, etc.  In some ways, it’s an incredibly timely piece.  In some ways, it always will be.  

What is a piece of advice you give to your actors as they prepare for this difficult and exhausting piece of musical theatre history?

I want them always to be honest to the moment.  Because this show has so much theatricality, so much singing, so much beauty…it is easy to slip into falling in love with the sound of one’s own voice, or of the music.  The audience will, of course, fall in love with that also…but they paid to see the story.  That’s what I’m trying to get to.  

Randy Knott (Director), David Pfenninger (Sweeney Todd), and Sara Malloy (Mrs. Lovett) (L-R) work a sceene while the cast looks on.

How did you prepare to direct this production in the pre-rehearsal process?

I’ve spent countless hours discussing, with Julie, the assistant director (and my domestic partner), the characters, the small moments, the big moments, the set, the setting, the time, etc.  I’ve been studying this show for a year.  The actors have been studying it for 2 months.  As with most projects of this magnitude, one has lots of big ideas.  I have dozens of things in my head about this show, these characters, and deep character dives. One of the things I’ve come to realize is that my ambition – while never fully put aside – can get in the way of the fundamentals.  Sometimes you have to worry about making sure everyone can be seen, that the set is going to work, or that the props get cleared…and the deeper ambitions…they’ll have to wait.  We’ve still got 2 weeks, though…I’m excited to see how much of that ambition makes it to the stage.

Sweeney Todd will be on stage at Wheaton Drama from May 24 through June 16, 2019. Performances are Thursdays/Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm & Sundays at 3pm.

Tickets available NOW at www.wheatondrama.org or by phone at 630-260-1820.Sweeney Todd is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Applications for Artistic Committee Chair Due 6/15/19

April 19th, 2019

WDI President Stan Austin is accepting applications from members for the position of 2019/2020 Artistic Committee Chair. This individual will work with the chairs of the Play Reading and Musical Play Reading Committees, WDI Board representative(s), and at-large members to propose a slate of shows for the 2020-21 season.   Download the application form: WDI Artistic Chair Application 20-21

Deadline to submit the application has been changed to Sunday, June 15, 2019. The term of this position runs from Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020.   More details can be found in the WDI bylaws, which can be found on our website. Other specific questions can be sent to wdipres2017@gmail.com.

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