to Premiere "Les Mis"
An Announcement from our Artistic Director, Dane Winters
I am thrilled to announce that Heidelberg's award-winning Roadside Theater will stage the first American community theater production of the international hit musical, Les Misérables. This musical adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel set during three decades of 19th century France has become one of the world's most beloved and most often seen musicals. Mr James Sohre will direct the production. Mr Sohre's "day job" is at the US Army Headquarters here in Heidelberg, monitoring and providing training for Theater programs in all the US Forces installation throughout Europe. He has directed most of our musicals here to date, including our other world and European premieres. I will lead the technical direction and design team.
Not many people realize that the US Army Entertainment program is actually the largest theatrical producer in the world. There are several copyright companies that are very aware of that, specifically Music Theater International. MTI is the copyright agent chosen to license performances of Les Mis in various categories of theaters worldwide. For the American community theater premiere, they decided to pick a military theater overseas. With the approval of the Cameron Mackintosh organization, MTI selected us for this incredible opportunity. Michael McDonough of MTI said that his company selected Roadside Theater because of "... the quality and caliber of [their] productions. We have benefited from several hands-on workshops conducted by MTI in Heidelberg and we welcome the opportunity to work with the Army's theater team."
Les Mis is a very episodic production, covering great time and space. In our smaller theater, that's going to present an interesting challenge. Our approach is going to be slightly cinemagraphic, focusing on each episode to make it look rich and detailed to serve the piece. But it is quite an epic tale and it has to convey the history and the time and the place. That's going to be a challenge.
One of the major themes of Les Mis is revolution, and symbolically and practically, the scene design of all productions has included a large revolving stage area providing a technical and creative foundation for the production. We've considered using a revolving stage, but we're still in the early design phase. But whether we use it or not, because we're going to be the first American company that produces Les Mis in a community theater environment, we want to put our own stamp on this production design. And we'll be paving the way somewhat, because many other community theaters may have to produce this show without a revolve, too - many of them are working in a space even smaller than ours. We can't work in the huge Broadway or London scale on our stage, but we are going to be very creative, and hope to serve as a pattern for the community productions that follow.
Thank you all for a truly "Miserables" experience! The auditions were wonderful and we have a very fine cast. I truly appreciate your patience, talent, hard work, and consideration as we made our way through a difficult and somewhat overwhelming, but exciting tryout.
For those cast, I would like to have a meeting next Wed, 7 March 2001, starting at 1830. We will look at some of the score, measure for costumes, and hopefully disseminate the rest of the rehearsal schedule. Please plan on being there until 2130. It will be our only chance for a group meeting before I go on TDY for ten days.
For all those I did not cast, thank you so much for trying out. It was a treat to be introduced (or re-introduced) to your talent. Please don't be a stranger to the Roadside. Indeed, there was enough talent in the audition process to cast about 10 shows really well!
Thanks again, and I look forward to "Les Miz."
Mr. James Sohre, Director
Chorus parts with solo lines:
At the End of the Day:
Court: Judges, extras (non-singing)
Hospital: Extras, 1-2 nurses or nuns (non-singing)
After the Barricade:
Wedding Guests, Finales Acts I and II: Mixed Chorus
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