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Students Showcasing their Many Talents in Drama Club’s ‘Les Miserables’

April 23, 2015

Les Miserables Scene

Action-Packed Musical: In the role of Eponine, sophomore Alia Robinson (middle) is caught between senior Ryan Seale (right), playing the reformed prisoner Jean Valjean, and Devon Timaeus, as police inspector Javert, in the Rose-Hulman Drama Club’s production of Les Miserables. (Photo by Nate Montgomery)

The Rose-Hulman Drama Club’s production of “Les Miserables” brings one of the most beloved and iconic musicals of modern times to the institute’s Hatfield Hall Theater for the next two weekends.

Set in early-19th century France, “Les Miserables” tells the classic story of a society on the cusp of revolution, and the lives of characters caught in the harsh reality of those times. Among them the reformed prisoner Jean Valjean, played by Ryan Seale, whose life is turned around as a response to the grace and mercy of God, as demonstrated through the actions of a kindly bishop.

“Everything he does is trying to protect someone else,” observes Seale, a biomedical engineering major from Owensville, Indiana. “One of [Valjean’s] lines which is really near and dear to me is ‘to love another person is to see the face of God’.”

The senior has performed in nine Rose-Hulman productions, and is currently drama club president. He believes “Les Miserables” is a fitting end to his thespian career on campus.

“This is my all-time favorite musical and my all-time favorite part,” he says.

Seale’s character is pursued by police inspector Javert, played by Devon Timaeus, another veteran of Rose-Hulman productions.

“He’s kind of like this flawed diamond character…he’s an absolutist and doesn’t see the gray areas in the world,” explains Timaeus, a senior majoring in computer science and software engineering.

Sophomore Alia Robinson plays Eponine, a young woman whose selfish, unscrupulous parents are constantly scheming to bilk and swindle their way into riches.

“Eponine is a strong woman, capable of strong love and selflessness, despite growing up with terrible parents,” says Robinson, a software engineering and computer science major from Carmel, Indiana. “In a way, I can relate to her struggle as she learns to accept that what she wants most is something she’s never going to have.”

“Les Miserables” is based on a novel by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo, and features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg. After debuting in France in the early-1980s, the Broadway production opened in 1987 and ran until 2003, closing after more than 6,500 performances. It won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and was later made into a successful movie.

“This musical is one of the all-time greats,” remarks Dan Tryon, director of student performing arts. “From the cast to the crew to the amazing orchestra, the students are doing a wonderful job bringing this show to life. The sets look amazing, and this is a show that music theater lovers aren’t going to want to miss.”

Opening night is Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m., with other performances on Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday, April 26 matinee at 2:30 p.m. There will also be shows on May 1-2 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for youth. Advisory: This show contains adult themes and may not be suitable for young children.Patrons may purchase tickets in person or by calling 812-877-8544, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. and two hours before each event. Tickets and complete show information are available at hatfieldhall.com.


“Les Miserables”
Rose-Hulman Drama Club
April 24-25/May 1-2, 7:30 p.m.
April 26, 2:30 p.m.
Hatfield Hall Theater
5500 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute

Tickets:
$25 for adults
$20 for youths

For tickets:
Visit the Hatfield Hall ticket desk or call 812-877-8544, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or two hours before event, or purchase online at hatfieldhall.com.