Monroe-Woodbury Drama Club Presents “Les Miserables”

Kristy Lopez, Copy Editor / Social Media Manager

The drama club performed “Les Miserables” at Monroe-Woodbury High School on March 24 and 25. 

This famous Broadway musical is based on the French Revolution. 

It starts off with convict Jean Valjean escaping his parole sentencing by changing his identity. Years later, A destitute woman named Fantine is introduced and dies of a disease. She leaves her daughter, Cosette, in the care of the kind Valjean. The audience gets another flash forward in time where Cosette is now a young woman that falls for a French revolutionary, Marius.

Auditions, preparations, and sketches for scenes began in December. Expectations for the play were high because of how renowned this production is, and lots of dedication and hard work was put in behind the scenes from everyone. 

Emma Braunagel, a junior, was the assistant stage manager for the stage crew.

“I ran left stage during the show, so I had to make sure everything was in order and being done. I also assisted with designs and delegated jobs to the other stage crew members,”  said Braunagel.

“We were working on a budget and we had to use our creative thinking for our sets sometimes, especially for the barricade of fake furniture we made,” added Braunagel. 

“There was lots of communication between the musical director and stage director to get everything running smoothly and making sure we’re on the same page,” said prop manager Rachel Rucker, a junior. “I’m really proud of everyone’s hard work, and it was Broadway show quality with the actors’ talent.”

“There was lots of practice and dedication for the play. I thought it looked really well, and we worked really well together before and during the performances,” said actor Maya Telesmanic, a junior.

Bianca Manganon, junior, worked with the stage crew and was an actor for the play.

“It was a lot of tiring hard work, but it was an amazing experience. I made a lot of friends this year because of how much we worked together,” said Manganon. 

Although there were multiple directors for different areas of the show, Ms. Pacht, a teacher in the theater department, was the main director for the play. She was incredibly proud and happy with how well everyone did when it came to the official showings of the musical. 

“This was the least stressful show I’ve done. The actors were casted properly and did a wonderful job, and we had a wonderful [backstage] crew! It [performing weekend] was flawless; the only major issue was starting a little later than expected,” said Ms. Pacht. 

She added, “In the play, a lot of the characters die. In this circumstance, a lot of the cast had a hard time processing the fact they wouldn’t go back on stage as the same person. As expected, it was extremely emotional at the end of the show.”

Jamie Calub, a senior, played the character of Eponine in the play. She was aiming to get the role of Eponine due to her love for the character. She was incredibly grateful for the exposure to so many talented actors, especially due to it being her first high school production as an actor.

“I really looked up to them [the more experienced actors in the play] for guidance and advice. Performing was very nerve-racking. But once I got on stage, I sort of got in a zone, as if I’m in a different world. The play was one of the few after-school activities I looked forward to, and it was so sad seeing it end,” said Calub.

She added, “I just want to thank the entire drama department for such an amazing time with this year’s production, and the ones before. I’m so happy and grateful for the memories I’ve gotten from it all.”