Les Miserables School Edition
WHEN: Friday August 5, 2016 at 8PM, Saturday August 6, 2016 at 8M and Sunday August 7, 2016 at 3PM
WHERE: bergenPAC, 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood
TICKETS: $44, $39, $29, $24, $14
Tickets available at: www.ticketmaster.com or www.bergenpac.org or
Box Office (201) 227.1030
Inspired by the critically acclaimed production that has been the recipient of over 100 international awards, a talented locally concentrated cast of nearly 100 strong and ranging in age from 7-18 come together in the production of Les Miserables. With the ultimate mission of providing high-quality training in theater arts for students in conjunction with the purpose of spreading the message of this uplifting tale of survival of the human spirit, “The Performing Arts School and our dynamic and experienced mentors have helped high school students in this production to improve on life skills such as public speaking, improved focus, social skills, self-confidence, and team building through unique and interactive training by industry professionals,” said Dominic Roncace, bergenPAC CEO.
One of those mentors responsible for inspiring this sense of appreciation for the arts is Ilene Greenbaum, Music Director of Les Miserables, and Conductor of The Encore Orchestra of New Jersey. Her interaction with students in both the cast and orchestra is critical to their development as performers. She explained, “It is of paramount importance that young artists have the opportunity to be trained by and work alongside adult professionals in their fields, whether their talents be expressed on stage or in the orchestra pit. Our pit orchestra will include a number of talented student musicians who will sit with seasoned professionals and perform this beautiful and intricate musical theatre score.” She added, “the incredibly talented students with whom I have had the pleasure of working at the BergenPAC in prior productions have inspired me as much as I hope I have inspired them. I continue to derive great pleasure and satisfaction from seeing young actors and musicians grow and improve their performance skills during our rehearsal process."
A number of student actors have closely interacted with those involved in the artistic vision and execution of the production. Local performers involved in the production receive invaluable exposure to the universally recognized masterpiece of Les Miserables. Their work with professionally trained directors and producers alike on the School Edition is profoundly significant. Featured dancer and student of dance, voice, and music at the Performing Arts School at bergenPAC, Jayden Tabor, remarked, “I feel so grateful to be a part of something bigger than myself that I am genuinely proud to share my further explored passion with friends and family on performance day. It’s been an inspiring road with all of the practice and training that we’ve undergone and I’ve never been involved in anything more rewarding.”
Bonnie Godoy, an Englewood resident who attends the Academies @ Englewood, and is an ensemble performer in the production, has expressed her excitement to be part of the performance at bergenPAC, stating, “BergenPAC is like home to me. I have performed on the BergenPAC stage four times already and it is great to come back in the summer to perform again as part of Les Miserables.” This bergenPAC tradition of engaging locally based young performers in the area has provided a defined objective to which teens can aspire.
Rebecca Sonia, choreographer of the production and herself an alum of beyondDANCE at bergenPAC, said of the upcoming performance and her involvement in the creation of it, “It was growing up at the BergenPAC that ignited my passion for the arts. I am very grateful and excited that I get to share my experiences with a new generation of students and hopefully inspire them to pursue their passions just as I did when I was a student here at BergenPAC." A number of students have expressed that mentors like Sonia are critical in their development as artists. William Taitel, portraying the role of Javert in Les Miserables and nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor by Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards, sacrificed a prestigious scholarship to their Summer Conservatory this summer in order to dedicate his time to bergenPAC’s Les Miserables production. Grateful for the experience, Taitel explained, “It is incredible to work with people like Glenn Gordon, the associate music director and Rebecca Sonia. Their level of knowledge of the defining artistic vision of Les Miserable and their experience with putting on productions such as this is what has made our success possible. I will carry the lessons they have taught me throughout my entire acting career.”
All of those involved in the production are excited to share with local audiences the work that they have put into their adaptation of Les Miserables. The Performing Arts School Creative Director and director of the show Alexander Diaz raved about the collaborations between the cast and professionals with whom he is working to bring this play to fruition. “We have an amazing cast and I’m so lucky to be working with the musical directors who have brought the powerful score of Les Miserables to life,” Diaz explained. “The directors and choreographers set an energizing tone for achievement and in turn, the students bring vitality to the innovations and efforts of the whole team.” The enthusiasm that he and everyone involved in the show have expressed is ultimately indicative of an energetic and dynamic performance to come.
About The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC
The Education program at bergenPAC features a series of classes, school residencies, workshops, live performances, student productions and ensemble groups in the performing arts for students ages 2 1/2 months to 21 years old for all ability levels including special programming for individuals with special needs. The program provides students with unique and “hands-on” arts training by industry professionals that allow them to gain real world experience and enhance academic achievement through the arts. bergenPAC’s arts education initiatives occur on-site at our new Performing Arts School building at 1 Depot Square, Englewood, NJ or off-site at other schools. Through programs, classes, outreach, school shows, and presented shows, the school reaches more than 30,000 students and community youth annually.
The Performing Arts School offers basic and professional level performing arts classes and ensemble groups and productions in theater, dance, and music for students of all ages. The school also offers beyond bergenPAC, a school Partnership Program with school districts throughout the area. The school also offers scholarships for those in financial need - no-one is turned away for inability to pay.