Clip from Les Miserables

In spring of 2008 I directed forty of Portland’s finest young performers from the ages of nine to twenty in the student version of Les Miserables.  When I was given the job artistic director of Staged!, Chanda Hall, charged me with re-inventing a classic. If Les Miserables is truly a classic in the greatest artistic sense, and we believe it is, then it must withstand the rediscovery of each generation.  It must be adaptable to every generation of artists who discover it for the first time.  I was shocked, frankly, at how many young people did not even know the show when they auditioned.  We cast forty actors and fully a third of them had never seen or heard of Les Mis.  By the time we had finished these young people were awarded “Outstanding Ensemble of the Year” and the twelve year old actress who played Gavrouche in a “pants” role was awarded “Outstanding Young Performer of the Year” from the PAMTA’s (Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards)