Today’s youth has grown up in a world of digital color. Movies, TV shows, the internet, all of it is in color, making it difficult to imagine what living in a world without it was like. However, sometimes color is not always better and in order to fully appreciate something, the color must be taken away.
Opening the curtains of the past is a daring take by the cast and crew of the Addams Family, for they are creating a fully black and white production.
“It is a live black and white show,” head makeup artist, Maycee Cheek said. “Our goal is to make the characters look as though they stepped right out of the TV show.”
In order to create the full effect of an old black and white show, actors have been dyeing their hair black or grey, and will also use temporary mouth dye to turn the inside of their mouths from pink to grey. Additionally, the makeup crew will be enhancing their appearance with the use of airbrushes.
“Any skin that won’t be covered by their costumes will be covered in makeup,” scenic painter Mckinley Shaw said. “We just bought brand new airbrush guns to [help] the makeup look completely natural. This will really pull the show together as if you were watching an old movie.”
Airbrushing, first used in the 1959 film ‘Ben Hur’, has become an increasingly popular tool in theater makeup as it looks and feels more natural than the traditional powder or other liquid based makeup. It also lasts longer and is more difficult to take off than other products. Though it helps with the overall look, it doesn’t solve all the issues that arise from this project.
“We are having to take into account everyone’s face shape as well as their characters,” Cheek said. “This has proven to be the most difficult, but airbrushing and shading is the main thing.”
Props are also being painstakingly detailed to resemble the original television series to further the effect of the dim color theme.
“We are currently building a large set that will be painted and textured all in gray-scale,” Shaw explains. “We are also getting furniture to match the set so it all matches in tone in the paint.”
With an overwhelming amount of hard work, dedication and passion going into this production, the Addams Family cast and crew is set pull off what hasn’t yet been done in the history of the school’s theater department, a live black and white show.
“The directors along with my makeup crew have been the biggest help imaginable,” Cheek says. “It is a collaborative effort for sure, but it will be awesome and definitely a must see.”
Shows are Dec. 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.
Tickets can only be bought in person at the box office. Adults are $12, Students are $10.