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York Little Theatre's 'Addams Family' is like a haunted house on stage

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Da-da-da-dum (*snap snap*)

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're all together ooky, and they're coming to a stage near you.

That's right. Beginning June 19, Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday and the entire Addams Family are coming to York Little Theatre with a whole new story to tell.

The Addams family is as creepy and spooky as ever in this recently released musical comedy — all of them except for Wednesday (played by Hillary Miller), that is. The eldest Addams child has fallen in love with a "normal" boy, which turns the whole family upside down, especially when the boy and his family stop by for a visit.

When the curtain opens, the audience finds the Addams family standing behind the cemetery gates.

"It's like you arrived in their backyard," director and set designer Rene Staub said. "We wanted to make the Addams Family feel at home, and the audience feel like they're in (the Addams') home."

But that was no easy task.

Staub and head carpenter Joel Persing spent about six weeks working to make and design an authentic-looking "Addams Family" set.

If you go

What: "The Addams Family"

When: June 19-21 and 25-28. Sunday shows start at 3 p.m. All other shows are at 7:30 p.m.

Where: York Little Theatre, 27 S. Belmont St., York

Cost: $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $20 for students, $12 for children 12 and under. Tickets purchased before opening night receive a $2 discount.

Purchase tickets: Call 717-854-5715 for tickets.

More information: Visit .

For an average production, Persing said he puts in about 100 hours building sets and making props. But by the time he's finished working on "The Addams Family," he estimates he'll have put in about 200 hours, maybe more.

"There are a lot of pieces, a lot of design in it," he said. "The wall (of the Addams' home) itself is the entire width and height of the stage."

This wall probably took the most work, Persing said. It's covered in peeling purple wallpaper, and includes two staircases, which are on wheels so they can move and become part of the dances.

PHOTOS: 6 things you'll see in 'The Addams Family' set

Other pieces of the set include a torture chamber, a mausoleum, a parlor and a gate, which folds together so it can be easily moved on and off stage.

But the work wasn't done there.

Persing and his volunteers also had to make most of the furniture and props because the show calls for specific items, like a monster under the bed and a meat-eating plant, which can't be found in stores.

"This isn't Halloween time, so you can't go out and buy them," Staub said. "We're basically putting together a haunted house on stage."

Even something as simple as a bed required a hand-made cemetery-esque headboard and footboard. And the dining room table and chairs had to be custom-made in a Gothic style to fit in with the rest of the "Addams Family" decor.

"Usually any old chair will do, but not this time," Persing said.

By the time the show opens, Persing, Staub and their volunteers will have hand-made 95 percent of the set, they said.

Some shows don't require large, extravagant sets like this one, but "The Addams Family" set is such an intricate part of the plot that it almost becomes its own character, Persing said.

"It's an audio-visual treat," Staub added. "(The audience) will be enveloped by sights and sounds that will take them into the depths of the Addams family. The whole show is an experience."

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