After their last musical, After the Fall, Thespians made their comeback with their production of Les Misérables. Since January, students have stayed as late as 10 p.m. after school for two weeks prior to the play to practice.
The director of the show, Mr. Johnpaul Moccia, remarked that this play was a perfect fit for his students. “It seemed like the stars had aligned! We had the voices, the talent and even a new drama teacher,” he said.
“There is a student team responsible for putting all of the mics on the actors as well as problem solving issues during the show,” technical director Mr. Timothy Dickey said. “We have a stage management team who keeps track of everything about the show. There are also students running the spotlights, the sound and light boards, the fly rail and moving things around both onstage and backstage throughout the show.”
The play required teamwork from the orchestra, costume department, deck crew, make-up crew and the technical crew. “As part of the make-up crew, I was responsible for painting students’ faces and putting fake “dirt” on them,” freshman Ann Hershkovitz said. Freshman Natalie Jusino, a member of the Orchestra, who played the French Horn said, “Although I was not able to watch the musical since I was playing in the pit, I was still able to hear it; it was beautiful. Playing for the Orchestra was a great experience. I look forward to the next musical.”
As for the actors including senior Miles Levitan, senior Dylan Tucitto, junior Emma Ferguson and senior Roie Dahan, the play went beyond their imagination.
“Interestingly enough, I’ve always felt a connection with Javert who is the main villain in the show,” Levitan, who starred as Jean Valjean, said. “Sure, I’m not as uptight or as dramatic as Javert is, but there are certain moments where he shows his extreme vulnerability and I’ve always connected with that side of his character.” Nonetheless, he decided to audition for Valjean. At first, he was not sure whether or not he could tackle the strong vocals of the character, yet, to his surprise, he did.
However, no matter how calm performers may look, even the most experienced actors of the play don’t feel completely at ease as they enter into the spotlight, with hundreds of eyes watching them. “I’ve been performing for a majority of my life and we’ve been knee-deep in rehearsals for so long that I wasn’t as nervous as I expected; However, there was still a part of me that felt a little anxious before the show,” Roie Dahan, who starred as Mr. Thenardier, said.
“I think we delivered a great performance for our opening,” Dahan said. “I believe it’ll only get better from here on out.”