Jefferson Drama reflects on preparing for “Les Miserables”


Patty Vitsupakorn

Cast members rehearse for “Les Miserables”

Tanya Kurnootala, Staff Writer

Set in the early 1800s France, Les Miserables is about a convict named Jean Valjean, who, soon after leaving prison, is once again sought out by Javert, a prison officer. While Valjean attempts to start a new life for himself, he must continuously avoid Javert’s attempts to bring him back to prison. Les Miserables first came alive on Jefferson’s own stage on March 24, and the drama team has been working to make this year’s production a success.

Over the years, Jefferson Drama has grown to become a large organization within the school, and with Les Miserables came the addition of even more members.

“This year we have a much bigger cast and crew. We have a pretty large ensemble and many new people have joined this year. This is mainly due to the popularity of Les Miserables and people getting their friends to do it with them,” senior head of set design Neha Khandelwal said. “For crew, last year we had only about 7 or 8 people while this year, due to recruiting, we have almost 20.”

In choosing the production and planning the show this year, Jefferson Drama chose to emphasize unique aspects of the play, such as its accompanying music.

“We wanted an ensemble-heavy show so we could grow the department; drama was small at the beginning of the year. Also, our orchestra is amazing, so we needed a musical that had a great orchestra score,” sophomore Olympia Hatzilambrou said.  “The orchestra sounds really good even though the score is really hard to play.”

In addition to the music department, the cast had to work to make sure their singing as well as their acting is accurate.

“The music in Les Miserables changes key signature and meter constantly, so we’ve had to work on making sure those transitions were smooth,” Hatzilambrou said.  “Also, because there’s so much singing, we have to work on following Ms. Lowery’s cues in addition to singing the right notes and acting, so we have been working on that constantly.”

However, with the recent unexpected snow days, much of Jefferson Drama’s valuable rehearsal time was cancelled. To make up for the lost practice time, the cast and crew had to put in an even greater effort.

“The snow days as of late kind of freaked people out because there wasn’t a lot time left. We’re in tech week right now, so losing a rehearsal is a big amount of time,” freshman Aria Moss said.

Despite a few setbacks, Jefferson Drama has managed to successfully prepare for the show. When opening night a was slightly over a week away, Khandelwal reflected on how preparations are progressing.

“Preparations for the musical are going well. We’re in the middle of tech week right now which means rehearsals are running until 9 o’clock so things are a bit hectic. The days leading up to opening night are always crazy as everyone’s trying to do their best to make the show as great as possible,” Khandelwal said. “I’m confident we’ll have an amazing show ready for the TJ community come show day.”