Entertainment

“’Normal is an illusion’- Mayfield does it again, performing outside the box office and defying expectations”

November 22, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By KIRA WRONSKA DORWARD

Mayfield, Caledon’s Regional Arts Program secondary school, is known for its outstanding public performances, and in particular the annual fall musical to showcase the talents of students from all disciplines. This year The Addams Family Musical is all about defying expectations, and Mayfield does just that.

We are informed by the first ensemble song that, “When you’re an Addams, the same rules do not apply.” The same could be said for the students at Mayfield Secondary School, whose dedication and artistic talents put them a cut above the rest. Many of these arts students, including some of the lead performers in the musical such as Ben Ma (Fester Addams) from Mississauga, who catches his bus at 5:15am to commute three hours each way, are bussed in at great expense and time from well outside the school board limits, just for the opportunities Mayfield offers. “The whole cast is amazing,” said Ma. “We love and support each other, and you get to see what the process [of being in a production] is like. Now that I’m older, I feel like I have more responsibilities, but it’s a great experience, and it’s taught me who I am as a person.” Such an arduous commute, Ben Ma’s case is typical of Mayfield arts students and seems well worth the time and money spent after watching such a lively and engaging performance.

When that “little, irrepressible bundle of malice”, a.k.a. 18-year-old Wednesday Addams, portrayed by delightful drama student Erin Sevigny, falls in love with a “normal” boy from Ohio and decides to get married, the Addams’ worldview is threatened by her fiance and his family. What unfolds is a two-act musical détente between the two families (with all the Addams’ dead ancestors in attendance of course), portrayed with spectacular performances by all the rising talents at Mayfield SS.

The formidable dedication of students and staff alike to produce an unforgettable performance is evident. Casting began the moment school began and non-stop rehearsals, including weekends, have been going on since September. The pit band, composed of instrumentalists in Mayfield’s Music Program, come in before school at 6:30 to practice. And that’s not to mention the significant contributions of other departments behind the scenes, such as set design by the Art Department, and the gadgets and gizmos created by the Tech Department. “My favourite thing about the musical,” says Director Joanne Bethune, “is when all the departments come together. It’s wonderful to have the support of multiple departments in the school.” All in all, these are extremely long days for teachers and students alike, including the business of regular classes.

Overseen by Drama and Music Department Heads Joanne Bethune and Mark Peterson respectively, and co-directed by Drama teacher Erica Buss, there was never any doubt that this would be a show to “wake the dead.”

Best of all, this is a musical that speaks to a high school audience, with much of the plot revolving around the fraught mother-daughter relationship of Wednesday and matriarch Morticia, portrayed by vocalist Jillian Cooper. “I enjoy being able to do something I love,” says Cooper, who is looking at post-secondary education in jazz vocal and musical theatre. “It’s been a joy and I can’t wait to show it to everyone. I think it’s going to be a bang.”

“Being in the musical is one of the most fun things I have done in my high school career,” says Erin Sevigny, who has been performing at Mayfield since grade nine. “It’s a great way to make friends. You end up with your ‘theatre family’,” says the now twelfth-grader, who hopes to pursue a career in communications and multimedia. “It’s something I enjoy doing that has turned into a passion of mine.”

That passion is evident with all the students and faculty involved with The Addams Family Musical. From start to finish, it’s a piece about family, teenage relationships, and embracing the unknown and the unique, something Mayfield has always had in spades. “For all their quirkiness,” muses Joanne Bethune, “the Addams are a strong family. The question the show asks is, ‘What is normal?’ and we need more of that.”

Performances will take place on Nov. 28th, 29th, and Dec. 1s in the Mayfield auditorium. Tickets are available at the door for the general public, with the box office opening at six and curtain at seven. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.

         

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