The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


Behind the curtain

A look into the Northwest production of “The Addams Family,” and how its cast and crew members juggle double lives between long rehearsals and busy schedules.
Lainey Fetters
Senior Hade Henry as Gomez Addams in the Blue Valley Northwest production of “The Addams Family.”

The Blue Valley Northwest Theatre performed “The Addams Family” from Feb. 1 through Feb. 3. Rehearsals for the production began in October and occurred from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday. Senior Hade Henry, who portrayed the role of Gomez Addams, said preparing for his role took time in and out of rehearsals and at times was stressful due to his other extracurricular activities. 

“On average, I probably practice maybe like 90 minutes, two hours outside [rehearsals],” Henry said. “Sometimes it’s kind of tough because I’ve also got club soccer, and so when it gets close to shows, I can’t go to soccer practice.”

To balance his busy schedule, Henry said he finishes his assignments in class when given the opportunity to do so. 

“I have to focus in class, and if they give us time to do assignments in class, I just gotta really grind out assignments so then I have less to do if it’s on a day where I get home super late,” Henry said. “I’m not always the best at this, but when doing homework outside of school, I limit distractions just kind of focusing on it to get it done as quickly and as well as possible.” 

Henry said his stress levels have been impacted by having to juggle homework, rehearsals, and other activities. However, he said he sees a reward in learning time management through all he is involved in. 

“I want to do well in all of the things that I’m involved in. I don’t regret kind of packing my schedule, because I enjoy all the things that I do,” Henry said. “I think it makes me more disciplined and makes me want to use my time more wisely. I want to be a well-rounded person, so I enjoy doing both, but it definitely is not always the easiest.”

Similarly, senior Nils Casey is involved in the musical as part of the stage and run crew.  He said he had helped paint and build parts of the set and also helped backstage with the actors with whatever they needed with props. 

Along with these crew responsibilities, Casey said it has been a struggle to manage his extracurriculars and homework outside of the musical. He is also involved in many leadership positions for clubs at Northwest which take time outside of school. 

 “It definitely has taken up a lot of my time,” Casey said. “Combined with dance ending at 9:30 p.m., I only can start homework at 11 p.m..”

Casey also said preparing for the musical as part of the crew does take time outside of rehearsals. 

 “I would have to look over notes and scripts to make sure I remember the notes on times that we need the set [to] change like what time clocks and [when] you go on,” Casey said. 

Director of the musical Sydney Kohart has been the director of Northwest Productions for four years. She said she knows that her students are busy individuals, but trusts their ability to manage their time.

“Whenever you embark on doing an after-school show and a musical, there’s time and focus that goes into that, which inevitably, will take you away from some of your other responsibilities at times,” Kohart said. “But with how we structure the musical, all the cast has a very thorough rehearsal calendar so they know exactly when they need to be at rehearsals. We really chunk everything.”

Kohart has been planning this year’s productions since the summer and said she has frequently had to come in on weekends and outside of rehearsals to prepare for it.  

“As a theater director, just like any coach, you’ve put in so many extra hours and it can be exhausting,” Kohart said. “But the moments where we get to see students thrive and build connections with each other and have these experiences is what fills us back up so we can put in the time required.”

Junior Hannah Koehler is a stage manager of “The Addams Family” and is taking three Advanced Placement classes. She said being involved in the musical has also challenged her time management skills significantly. 

 “It’s definitely been an adjustment to balance school and rehearsals,” Koehler said. “It’s just really a time management thing, I have always struggled with procrastination.”

Despite busy schedules, Kohart said students continue to participate in the musical because of the theater community that comes along with joining these productions. 

Casey said the people in the theater department motivate him to make room in his schedule to participate in the production.

“I just love being in the community and being a part of a production with people that I like and being able to present something to entertain people,” Casey said. 

After participating in theater since middle school, Koehler said she loves seeing everyone’s passion for the productions.

“I just think it’s incredibly admirable how much everyone really, you know, cares for it,” Koehler said. “I think theater overall really rounds out a person so well. You gain such an understanding for cooperation and just consideration of other people’s feelings.”

Kohart expressed admiration for the results of what a production can bring to her students. She said it is the most rewarding part of her job to see her students engage in the theater community. 

“Theater is unique in that it requires so many different talents and skill sets, from all different walks of life to come together to work on a single story and a goal,” Kohart said. “It gives students permission to create and to be silly and to be part of a team.”

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About the Contributors
Reagan Wald
Reagan Wald, Writer
Reagan is a junior and a writer for “The Express”. This is her first year on staff and outside of newspaper, she is involved in Model UN, Debate, NEHS, Team Up for St. Jude, and MUSE. In her free time, she loves to read, hang out with friends, and play with her dog. Reagan is extremely excited for her first year and looking forward to getting to know all the other staff members
Blen Belachew
Blen Belachew, Writer
Blen Belachew is a junior and a writer for "The Express." This is her first year on staff. Blen is involved in NEHS and Spanish NHS and plans to participate in NHS this coming year. Outside of school, she loves to spend time with friends and family, binge her favorite Netflix shows, go on walks, and travel. Blen is very grateful for this opportunity to continue her skills in writing for the newspaper, and is looking forward to the year ahead! 
Lainey Fetters
Lainey is a senior and a photographer for “ The Express.” This is her first year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Lainey is involved in NAHS and Muse. In her free time she enjoys taking pictures of her own, doing art, gaming and hanging out with friends. Lainey is excited for her first and final year with “The Express.”
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