Local school puts on outdoor production of Les Misérables

Student performed on a wooden stage made by members of the community
Eastern Mennonite School performs Les Mis on outdoor stage
Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 3:46 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Over the weekend, students at Eastern Mennonite School in Harrisonburg performed the school edition of Les Misérables. However, it was not a traditional show on an auditorium stage.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the students performed on a massive outdoor stage made out of wood, which was built by members of the community. The production also had stage lights and audio by Pete Katz Audio and Mainlight lighting and audience members sat in socially distanced boxes on part of the soccer field.

“It’s just been a lot of everybody coming together to make this work, and it does mean a lot because I always participate in the musical and it’s a huge part of what I like about this school,” EMS student and performer, Arwen Hertzler said.

35 cast members, 2 stage managers, and 6 crew members made up the student production, and Scott Huston and Jason Misterka were the primary technicians. The performers were physically distant on stage by standing on 10-foot blocks spread across the stage and grass. The students said they were grateful for the opportunity to be together and perform for an audience.

“With my final song, it’s a very emotional song, and I had been sort of going through the motions for a while, but then the first time that I saw a legitimate audience I just sort of felt something,” EMS student and performer, Liam Hughes, said.

The stage may be passed around to other schools throughout the community who wish to use it in the future.

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