When school buildings closed in March to slow the spread of COVID-19, students involved in Farmington High’s spring musical, “The Addams Family,” were preparing for an April 23 opening night.
Instead, they gathered on Zoom that evening with Dean and Sue Cobb and Lucy Koviak, who’ve spent more than 30 years producing Farmington Public Schools musicals. The video conference included an “Addams Family” trivia contest and plenty of laughter.
Sara Johnson acted while in middle school, but decided to work crew when she first arrived at FHS. This year, she had planned to step back on stage.
“This is the first time I’ve been cast in a show for two years,” she said. “It’s kinda disappointing for me.”
Asian Green has missed being with her classmates during rehearsals. She considers theater a “safe haven” outside of academics.
“It’s like one big family, and it’s sad that I can’t see my family,” she said.
Maddy Fohey pointed out this is the second show cancelled during her high school career. The first happened when the FHS auditorium was under construction three years ago.
In the pit orchestra for Farmington High’s last two shows, Nicholas Kerstein said he was “amazed to be part of this musical process. It was a lot of fun, absolutely worth it.”
Actors, crew, and musicians were a little more than a month from showtime when school buildings first closed. A recent Facebook post showed costumes that will go unused.
”It certainly feels like unfinished business,” Koviak said. “So much of our work is in the beginning. That’s just a real empty feeling for all of us.”
“Up to about a week ago, we were thinking we could still do (the show) after school was out,” Sue Cobb said. “The way things are looking now, we can’t.”
The Cobbs will select a different musical next year, she added, because three-quarters of the leading actors will graduate. Here’s a look at their plans:
Senior Aidan Fetterman said while missing the show has been tough, “it has given me much needed time to think about what I’m going to do in the fall.” His plans are still “up in the air,” but he hopes to get into college and study nursing.
Destiny Shedd will start out at St. Clair Community College. She plans to study political science, then attend law school.
Maddy Fohey will study psychology and continue to pursue acting, starting at Schoolcraft College.
Grace Ho heads off to the University of Michigan this fall, to double major in drama and information science.
Asian Green said she wants to travel “as soon as this is all over”. She’ll attend Eastern Michigan University, majoring in business and marketing.
Bassa Al-Allaf will study biomedical engineering at Oakland University.
Ben Corsi will study acting and psychology at Michigan State University.
Maxwell Martin is still figuring out what’s next, but he plans to spend time in California this summer, writing rap music and having some fun before he enters Wayne State this fall.
Megan Cromwell will take some classes at Oakland Community College, but said she’ll focus on writing and recording original music, and preparing to audition for “The Voice,” an NBC singing competition.
Nicholas Kerstein, who was in “The Addams Family” pit orchestra, will also study at Oakland Community College, then transfer. He plans to earn a degree in business administration and said he’ll keep making music.