Addams Family
“The Addams Family” includes (from left) V Nivelle, Emma Brooke, Kavin Pugazhenthi, Wills Cree (back row), Chloe Kitch, Violet Palmer and Tisa Sholokhman as one of two casts featured in the Scotts Valley High School Drama Department’s show, which opens Friday at the Scotts Valley Cultural and Performing Arts Center. (Trinity Rose Photography)

The family that’s creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky is leaping off the television screen and into the Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild as the Scotts Valley High School (SVHS) Drama Department presents “The Addams Family.”

Originally set as a sitcom in 1964, the show only ran for two seasons, but its impact on popular culture was vast and resulted in a 1991 film, an animated series in 1992, a musical in 2010 and a second film in 2019. Just like the initial Addams family, its various productions will live on forever.

In the musical, Wednesday Addams, the only daughter of parents Gomez and Morticia, has grown up and fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family—a man her parents have never met. She must attempt to have her abnormal family appear as normal through family dinner, lasting all night.

However, the Addams family doesn’t just consist of the living; ghostly ancestors from the realm of the dead appear and help to set the mood for a delightfully ghoulish evening.

With such a deep bench of dramatic and vocal talent at SVHS, there are two casts and a bevy of understudies to make this musical sing. 

Senior Kavin Pugazhenthi is not only the student director, but also plays Gomez Addams in one of the casts; for Pugazhenthi, the role of Gomez Addams is a great way to close out his time in the drama department.

“My role has been a combination of working on the set as a director while also being Gomez. It’s a very rewarding and incredible experience—not only to see both sides of theater, but also collaborating with our team of cast and crew members,” Pugazhenthi said.

Director Kendra Kannegaard leans into the iconic nature of the production.

“I mean, it’s the Addams Family. There are familiar characters like Uncle Fester and Pugsley, and we introduce new characters too. Lucas, Wednesday’s love interest, is like a golden retriever—sweet and devoted to Wednesday,” Kannegaard said.

The play is funny, lively and family friendly.

“There are some lines that will go right over the heads of the little ones, but the costumes, lighting, music and choreography in this show make it fun for all,” Kannegaard said. 

She also sings the praises of the Scotts Valley Cultural and Performing Arts Center as a performance venue.

“The space here is so much bigger, and the audience gets to enjoy the production in an official theater with plush seats and fantastic sound,” Kannegaard said.

Addams Family
The second cast from “The Addams Family” features (from left) Ava Kreer, Emma Brooke, Milo Anima, Rayne Von Ontjes (back row), Sydney Clark, Violet Palmer and Dani Dunn. (Trinity Rose Photography)

This is only the second production—and the first musical—being held in the new theater, managed by the Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild, but Kannegaard is hoping to come back for more.

“It was challenging to build everything at the high school, then bring it to the Guild and load it in just one day,” she said.

As if the general devotion to theater isn’t enough, Kannegaard’s students spent their spring break working 13-hour days to create the set, perfect the lighting and conduct rehearsals. 

“They are a completely dedicated group of individuals, and I’m so proud of them for their consistent hard work and amazing talent,” Kannegaard said. “We’ve also had a lot of alumni that returned and are working on the production, which—and I say this every year—is our most ambitious show. We’ve rented lighting equipment and hired other people to come and work on the set. I want it to be the biggest and the best, because that’s what these kids deserve.”

In addition to a professional costume designer, two SVHS drama students have pulled out their needles and thread to create the iconic looks of the cast.

“A lot of them have been sewn by hand, and that’s been an impressive feat,” Kannegaard said. 

From a French Court ancestor to one who died on the Titanic to a long-departed caveman relative, each costume requires attention to the period from which it’s derived and creates a challenge for that department.

“To make it even more complicated, since they’re ghostly apparitions returning to from the grave, they are all costumed in white and gray scale. It’s been really fun to see the various looks come together,” Kannegaard said.

“Ultimately,” said Pugazhenthi, “the moral of this story is about family first. It’s all about love, growing up and being truthful to those close to you.” 

Kannegaard adds another layer to Pugazhenthi’s view.

“It’s about embracing who you are and being true to yourself,” she said. “We do a lot of shows with that general theme because it’s such an important part of growing up.”

Bring yourself—and those you love—to see “The Addams Family” at the Scotts Valley Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 251 Kings Village Road. The musical runs from April 12 through April 27. Tickets can be purchased at

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Christina Wise covers politics, education, art & culture, and housing issues. She has a degree in Communication from San Diego State University, and has lived in the San Lorenzo Valley since 1996. She's a community advocate and a mother of two.


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