McCallum Fine Arts Academy Stages LES MISERABLES: SCHOOL EDITION, Now thru 3/2

McCallum Fine Arts Academy presents Les Miserables: School Edition. The specially adapted, author-approved edition of Broadway's legendary musical Les Miserables is coming to McCallum Fine Arts this February.

In undertaking the show Les Miserables: School Edition, the Fine Arts Academy at McCallum has created a highly-original, expressionistic staging of this international hit. Director Joshua Denning says, "Our production will be more like a rock opera than most productions. We are taking the show to an edgier, less romantic place than most productions and will be bringing out the rockier aspects in the orchestrations."

This will be the school's largest production to date with over 125 students involved, from cast to crew to orchestra. The entire school is pulling together to make this show fantastic; even the color-guard team has joined in to provide flag and rifle choreography against the backdrop of the French Revolution. The students are elated to provide Austin audiences with a truly original take on the production. They have had success on many national tours and various other local shows, but to be able to depart from more traditional roles will allow their own artistic visions to shine through.

"Our student costume designers Domino Jones and Sara Walls will also bring a rocky steampunk aesthetic to many of the original costume designs that they have created for these iconic characters, " Denning says. His hope is that this production of Les Miserables will be unlike any other that audience members have experienced while still highlighting the shows themes of morality vs. law, debt and redemption, and the wages of war.

SYNOPSIS 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.

Director Joshua Denning is thrilled that his students were interested, and even ecstatic, about doing this produciton. When asked why Les Miserables: School Edition was chosen as their next endeavor, he says, "After the film came out last Christmas it just seemed logical that MacTheatre finally tackle this huge undertaking. McCallum theatre students have always tossed around the idea of doing Les Miserables, so it seemed like a natural fit. The momentum was there and the students were behind the title 100%."

Ticket prices are $6.00 for students, $10.00 for Seniors and $15.00 for Adults and can be purchased in advance here: https://mactheatre.thundertix.com/events/46019/performances or you can call (512) 414-8060.

ABOUT THE FINE ARTS ACADEMY AT MCCALLUMThe Fine Arts Academy (FAA) at McCallum provides a program for students across Austin to pursue an accelerated arts curriculum as fine arts majors. FAA attracts a diverse student body from across the city, including students from private and parochial schools. The idea for a Fine Arts high school for Austin was inspired by Ruth Denney, who founded Houston's High School for Performing and Visual Arts after retiring as a professor at UT Austin. Partly as a result of Denney's involvement, McCallum Fine Arts Academy was embraced by UT College of Fine Arts (COFA) from its inception and a strong partnership with COFA continues today. Austin ISD supports the Academy with funding for additional staffing and technology to support the arts curricula.

Creating a high school with a fine arts focus in Austin has allowed mutually supportive partnerships to blossom and original programs to develop, including non drill-team based dance, classical guitar, wind ensemble, orchestra, piano, vocal and instrumental, theatre, and visual arts. The success of the FAA (Fine Arts Academy )is renowned, with recognitions earned by Academy majors in every division. This unique and opportunity laden school allows the students to flourish and then take their talents beyond high school.




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