Last Friday, a group of Providence students had the pleasure of going to see Les Miserables at the Biola Youth Theatre in La Mirada, California. Sophomore Ellen Avants, a former actor in the Youth Theatre, led the group and promised that it would be a great play.
“Taking place in the early 1800s in France, Les Miserables opens with Jean Valjean’s release from a 19-year prison sentence for stealing a loaf of bread. Branded an outcast, Valjean’s life is changed by a bishop who shows him a profound act of grace. Though he has begun to change his life, Valjean is relentlessly pursued by a police officer who is convinced that people cannot change. Later becoming a factory owner, Valjean vows to protect Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of one of his factory workers. Years later, in the midst of a student revolution, Cossette falls in love with Marius, one of the students. Because of his love for Cossette, Valjean is compelled to also protect Marius, and Valjean saves his life so that Marius and Cossette can be together. With powerful themes of forgiveness, love, and redemption, the story of Jean Valjean’s life profoundly illustrates one of the central truths of the story, ‘to love another person is to see the face of God.’” This description was taken from the Biola theatre’s website here.
The event was a great night out with friends and the performance was very high quality. After hearing the stunning voices and realizing how much work went into producing the play, it was amazing to discover that all of the actors and actresses were between the ages of 6 and 18. Emily DeBoer, freshman, said that after reading the book a year ago, she thought the actors “made the story come to life on stage.”