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Student Directing a Big Part of SCHS Drama Dept.’s “The Addams Family”

Santa Clara High School’s Drama Department is showing “The Addams Family” this month. The musical depicts the angst of keeping a secret and holding a grudge from loved ones and what happens when the goth-like Addams family, ancestors included, mingles with the sunshine-filled Beinekes.

At the April 5 dress rehearsal, the Wednesday cast performed Andrew Lippa’s music and lyrics with smooth harmony.

Venice Mayor, 17, a junior at Santa Clara High School, is one of the student directors for “The Addams Family.” According to Mayor, this extracurricular activity has allowed her to volunteer well over 300 hours for the show.

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“This is the first show Santa Clara High School is putting on since the pandemic,” Mayor said.  “I’ve acted in other shows. This time, Mr. Angelo Reyes, the Theater Instructor, gave me a chance to direct. As a student director, I’ve been facilitating a lot of different areas of production, such as costumes, tech, set design and lighting design. I am not the sole director. I work with other super talented student directors too.

“I am happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish with training the actors on vocals and building a community,” continued Mayor of her vocal coaching. “I worked with harmonization among the actors, especially in the opening scene. In the opening scene is a big number. This scene determines whether the audience members will listen. It sets the tone for how the night is going to go. The opening number is called ‘When You Are an Addams.’ The music is very classic Broadway. The style is like a chorus line.”

According to Mayor, the majority of the students in the Thursday cast belong to Reyes’ Theater Honors class. Students in the Wednesday cast are not in an academic class but are participating in the show as an extracurricular activity.

Andrew Chandra, 17, who has dual enrollment at Santa Clara High School and Wilson High School, plays Gomez Addams in the Wednesday cast. Chandra shone while singing a number of solos, including the suspenseful “Full Disclosure.”

“Venice’s music mind is like a superpower,” Chandra said of Mayor. “As a student director, Venice has a lot of energy and insight. I was one of her vocal students. My voice has improved a lot, thanks to her. She taught me about head voice versus chest voice and how to expand my range.”

Chandra described his experience playing Gomez for a second time as “thrilling.”

“I did this musical four years ago at my middle school, Carden Academy in Almaden,” Chandra said. “I got to play Gomez in seventh grade. Now, as a junior, I can patch up the mistakes I made back then. I grew in the four years between the time I first played Gomez in middle school and in this production.”

“The Addams Family” is showing at Santa Clara High School’s theater on Friday, April. 14 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Go online to gofan.co and search “Santa Clara High School” to purchase tickets.

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