FREDERICKSBURG, Pa. — The creepy and cooky Addams Family will not be gracing the stage at Northern Lebanon High School in 2024.
In a Tuesday meeting, the Northern Lebanon School board voted 7-2 to not approve The Addams Family Musical.
Board members cited numerous concerns about the values the show promotes.
“If we promote it, we permit it," said Troy Williams, who is a pastor at Calvary Church in Lebanon. "There are a number of scenes, lines, and phrases in this musical that I do not want to promote within our district.”
“The themes are just dark, in general," said Michael Marlowe, vice president of the Northern Lebanon School Board. “I don’t think it represents the culture we’re trying to build here or the climate.”
School Board President Barry Naum said he found 40 things in the musical that could be considered offensive to some people.
“I know that I’d enjoy seeing this play in a community theater or some other context," said Naum. "But when it comes down to it, we are not a community theater. We are a school.”
“There are scenes of children smoking, references to liking torture and self-harm," added Marlowe. "These are things that today’s students are fighting with.”
Two members of the board, Dr. Michelle Bucks and Reverend Robb Faller, voted to approve the musical. Dr. Bucks noted The Addams Family Musical is one of the most popular musicals being performed across the country. Several Central Pennsylvania schools also showcased the musical.
“It is dark, it’s different, it’s edgy, but it’s not in a bad way that most in our community would take issue with," said Dr. Bucks.
Some board members even suggested making a few adjustments to the script without distorting the meaning of the musical.
“No matter what musical we choose, somebody somewhere is going to have discomfort with it," said Dr. Bucks. "That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is inappropriate for the entire school and entire community.”