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Do You Hear the People Sing? It’s Coming From the PAC

Upcoming Winter Musical: Les Miserables

Sage Creek will take on the classic musical Les Miserables later this year. Auditions are scheduled for late October.

Photo Taken From Amazon.co.uk

Sage Creek will take on the classic musical Les Miserables later this year. Auditions are scheduled for late October.

Emilie Anderson, Staff Reporter

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*Full disclosure: I was the assistant director for last year’s winter musical, Footloose, and will be assistant directing for this year’s winter musical, Les Miserables, as well.

By this time next month, the majority of students at Sage Creek will be confirming the last details of their Halloween plans, carving pumpkins or picking out scary movies to watch with friends. The minority, however, are the theatre kids, who will be preparing for something very different, but just as scary— auditions.

Auditions for this year’s winter musical, Les Miserables, will be held during the last week of October in the PAC black box theatre, or in room 5101. Vocal auditions will take place after school on Monday and Tuesday, and callbacks will take place after school on Wednesday and Thursday. Unlike previous years, there is no dance audition, but students enrolled in intermediate or advanced theatre should take note that they will have the opportunity to audition in class.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun [and] a lot of hard work,” director and theater Teacher Jillian Porter commented, “It’s an acclaimed musical… Definitely, the most challenging piece of theatre we have taken on at Sage Creek High School.”

Porter isn’t wrong. Les Miserables is known to be a vocally challenging show, as most of the musical is sung through and there is little talking. The musical itself is based on a historical novel by Victor Hugo about the struggles of the French Revolution and was made into a movie in 2012.

“I watched the movie version of it, and I absolutely loved it,” gushed Anisa Prom, a tech theatre student better known as the stage right assistant stage manager, “I know a lot of people have seen it, it’s very popular, all the songs are very famous, and it’s just very iconic.”

While some students are still reeling about the exciting idea of putting on such a big show, others have also begun to think about what this show will entail. Mia Karvounis, a Theatre 3 student who has participated in Sage Creek’s winter musicals since her freshman year, shared her thoughts on the matter.

Photo Taken From LesMis.com
“Do you hear the people sing?” The Broadway performance is one of the best shows out there. It will take a lot of work for the Sage Creek actors to sing their hearts to the beat of the drum.

“Since the beginning of the drama program, it’s been Grease, Guys and Dolls, Bye Bye Birdie, Footloose,” Karvounis explained, “— it was all very upbeat, and I think for the first time the whole program is really taking on [something] deeper, [something that] needs more heart. It’s a lot more than before.”

This challenge doesn’t phase Karvounis, however, nor any of her theatre companions. When asked, Karvounis attributes this confidence to the bonds she has formed with her fellow classmates.

“I think that in other settings you can definitely create strong bonds and friendships, but theatre kids seem to have such a passion for what they do,” Karvounis emphasized, “[and] I think that the bonds that you can create with people who have that same love, and that same passion for what you do is really strong.”

Though the theatre community is already described as a “family” by its members, they make it clear that they’re the type of family that accepts new people with open arms.

“Our drama family is a great family; we work hard and play hard,” Porter remarked, “We don’t need to expand, but we love to expand.”

This welcoming quality is a common one in the theatre community, according to Karvounis, who remembers her own experience as the new kid in theatre.

“The first time I did the winter musical was my freshman year, and I had like one friend, [but] after doing the musical I had this whole family,” Karvounis recalled, “and even if you’re brand new, people are totally welcoming, and you just get a lot of confidence.”

This is the type of welcome the theatre community gives to all its new members, and with a huge show like Les Miserables, students who have been debating whether or not to audition are encouraged to take a chance and go for it. It is also important to note that this particular show, compared to Sage Creek’s past winter musicals, is known for its large amount of male roles.

“We’re open to all styles of casting,” Porter said, “but if you’re a guy that has always kind of debated trying out, this is definitely the musical to do it.”

Students nervous about auditioning can also rest easy knowing that they will not be the only new kids in the program.

Having an actual stage close by opens up a lot more possibilities for the theater program”

“There’s been a huge interest in this musical over any other one,” Prom said, “so a lot more people who have never done theatre before are going to be doing it this year. I’m excited to see new faces.”

On a separate note, Sage Creek’s performing arts center (PAC) finished construction at the end of last school year, and the new theatre is ready to be put to use for this year’s winter musical.

“[The PAC] is something that we’ve all anticipated opening, so [this year] just feels extra special,” Porter said. “I think that’s why I chose Les Mis because it’s a pretty special musical.”

Having an actual stage close by opens up a lot more possibilities for the theater program, as well as what they can do with their rendition of such a grand, impactful show like Les Miserables. The possibilities aren’t limited to just the actors, however, but also benefit the technical side of theatre.

“[Tech] runs everything behind the scenes,” Prom clarified, “so we get to learn new technology, new space, new everything— it’s a lot more high tech than anything I’ve ever been in.”

With all of the new technology in the PAC, technical theatre has the opportunity to take musicals to a new level, which is exactly what is needed for Les Miserables: a show meant to be nothing other than awe-inspiring.

Photo Taken From Broadway.org
The innkeeper is hoisted up during a fantastic musical number, “Master of the House.” Sage Creek Theater is taking on this fantastical musical later this year.

In addition to all of this advanced technology, Karvounis perfectly summarized a common feeling from many theatre students about getting to use a theatre located at their own school.

“It kind of feels like a home court advantage, even though you’re not really against anyone, I guess,” Karvounis said, “It’s kind of like you feel more comfortable doing your thing. Also, we get more [time] to practice in the theatre. Les Mis takes a lot of work, and you have to get it right, so having a stage to work on for longer periods of time is going to help that.”

With so much going for them, the theatre department is buzzing with excitement as auditions approach. Students interested in joining the theatre family and taking on the challenge of Les Miserables should keep their eyes peeled for audition information that will soon be posted on the Sage Creek Drama Website.

This year’s winter musical looks set to be a challenge, but also a way to expand and bring the theatre community closer together through laughter and shared experiences.

Porter is confident that the Sage Creek Drama Program can not only handle Les Miserables but bring it to life. She nodded assuredly, a note of finality ringing in her voice as she announced, “We’re ready to do it justice.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Do You Hear the People Sing? It’s Coming From the PAC”

  1. Andrew Coviello on October 18th, 2018 1:25 pm

    Hey, Emilie! Nice article. I am horrified by this title and I do not wish to proceed further. Very ominous!

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Do You Hear the People Sing? It’s Coming From the PAC