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Behind the scenes of the spring musical

The making of 'Les Miserables'

Fantine%2C+played+by+senior+Meg+Sheppard%2C+rehearses+a+scene+in+which+she+shares+a+tender+exchange+with+the+musical%27s+lead+protagonist%2C+Jean+Valjean.+Fantine%2C+nearing+death+and+in+a+hallucinatory+state%2C+pleads+with+Valjean+that+he+care+for+her+daughter%2C+Cosette.+%28Katie+Read+Kearney%29%0A
Fantine, played by senior Meg Sheppard, rehearses a scene in which she shares a tender exchange with the musical's lead protagonist, Jean Valjean. Fantine, nearing death and in a hallucinatory state, pleads with Valjean that he care for her daughter, Cosette. (Katie Read Kearney)

Fantine, played by senior Meg Sheppard, rehearses a scene in which she shares a tender exchange with the musical's lead protagonist, Jean Valjean. Fantine, nearing death and in a hallucinatory state, pleads with Valjean that he care for her daughter, Cosette. (Katie Read Kearney)

Fantine, played by senior Meg Sheppard, rehearses a scene in which she shares a tender exchange with the musical's lead protagonist, Jean Valjean. Fantine, nearing death and in a hallucinatory state, pleads with Valjean that he care for her daughter, Cosette. (Katie Read Kearney)

Katie Read Kearney, Copy Editor

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Senior Alexandria Scott plays violin in the pit orchestra. “Musicals have really weird music and weird keys,” Scott said. “It’s very different from what we would normally play, which is classical.” Different than most musicals, the “Les Misérables” orchestra plays the whole time. (Katie Read Kearney)

The young revolutionaries, represented by the chorus, settle for the night following their first major scrimmage with the French Army. The expressions of the young men are grim and introspective as they anxiously await the second battle that is fast approaching. Marius Pontmercy, played by junior Justus Brown, is aware that his odds of surviving the battle are slim. While dreading what seems to be his inevitable fate, he grapples with the news that Cossette will be moving away to England with Valjean. (Katie Read Kearney)

When audience members attend a musical they view a finished product: an integration of the cast, chorus, orchestra and set design. If done well, it is easy for the audience to become immersed in the magic such a production has to offer. However, what is rarely seen from this perspective is how this magic is created and a masterful rendition is produced.

Directors and cast members of the production provided insight into the meticulous work that occurs behind the scenes to ensure that each portion of the production is successful and harmonious with the others.

Mr. Riley, Director of Les Mis, has a hand in almost every aspect of the production. This includes, but is not limited to: scheduling, set design and costume coordination. Riley uses several strategies to ensure that the overall performance of the cast is successful. “Because there are very few named characters in this play, we’ve asked all of the cast members to create a backstory for their characters,” Riley said. “Why are you here? Why are you fighting? Why did you join the rebellion? Who are you leaving behind? Are you a father, a brother, a mother, a sister? Who are you in this play? Because when you’re just playing ensemble, stakes aren’t high enough. And, of course, stakes are very high in this play, they are going to revolt against the government, knowing that they most likely will die. As long as that particular actor knows what he or she is doing on stage, it will read as if they are buying into the story.”

Senior Diego Roberts Buceta commented on his role as the musical’s lead protagonist, Jean Valjean. “What I enjoy about taking on the role of Jean Valjean is that he is a very complex character in that you have to really study his past, what his motivations are and his emotional states throughout the show,” Roberts Buceta said. “He’s also a very challenging role to play, and I really enjoy challenge.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Behind the scenes of the spring musical”

  1. Sharon Hudon on March 29th, 2017 5:40 PM

    Was totally impressed with Les Miserables
    The commitment & expertise was appreciated

    Took me back to my life as a musician accompanying school plays 1958 to 1961

    [Reply]

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Behind the scenes of the spring musical