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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Cast and crew of ‘Les Mis’ prepare for performances

Wren Sutterfield

Senior Annelise Nussbacher and juniors Matt Noble and Natalie Miller rehearse a scene for the upcoming musical, "Les Miserable."

Senior Zofia Trujillo goes through the lyrics of “I Dreamed a Dream,” marking off her staging to refresh her mind of the last  rehearsal. Trujillo and around 60 castmates are investing numerous hours to this year’s spring musical, “Les Miserables.”
Among the challenges of “Les Mis” is that it is narrated with only music and no dialogue. “Les Mis” showcases a serious plot, which presents challenges and learning opportunities for the actors and director and drama teacher Sarah Thermond.
 “Les Mis” is a very beloved show for many members of the cast, and I am guessing, will also be for many members of of audience,” Thermond said. “We have been putting in a lot of effort into the show — we practice every day after school, except Tuesday, for three hours.  Because of this effort, I think the result will be very exciting for first time “Les Mis” viewers.”
“Les Mis,” an already plot heavy show, requires a lot of work from the cast members for a number of reasons.  Although many challenges come with this show, Thermond said there are two that stand out to her.
One is the amount of effort it takes to work on a show with a large cast and crew that participate in a variety of scenes.  The second, and perhaps most apparent challenge, is that the entire show is sung. 
As an operetta, “Les Mis” consists only of singing and no talking. Because of this, the cast often runs whole songs instead of just working on pieces of it each rehearsal. 
“We need to do this because finding where the actors and actresses are in their music can be tricky, and because it is usually easier to run the entire musical number and then give feedback, it takes a lot more time,” Thermond said.
Even with these obstacles, the cast said they are adapting well to this new type of musical. 
“It’s been a really amazing experience so far,” said Trujillo, who plays the lead of Fantine. “This is my first lead in such a big production, and working with an ensemble of really awesome people is incredible.” 
Newcomers to the drama department, such as freshman Kavya Sadras, are also enjoying being a part of the musical. 
“The whole process is super fun,” Sadras said. “I love working with the older cast members, and the newer ones like myself. The hardest part is definitely memorizing all of the music, because there is so much.”
Despite the challenges of the music, however, Sadras said that the result can be spectacular.
“Learning the music is complicated, but once you’ve polished it, the songs turn out amazing,” she said. “Working with the cast also helps a lot, because they are so hardworking and crazy — they make the environment a great place to be.” 
Junior Sydney Torrens, who plays two smaller roles, is also new to the drama department this year and is enjoying the challenges and fun that the musical brings. 
“As a newcomer to the drama department, I was surprised with how talented the cast is,” Torrens said. “I think that the audience is going to be blown away.” 
As the performance date approaches, the cast and Thermond are filled with confidence. 
“I am really starting to see things come to life,” Thermond said. “The cast has so much passion for the show and the music, and they understand how meticulous and hardworking we have to be in order to pull it off.”
Within the next couple of months, Thermond believes the musical will become even better.   
“It is early, and we are still producing on remnants of a set from the last show, as well as working on polishing some aspects of the show,” Thermond said. “However, I am confident that once we dive in fully, we’re going to have something great.”  
“Les Mis” premieres on Friday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the McAfee Center, and performances will continue until May 3. 
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