FLOYD COUNTY —
Arguably the most popular musical of all time, “Les Misérables,” has inspired millions across the globe with its unforgettable music and timeless story of love and redemption.
Floyd Central Theatre Arts will present “Les Misérables,” the first two weekends of November. Show times will be Nov.1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 at 2 p.m., at Floyd Central High School Auditorium, 6575 Old Vincennes Road, Floyds Knobs. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens $10 and $6 for students. For just $6 more priority seating is available in the VIP section as well as an exclusive hors d’oeuvre lounge at intermission. If you are buying online, VIP tickets can be purchased by selecting a seat in the center section of the main level in rows C-J. Seats in this section are labeled as “VIP” and one ticket gets you into the theatre as well as the intermission lounge.
Based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hug, “Les Misérables” tells the story of Jean Valjean, a convict who breaks parole in search of a better life. Inspired by a single act of kindness, Valjean alters the course of his life and touches the hearts of the individuals who come into his life. In the midst of 19th century France, a country torn apart by political unrest, poverty, and illness, the story of Valjean makes sense out of life’s most disturbing tragedies and brings to light the greatest joy of the human experience; what it means to love another person.
“Although we are fortunate to live in a relatively peaceful and safe community, ‘Les Misérables’ is an important piece to do because it echoes the cries for compassion and justice that are still very real in many corners of our world today,” said Robbie Steiner, director of theatre arts. “The story of ‘Les Mis’ may take place in the 1800s, but its oppressed, ill, and desperate characters are still with us. Now more than ever, we need the compassionate and empowering message of ‘Les Misérables.’”
Until a few months ago, the only productions of “Les Misérables” in the United States have been produced by the official Broadway and touring companies. With the exception of an abridged “school edition” of the show that was made available about a decade ago, the show has not been available to schools and other theatre groups. Floyd Central will be one of the first schools in the country to produce the complete version of the show, along with brand new orchestrations that were created for the most recent international tour.
“It is a challenging show, but the opportunity to sing such brilliant music is exciting,” said Collin Jackson, who plays Marius. The show features a full orchestra along with a cast of 67.
In this production, Floyd Central students have the unique opportunity to work alongside two experienced actors in the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert. Alonzo Richmond (Valjean) and Phil Thomas (Javert) are both experienced in the world of professional theatre as well as theatre education. Richmond performs regularly in the Kentuckiana area and is also the director of theatre arts at Silver Creek High School. Thomas, band teacher at Highland Hills Middle School and adjunct lecturer at Indiana University Southeast, last appeared on the Floyd Central stage in 1999 as God in “Children of Eden.”
“Working with guest artists in a school production provides students with tremendous learning opportunities to observe and learn from professionals who have mastered their craft,” says retired director of theatre arts, Chris Bundy.
Student Clay Gulley, who plays Thenardier, agrees.
“Working with Mr. Richmond and Mr. Thomas has inspired me to be concentrated on what I’m doing. You can tell that they go home and put in great preparation after each rehearsal,” he said.
The production is directed and designed by Steiner with choreography and additional direction by Megan Bliss and Bette Weber Flock. Angela Hampton, choral director for Floyd Central, is the musical director and is assisted by the Highland Hills Choral Director David Stone. The orchestra, which consists of both students and adults, is conducted by Jon Ledgerwood. Michael Nevitt is the lighting designer, assisted by junior Lydia Villiger. Performers include junior Madeline Coffey (Cosette), senior Collin Jackson (Marius), senior Jade Dailey (Eponine), junior Allyson Nicole Jones (Fantine), senior Clay Gulley (Thenardier), junior Mary Hayes (Madame Thenardier) and junior Ryan Bickett (Enjolras).
To purchase tickets, call the box office at 812-542-2284 or visit www.floydcentraltheatre.org.