Quaker Valley High School's "The Addams Family Musical" Nominated for 7 Gene Kelly Awards

Quaker Valley High School's production of "The Addams Family Musical" captivated audiences this spring with its dark humor and lively performances. Audiences during the knew they were witnessing something special, and the show received recognition from the prestigious Gene Kelly Awards, which was held on May 25 at the Benedum Center.

“We were thrilled to see our show acknowledged by the number of nominations we have received, and it was great to see our students perform for a packed house on the Benedum stage. Though the Gene Kelly Awards are technically a competition, there is so much more to it than who takes home a trophy at the end of the night. The real victory is getting together with the other 32 schools and celebrating the success of each and every one of those shows.”

“I’m very grateful to be part of a cast, or what may be better characterized as a family, that is so supportive and talented,” said Junior Jack Miller. “The whole cast was very excited to be performing on the Benedum stage, but we were also relishing the fact that we get to spend more time together after closing the show. It is such a rare opportunity, and we have all been soaking in every extra second.”

One of the driving forces behind the success of the production was Olivia Berry, who curated and managed the production’s social media and marketing. Speaking about the show, Berry shared, "The QVHS Musical social media helped us connect with each other and our audience. We got to answer the community’s questions. Our social media platforms this year were centered on recognizing student achievement and hard work.”

I scheduled, designed, and posted content. I analyzed each post’s analytics for the first hour as a way to determine whether or not it was successful,” Berry shared. “I chose content based on successful content from prior years and social media posts. We did this through giving behind the scenes content with our Instagram Story Takeovers, Senior Spotlights, our Semi-Finalist Actor Posts."

Jack Miller's portrayal of Fester Addams earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Miller, whose impeccable comedic timing made him a standout in the show, shared his thoughts on the recognition: "I was so incredibly honored to be given such an amazing opportunity, and I was a little shell-shocked that this ‘freaky-deeky bald person’ won over so many people’s hearts. Doing my best work was so easy because the environment and the people encourage it.”

The nominations extended beyond individual performances to encompass the collective efforts of the entire cast and crew. “We have always prided ourselves on the high level of productions we are able to produce here” explained Wolford. “We have built a culture that fosters collaboration and creativity across the board with the main goal being student involvement and ownership. From the set design and building to our cast, pit musicians and stage crew, we engage nearly 200 members of our 580-person student body. Our program has a motto of ‘don’t be complacent’ and this year was a testament to that philosophy.”

Categories such as Best Dance Ensemble and Best Vocal Ensemble highlighted the synchronized efforts of the entire cast and crew in delivering a cohesive and captivating performance. In addition, nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, and Best Scenic Design underscored the meticulous attention to detail and creative vision that went into every aspect of the production. From the eerie ambiance of the Addams family mansion to the iconic costumes that bring each character to life, every element was carefully crafted to immerse audiences in the world of the Addams family.

This year’s musical was simply one of the most unique, rewarding journeys I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing, and I feel so lucky every moment and at every reminder!” reflected Miller.

As the cast and crew of Quaker Valley High School's "The Addams Family Musical" eagerly await the outcome of the Gene Kelly Awards, there is a sense of pride and anticipation surrounding the recognition of "The Addams Family Musical." Cast members are busy rehearsing and preparing for the event on May 25 which includes performances from participating schools across the region.

While Quaker Valley walked away without winning in their nominated categories, the nominations served as a testament to the talent, passion, and dedication of everyone involved in bringing this unforgettable production to the stage.