‘Addams Family’ director brings his own magic to Trike Theatre July 7-9

‘Addams Family’ director brings his own magic to Trike Theatre July 7-9

Trike Theater was thinking about “The Addams Family” before Jenna Ortega went viral for her Wednesday dance.

“It just ended up being kind of serendipitous that it lined up with the popularity of ‘The Addams Family’ reboot of Wednesday,” says Wesley Saucier, senior marketing director at Trike Theatre.

The professional children’s theater will stage “The Addams Family Musical” at 2 & 7 p.m. p.m. July 7; 2 & 6 p.m. July 8; and 2 p.m. July 9 at Thaden School in Bentonville. The production is the product of a camp hosted by Trike.

Fran Sillau, artistic associate at the professional children’s theater and the director of “The Addams Family,” explains that this version is adapted from the Broadway musical that starred Nathan Lane as Gomez and Bebe Neuwirth (“Frazier”) as Morticia.

“It’s something we’d looked at for several years. It’s the most performed production in high schools and community theaters in the country,” Sillau adds. “We try to find challenging material for performers, but also things that the general audience will want to come and see.”

“Another reason why we chose this show has to do with the fact that these camps usually have 30 students or more,” explains Saucier, so finding a good part for each kid presents a challenge.

“The ancestors of the Addamses make appearances, and they’re going to be actually on stage for a majority of the production, Each of these ensemble members gets to create their own ancestor character,” Sillau adds. “In fact, this very afternoon, they’re going in with the costume designer, they’re pulling their costumes, and they get to make a character biography sheet about themselves. Then that whole name will be included in the program.”

Sillau explains that in this story, Wednesday intends to marry a normal guy, Lucas Beineke, and invites his parents to meet Pugsly, Grandma, Lurch and Uncle Fester.

“But Wednesday has not found a way to tell her parents. And so it all revolves around this night when these families meet and try to figure out what it’s like to welcome somebody else. And what does normal look like?’” Sillau says.

Trike Theatre’s production was part of a theater camp where the students learned about several aspects of putting on a musical. The cast is made up of 25 actors and 10 students on the crew all ranging from ages 8 to 18 years old.

Sillau’s excitement for this production pours out of him as he explains how the camp is structured at Trike Theatre. Like the actors he’s directing in this production, he was bitten by the theater bug early on and was regularly on stage by age 9.

“I really was raised in the theater,” he starts. “I have cerebral palsy; I walk with forearm crutches. My parents’ main goal was to get me to a place where I could be independent. A part of that independence is finding something that makes you — you.”

Sillau says he was lucky that his parents encouraged him to try a little of everything, including sports, but theater and getting lost in a world of imagination and stories hooked him early.

“I began by taking creative drama classes, which really means creative play and improvisation, where you’re making things up on the spot. [That’s] where I learned how to come out of my shell and be my own person,” he says. “From there I did summer camps, much like this one that I’m working on now, every summer.”

By the time he graduated high school, he landed a professional internship with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Eventually he became the executive artistic director of Circle Theatre of Omaha, which works with individuals with all abilities and invites them into the world of creating theater.

“It’s been a wonderful journey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he concludes.



‘The Addams Family Musical’

WHEN — 2 & 7 p.m. July 7; 2 & 6 p.m. July 8; and 2 p.m. July 9

WHERE — Thaden School in Bentonville

COST — $15

INFO — triketheatre.org

Categories: Family Friendly