If the characters from Coffee County Central High School’s spring musical “The Addams Family,” are like a big, chaotic family that pulls together the individuality of its members to create a cohesive production, then the stage is their home.
“I just really like it. It’s the place I’m meant to be,” said Jonathan Woodfin, the senior who plays Gomez Addams.
“I liked acting at an early age, but I’ve kinda’ taken a break from it until very recently,” said Woodfin.
Woodfin, of late, has been acting with South Jackson Civic Center in productions of “Rent,” “Robin Hood,” “Li’l Abner,” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
For Kayla Whetsel who is opposite Woodfin as Morticia Addams, theater is the fulfillment of a dream.
“I love it, ever since I was little, I wanted to be onstage and perform. I was always too shy. I never did theater until last year, and I joined this theater company and did ‘A Christmas Carole,’ It was so much fun. You just become addicted and keep doing it.”
Whetsel and Woodfin have moved from lesser roles in the ensemble to center stage in “The Addams Family.” It’s been a challenge that offered a chance to develop.
“I’ve never sang in front of anyone until the audition for this musical, so I’ve never really performed for people before,” Whetsel said.
“I’ve never acted in such a demanding role. It’s a blessing.”
For Woodfin, playing Gomez offers a new perspective to theater.
“Being in the ensemble, you don’t have as many responsibilities and a lead role. It’s not a lot of stress, but being a lead role, people look to you that’s that person. I’m like a role model to some people. That makes me really happy and feel important.”
Whether lead, ensemble or crew everyone pitches in to help.
“If you need help with your makeup, with your costume someone will help you. You have so many talented people in high school that can help out,” he said.
“And the community theaters are so good to help us out. They help us with props or costumes,” Whetsel added.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re at, everyone comes together no matter what,” she said.
Director Jonathan Higdon said that the choreography is almost exclusively by the students as is the makeup that at times can get a bit more involved that regular stage makeup.
A show where family comes together
Returning to the CHS stage for the show will be a cast of alumni who will play Addams Family ancestors.
The ancestors emerge from their graves once a year, this time to crash the family dinner with the Addams and the all-grown Wednesday’s “normal” fiancée’s family.
“I was originally going to do an entire separate weekend of alumni, but didn’t enough come out for a full cast. We decided to one cast, two weekends and let those who audition be a part of the ancestors,” Higdon said.
“It’s a wonderful show. It takes all your favorite ‘Addams Family’ characters and gives them a whole new scenario,” he said.
“We have a super talented cast. Probably the best I’ve ever worked with.
“It’s a lot of fun and a really pretty show.”
“The Addams Family” will feature a live orchestra, made up of mostly students and alumni, and the set, ever expanding, promises to be one of the most elaborate in recent years.