Schuylerville’s High School and Middle School drama clubs are teaming up to present a production that has been seen on stages and in theaters all over the world.
“I am truly excited and honored to be a part of the production of ‘Les Misérables’ this year,” said Grace Beaulac, a senior playing the part of Cosette. “It is a larger production than Ms. Leight and the drama department has ever tackled and there is an incredible amount of talent involved in the production, in both the cast and the crew.”
Nearly 90 students in grades 6-12 are part of the cast, with 30 additional students working on sets, lighting, sound and ushering. The production’s size and complexity required the drama clubs to combine efforts and begin rehearsals five months before the upcoming March show dates.
“It’s challenging because of the different grade levels, but it’s one of my favorite things to do,” Director Jodi Leight said. “The younger students learn so much from our older, more experienced students.”
“Most of us have grown up with each other and the program,” said Lily LaBounty, a junior who plays the role of Enjolras. “With the addition of the middle schoolers, it’s almost like a whole other experience. Knowing that there are kids around you looking up to you and being their role models, it’s a really great feeling.”
The musical, which is based on the novel by Victor Hugo, tells the story of Jean Valjean, a French criminal jailed for nearly two decades for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child.
“He’s a misunderstood man who is trying to fix his wrong-doings in the past,” said Asa Dupras, a freshman playing the lead role. “The character is so layered and so full of complexity, but yet so lovable, and I think everyone in the audience will relate to him on an emotional level in some way.”
Preparations for the production began last spring with behind the scenes work and planning. Co-director Ivy Rechak designed all of the sets herself and worked with parents and community businesses to get the materials to build everything.
“Ms. Rechak is a superwoman. There is nothing she can’t make happen,” Leight said. “When you see the sets, you will be in awe.”
“The sets and props are what really bring the show to life,” Beaulac said. “This production wouldn’t be possible without Ms. Rechak and the fabulous crew.”
While the cast still has a few weeks of rehearsals ahead of them, they agree they have come a long way since October.
“My favorite moment was when the cast had learned the final song in the show and sang their hearts out on it,” Leight said. “Myself, along with my assistant music director, Mrs. Bacon, had tears in our eyes. We are so very proud of how hard our students are working and how great they sound together!”
The drama clubs will present three showings of ‘Les Misérables: School Edition’ on March 1, March 2 and March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Schuylerville High School Auditorium. Tickets will be $9.00 for adults and $6.00 for senior citizens and students.
“This show should not be missed,” Dupras said. “The cast is so talented and this show will be one for the history books here at Schuylerville. The music is so brilliantly written and I’m so excited for everyone to hear and experience it.”