Akins directs Carmel Apprentice Theatre production of ‘The Addams Family’

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It’s not just “The Addams Family,” it’s director Maureen Akins’ family.

“We’ve become a family,” Akins said. “We’ve been practicing since the first of August and everyone has bonded and went down this journey together. We’ve really become a family. I call them my family.”

This is the Zionsville resident’s first turn at directing. The Carmel Apprentice Theatre presents the musical “The Addams Family” Oct. 19 to 28 at The Cat Theatre, 254 Veterans Way, Carmel.

The quirky characters are based on the 1960s situation comedy. The story centers on Wednesday Addams, all grown up, and fallen in love with a nice young man from a respectable family. Piper Williams, Carmel, is playing Wednesday.

“This is the biggest show they’ve had so far with cast members at this theater,” Akins said. “It’s a lot of people to put on stage, but we’re making it work.”

Akins said she was asked to direct when she was in “Murder on the Nile” in March.

Akins, who grew up in Zionsville, acted in area theaters and Renaissance Fairs.

“I’ve been in a few shows in this theater and I’m a choreographer and a dancer,” Akins said.

Westfield resident Audrey Larkin played Lucy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in October 2017 in the Carmel Apprentice Theatre’s inaugural production. Then, Larkin served as director for “Murder on the Nile.”

Larkin said she wanted the role of Morticia when she auditioned.

“I’ve been challenged to dance quite a bit, which is always fun,” Larkin said. “And it sits right in the sweet spot in my voice. These songs are really fun to sing.”

Jonathan Scoble, Carmel, is playing Gomez.

“My favorite part of Gomez is he is a Spaniard and he gets to carry (and) dance with this tall glass of water (Larkin), and it’s working with great people,” said Scoble, who acted in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Murder on the Nile.”

Traci White, Carmel, made her acting debut in “Murder on the Nile.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back here,” White said. “I just want to thank the The Cat owner Will Wood for bringing such a glorious thing to Carmel. It’s amazing.”

The Apprentice Theatre combines theater veterans with acting newcomers.

White plays Grandma Addams.

“It’s a super-fun role, she’s quirky,” White said. “She’s potion mama.”

White said she had attended theater shows for more than 30 years.

“I never thought about performing until my dear, good friend Lisa (Williams) was part of the group,” White said. “I thought, ‘Why not (join), this is going to be the second half of my life.’”

Williams serves as the artistic director.

Layla Nazzal, a Carmel High School sophomore, plays a younger version of Wednesday.

“I’ve never acted before and I don’t have any lines in this play,” Nazzal said. “I’m a dancer and rhythmic gymnast.”

So, Nazzal is able to dance with the ball, which is shaped as the moon.

Shobha Rai, a Carmel resident, is playing a dancer and one of the ancestors.

“I’m from Nepal and I’ve had to learn dance from America and it’s new to me,” Rai said. “Our music and dance is totally different from here, so it’s a big challenge.”

For more, visit thecattheatre.org.


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