ORWELL — Time is almost up for participants in this year’s fall drama “Les Miserables” at Grand Valley. With little more than three weeks to go, actors are urged to have their lines memorized, stage crew is pressured to have the set constructed, and tech crew is pressed to have the lights configured and the sound board prepared. There is certainly a lot of work to be done.
This year’s production is the play rendition of “Les Miserables,” based off of the famous text by Victor Hugo. The play contains much more action than plays of years past, and is therefore dramatically demanding in a different sense than returning actors are used to. Monologues are countered with dramatic silences, mindless banter is given new meaning through increasingly violent motions, and sudden bursts of action are certain to captivate the audience.
There is a higher level of stress placed on actors for this play than previous plays. Senior Gabe Kovats, who not only participates in football and basketball, but plays the lead character of Jean Valjean, brushed off the stress with a humble attitude. “I like what I do, so it’s really not that difficult,” Kovats said.
Senior Wayne Ritchie, another student with a multitude of activities he’s involved with such as soccer, construction manager, and the lead role of Marius, said, “I’m honored to be Marius. I feel almost no stress. The only real hard part has to be memorizing lines.”
Ritchie doesn’t go it alone in the construction crew. Dan Harrison, an adult helper, is there to make sure construction goes smoothly. “I’m here to make sure that the kids know how to build what they need to build. If they don’t, I show them how,” said Harrison. His biggest challenge is getting the kids to work together, he said.