Les Misérables


Being individual is hard when one is forced to be somebody else. Forgiving and forgetting the past is impossible when people keep running from it. Finding love is difficult when forced to live life in a secluded area. Surviving poverty is rough when there is absolutely nothing left. However, as long as loved ones are by ones side, there will always be a way to get through it. “Les Mis” reflects all of these hardships, and really brings the story together.

“Les Misérables” is set in the post-Napoleonic era, just after the French Revolution. It tells the story of convict Jean Valjean, who escapes from prison after serving 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. Jean begins a new life and starts going by a new name. He moves far away and becomes a well-respected citizen. Javert, the police inspector, grows suspicious of him after noticing his resemblance, forcing Jean to leave and start his life over in a new place.

The rest of the story takes place in Paris. He rescues a young girl named Cosette and becomes her guardian. They spend many years in a convent secluded from the outside world. Eventually, Jean leaves so that Cosette may have a chance at a normal life.

Cosette soon falls in love with Marius, a young lawyer, who is in a band of revolutionist at a barricade. Marius is wounded and Jean risks his life to bring Marius to safety. Throughout time, Jean struggles to become a good man. It wasn’t until after the wedding of Cosette and Marius and he is close to death that he is able to stop running from his past and tell the truth. It wasn’t until then that he finally finds peace.

Students, parents, and teachers who have seen the movie adaptations and read the book believe this will be a wonderful play to put on for students, minus inappropriate themes.

“I think this play may be more understandable  for a mature audience, but because this is a school play, I assume this production to be appropriate for everyone,” said Child Development teacher Katie Rooke.

Seeing this play might raise certain questions in the students and might leave them to reflect on their own personal life.

“When I first seen the movie, I was skeptical about the message of the production, but overtime it surly teaches a person about morals,” said sophomore Destiny Russel. “It teaches us not to hold on to the past. When you keep running from the truth, it brings you and everyone involved with you down. I believe this school play will teach students to be true to themselves and fight for who they love and for what’s right.”

Theatre Arts teacher Tina Domino also says this show will have a good effect on the students.

“I always select shows for our season to teach students a skill set,” said Domino, “If a student is involved in the Klein Drama Program all four years of school, they will have an opportunity to work on shows by classic and contemporary playwrights, all genres (comedy, drama, dark comedy, musicals) with a variety of settings and time periods. This way, the technical student learns many different skill sets as well as the actors.”

“Les Misérables” is a special opportunity for the students in theatre arts and theatre production.

“This particular musical is offering over 100 students the opportunity to work with the beautiful music of Claude-Michel Schonberg with original orchestrations by John Cameron. It is highly regarded operetta that is still performed in London and on Broadway,” said Domino.

Mrs. Domino has had her sights on this play for quite a while.

“I have been planning to do this show for many years now. I think the timing is right with the students we have and the opening of our brand new Performing Arts Center,” said Domino, “to produce this show at the high standards Klein Drama strives to attain. We needed to wait for a facility that had a scene shop to build the sets needed and a theatre space that would accommodate such a large cast and scenic elements.”

Being the Theatre Arts Instructor, Mrs. Domino has put a lot of work into this production.

“I take months, about six months in this case, in the planning stages even before we audition. We will work with students on the show 12 to 15 hours Monday through Thursday and approximately 15 hours with students on Friday and Saturday. We, the teaching production staff, put in many hours beyond that for planning and producing a show,” said Domino.

The estimated cost of this play goes beyond costumes and lights, but the Klein Drama team figures out their own ways to pay for their productions.

“I have set a reasonable budget for the overall cost of the production. The license fees through MTI are $7,325. We have allotted for $2,500 for the set, $2,000 to costume 63 students with multiple costumes, wigs, shoes and boots, and we will have additional costs for lighting, sound, props, posters and programs,” said Domino, “Klein Drama does not receive money from the district to produce plays and musicals; we raise our own funds through ticket sales and fundraisers.”

“Les Misérables” will run on January 23, 24, 29, 30, 31, and February 2, 2015 at the Klein High School Performing Arts Center. All shows are at 7:00pm, and have reserved seating. Tickets will go on sale in December and can be purchased at www.kleindrama.com. There will be a preview day put on for all students in the auditorium on January 21 for invited classes. Don’t miss the biggest production of this year, “Les Misérables,” put on by the Klein High School drama department.