BWW Interviews: Part One - Conversations with the Cast and Crew of McCallum's LES MISERABLES
BroadwayWorld is thrilled to share with you a two part interview series featuring the cast and crew of Les Miserables which opens at McCallum Fine Arts Academy next Thursday, February 27th.
Epic, grand, and uplifting, Les Miserables engages the emotions of audience members worldwide. Its sung through opera style gives it appeal to exceptional singers, dancers, and production artists. The story line takes place in 19th century France. Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment only to find that mistrust and judgment are all he has waiting for him. In hopes of starting a new life, he breaks parole, thus initiating a life-long struggle with Inspector Javert, who refuses to believe a prisoner such as Valjean could change into a good man. During the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his personal belief system when it is Valjean who surprises him by sparing his life and saving the life of his adopted daughter's love. His world view shattered, Javert takes his own life and finally leaves Valjean to make peace in his own life. Les Miserables is a powerful affirmation of the human spirit and that is what makes it a masterpiece.
Les Miserables, produced by McCallum Fine Arts Academy, plays McCallum High School at 5600 Sunshine Drive, Austin 78756 starting Thursday, February 27th thru Sunday, March 2nd. Performances are Thursday thru Saturday at 7pm with matinee performances on Saturday March 1st and Sunday March 2nd at 2pm. Tickets are $6 for students, $10 for seniors, and $15 for adults. For tickets and information, please visit http://www.mactheatre.com/
Today, we bring you our interview with cast members Sage Stoakley, Dylan Tacker, Quinlyn Tesar, and Janine Dworin who play Fantine, Javert, Eponine, and Mme. Thenardier respectively.
BWW: There are few shows that are as well-known or as well-loved as Les Miserables. What was your reaction when you found out that McCallum decided to produce the show this season?
SS: I FREAKED out! I absolutely adore this musical and it has always been a dream of mine to perform in this show! I was also unbelievably overwhelmed when I got the role of Fantine, since it has always been a favorite role of mine! I think McCallum will definitely do the show justice!
DT: At the time that Les Miserables was announced as the Spring Musical for the 2014 Season, I had only just begun working with the Royale Court Players, so the idea of creating the musical phenomenon in our new theatre was astonishing- I was ecstatic.
QT: First off, producing Les Miserables has been something many of us in MacTheatre have been greatly awaiting, and once the movie came out and we were officially to do the show, everyone was so excited! Personally, I was thrilled that we were putting on a rock opera with such intricate plot and influence, and such a large cast to boot. I felt that we could truly do the show justice, and began to learn all of the music for a chance to be in the ensemble.
JD: When I first found out, I was, of course, super excited! It's something I've always wanted to be a part of and it's great to be able to cross off this show from my bucket list!
BWW: Tell me about the character you play in the show?
SS: I play the role of Fantine in the show. She is one of the female leads, but sadly, dies a very tragic death. I would say that she represents the tragedy and dream of Les Miserables. She has this inner conflict between her daughter and herself. She wants to save her daughter, but she knows she will have to push herself to do horrible things in order to support her. She ultimately chooses to let go of her soul and provide her daughter, but sadly pays the price for it, ultimately dying in the end.
DT: In this show I play Inspector Javert, a parole officer with a strong sense of justice. Javert's desire for order and balance replaces his set of moral beliefs, and anyone that cannot uphold his ideals is seen as an enemy.
QT: Eponine Thenardier is the daughter of M. and Mme. Thenardier, innkeepers who swindle people out of money. Years later, when the family has lost the inn and sunk into desperate poverty, Eponine is forced to grow up fast and mask her feelings. With so little food, the family continues to beg and trick for money, leaving Eponine with a confusing conflict of morality. Eponine really grows throughout the show: in the beginning she is a little girl whose con-artist parents dote on her; then she is street smart and tough, having faced the miseries of the time and has become well versed in hiding her fears; then she finally comes to terms with the disappointment that is life, accepting the hand she has been dealt. Despite her parents' influence of greed and dishonesty, Eponine shows Marius to Cosette, realizing he is in love with her, and even stands up to her father and his gang when they attempt to rob Valjean and Cosette. I feel that Eponine is too often confused with the cliché archetype of the lovelorn outcast, and that her character has much deeper meaning. She is the embodiment of finding inner strength and independence. The trials of her life represent the very corruptions in France at the time that were cause for the rebellion.