SRDS Theater Presents “The Addams Family” for Four Sold-Out Performances

SRDS Theater Presents “The Addams Family” for Four Sold-Out Performances
Beth Meleski

Tyler Capa doesn’t get much down time, and he likes it that way. In his fifth year as the Theater Coordinator, Middle School and Upper School Strings instructor, Upper School Choral Director and Drama teacher, Tyler just completed the Upper School full musical production of The Addams Family, performed Thursday, March 9th - Saturday, March 11th (with both a matinee and an evening show on the 11th). The timing of the show, as he notes, couldn’t be more advantageous after the runaway success of Wednesday on Netflix. 
With 30 Upper School students in the cast, The Addams Family, like Legally Blonde (2022), starring Tik Tok star Natalie Jane, and Big Fish (2021) before it, draws in actors and crew from across a wide range of disciplines at SRDS. Mr. Capa notes that performers in his shows are often athletes who find, much to their delight, that they can also sing and dance, and, most importantly, that they enjoy being on the stage.
But if there isn’t an adage that everyone can find a home in the theater, there should be. Students who aren’t interested in being on stage can join the crew, working and learning alongside theater professionals from New York City to design sets, lighting and costumes. Students help run the sound boards, maintain props, function as wardrobe, hair and makeup artists, and occasionally join the orchestra made up of professional, working musicians, also mostly from New York City.
The stakes for the cast and crew of The Addams Family are high. This is an adjudicated show, meaning that judges from two organizations, Rising Star and Metro Awards, will be reviewing the show and awarding prizes for acting (leads, supporting, and ensemble) and direction, as well as production value (lighting, set, costumes, sound, etc). One of the best things about his work at Saddle River Day School, says Mr. Capa, is the willingness of the administration to invest in the arts. The shows being staged at Saddle River Day School aren’t the average high school production and the creative team strives to raise the bar every year in order to give the students the best experience possible.
Up next this year, the 5th through 8th graders will take the stage to begin rehearsing Newsies, Jr. Then the Lower School students finish out the year with The Wizard of Oz, directed by Lower School music teacher Kelly Schaaf, but produced by Capa. 
With a roster of shows this robust, it’s no wonder that prospective students are beginning to pay attention to Saddle River Day School as ‘The Place’ to hone their acting, singing, and performing skills. And this is just the way Tyler Capa wants it. He’s here to develop, encourage and support each performer and crew member who steps on his stage. But he knows that the director just points the cast and crew in the direction they need to go and then nudges them along the way. It is the students who will create the magic and this, to Mr. Capa, is the other best part of his job; the moment when he can step back and witness the camaraderie, trust, and faith that each cast builds among themselves. Then, at show time, when he gets to watch these talented students take what they’ve created and share it, confidently and courageously, with their audience. What better way to embody the part of the SRDS Mission that compels the community to achieve personal excellence and to contribute positively to society than this?