‘Addams Family’ musical auditions this weekend

Things are getting creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky in Strathclair, with the community’s drama club holding auditions for “The Addams Family: A New Musical” this weekend.

Auditions for the club’s 39th production will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Bend Theatre, in Strathclair, 92 kilometres northwest of Brandon. Drama club member Rowena Martin said that although the comedic show is a departure from the more traditional plays the group puts on, interest in it has been high, both from potential actors and audience members.

“I’ve had a lot of people really excited about it. I’m in charge right now of taking all the applications for auditions, and … they’re excited to do not just the story, but the characters. These are just such well-known characters,” Martin said.

“They’re so wacky,” added Barbara Dowsett, another member of the drama club.

The club needed a change, she said, noting it’s more than the “crazy” characters that has people eager to be part of the “Addams Family” musical.

“It’s got good music, catchy tunes. It’ll be an audience-pleaser, I think,” Dowsett said.

The drama club, which has been active in the community since its first play was put on in 1983, got started as a way to raise money for the historic Bend Theatre, Martin said.

“There was a leaky roof, and basically they wanted to do kind of a fundraiser to help fix it, so they put on their first show … and it was ‘The Sound of Music.’”

Not only did the group raise enough money to fix the roof, but over the years, they’ve also been able to build additions to the building and update the sets.

Now, the theatre is used for more than just the drama club’s productions. It puts on movies and holds community events, too.

“We have a brand-new sound system and lighting and modern imagery, and all the computer stuff and new seats. It’s been project after project and fundraiser after fundraiser to build on and add onto it,” Dowsett said.

Everyone in the community and surrounding area with even a passing interest in the theatre is welcome to audition, Martin said, and people who do decide to audition don’t need to be nervous.

“There’s no harm in ever trying … we’re very open. We’re very welcoming.”

Once someone has scheduled an audition spot, they get a package with the vocal and dialogue selections they’ll perform on the weekend.

“They can practise at home, so they’re ready when they come to the theatre,” Martin said.

After a quick vocal range check, hopeful actors will sing on stage to the accompaniment of a volunteer pianist.

There are 10 lead roles up for grabs — six for men and four for women — and people can also audition for the chorus. A lot of people audition for a role in the chorus and get hooked on performing, Martin said.

“It’s a good time,” Martin said. “It’s really fun … you make a lot of friends, meet a lot of people.”

The most recent production the drama club put on was three years in planning, though not on purpose, Dowsett said. After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most extracurricular activities in 2020, the group staged “Mary Poppins” last spring.

Anyone aged 10 and up interested in auditioning can contact Martin at 204-721-0740 between 5-10 p.m. or email rowenamarykate@gmail.com.

The musical will run at the theatre from April 17-22 next year.

Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun