Stars of Les Misérables


Vinh On, 9th grade (Cosette)     cosette

If you thought a freshman couldn’t pull off a lead role, think again. Vinh On killed it with her performance of Cosette in the school production of Les Misérables. Cosette is the daughter of Fantine and the love interest of Marius. Still new to high school, Vinh lacked confidence. She thought joining the musical would be a good chance to meet new people and get out of her shell.

“When seeing my name as Cosette on the cast list, I screamed. I was surprised since freshmen don’t usually get lead roles,” On said, “Especially because everyone did so good at auditions and seniors usually get the lead roles, since it’s their last year.”

Being in choir and other singing activities helped her play Cosette. Their personalities are similar, which also made it easier. “We both have naive personalities. Cosette is really timid towards the world and I feel like I can connect more to her than the other characters,” On said.

Wanting to show she was worthy for the part, she made it on time for each rehearsal, while others were not so punctual. “Tardiness was one of the biggest struggles of the musical. Many cast members would be late and it caused scheduling problems,” On said.

No matter the struggles she faced, she overcame them. She made it through the stressful and tiring time period, better than ever. She is no longer shy and afraid of being not liked. although this was a rigorous time in her life, it was also meaningful. From it she was able to learn many life lessons.

“After joining the musical, I noticed some changes in my personality,” On said. “I started to open up to people more.”

She wishes to continue her acting career in years to come. “Acting also wasn’t really my forte. After joining the musical, I began to like it and it was really fun and inspiring,” On said. “I hope in 5-10 years from now, I’ll be on Broadway and possibly play Cosette again in a bigger production.”

Performing in Les Misérables gave her the experience of performing for bigger crowds. She wants to continue performing in school productions during her high school years, especially because of the amazing time she had while doing Les Misérables.

“The cast and crew are like my second family now. I really bonded with a lot of people throughout the entire experience,” On said.

Emily Trachsel, 9th grade (Ensemble)asdf

Emily Trachsel, an ensemble member, performed her first high school production for the showings of Les Miserables. An ensemble is a group of people singing/acting together and typically have multiple roles, and this freshmen with her 6 roles and countless musical numbers blew us all away with her epic talent. She gave us some insight on what it was like getting to perform with upper classmen “ok so I was a little terrified because these actors have been doing their thing for a while now, but they were so nice to me and my friends and were so welcoming, it all just went well you know.”

Trachsel said there were nerves flying around everywhere on opening night everywhere and a few slip-ups too. “We missed a queue in the beginning of the show, and one of the characters didn’t perform their lines on time, which then caused me and the other actors to miss ours… but we told him off after backstage, so we’ll do better tonight.” And with such hopeful and uplifting personalities from everyone, the show was a success!

This will be her fifth play production, but this is her first play production in high school.

“Being part of the ensemble was fun. It was pretty easy playing different roles, but the only problem was the constant outfit change which was a bit hard.” Trachsel  said.

In her future, she hopes to be apart of more school productions and hopes to soon make it to the big screen.

It was a scary experience for her since it’s her first high school production, and high schoolers are usually spoken of in a scary way. “After all the rehearsals, and getting to know the cast, you could say we’re all just a big family,” Trachsel said. “There’s wasn’t really any problems. We got along with each other, especially since everyone had such a cool vibe around them.”

“The play was a really cool experience, and I’m going to miss a lot of the seniors leaving this year.”

Leif Jomuad, 12th grade (Marius)fdas

Leif Jomuad was the center of the stage with his amazing performance as Marius Pontmercy in the school production of Les Misérables. His musical talents kept the audience on their toes, never taking their eyes off him. Marius’ young love with Cosette warmed the hearts of some and even made others want to burst in tears.

He masterly played the difficult parts of his character. He had to show different emotions, from being in love to going through tragedy and loss.

His past experience in drama helped him on the stage, as well as already being a lead the previous year. He knew exactly how to use the audience’s emotions to his advantage. “I did theatre all my middle school career and sophomore year to this year,” Jomuad said. “During freshman year, I didn’t do theatre because to be honest I didn’t like the teacher when I was a freshman.”

“Last year was my first lead role when playing Usnavi, which was the main guy and the narrator for the musical ‘In the Heights’,” Jomuad said. “My sophomore year, I was part of an ensemble for the ‘Music Man,’ and we actually won the Cappie for best ensemble.”

Marius and Jomuad also have similarities in personality. This helped Jomuad tremendously in playing his role. “Marius seems to be a loverboy and I consider myself a loverboy a little bit,” Jomuad said said.

“My character’s also really torn between being in love with this girl and focusing on this revolution,” Jomuad said. “I can connect with him since I’m two-minded. I would think about something else and think about other things.”

In the future, he wishes to major in vocal performance. Jomuad sees himself doing opera performances and working in contemporaries in the future. “If I feel forced to do broadway or musical theater in general, I guess I see myself doing that,” Jomuad said. “I just have to see where I am at during that time in my life.”


Anna Yates, 11th grade (Fantine)anna

Anna Yates was spot on at her performance of Fantine, who is Cosette’s mother. She stirred the emotions of the entire audience throughout all the scenes she performed. The deep agony she impressively executed brought a flood of tears to everyone in the Auditorium. The death scene, especially, showed her capabilities.

The few connections she has with Fantine helped her nail her performance. Yates understands Fantine since there had been many times in her life when everything had gone wrong as well.

“Fantine tried so hard to find hope in the world and she hasn’t been able to. She still tries her hardest for the people she loves,” Yates said said . “Sure, everybody goes through hard things like that, but for Fantine nothing has ever gone right for her.”

It was clear that she gave everything she got into the show. The heart-wrenching performance she gave showed the pure talent she possesses and the past experience she has. She carried herself on the stage like she owned it, confident and sure of herself.

“I’ve played two other roles other than Fantine. I’ve played Parsons in ‘A Line in the Sand’ and I’ve also played Camila in ‘In the Height’, Yates said.

Despite it not being her first time on a stage, she faced many obstacles while playing her part. “ It’s been really difficult to find that head space with Fantine,” Yates said. “Especially because I’ve never taken a theatre class before. I’ve never really learned how to act, so everything had to come to me.”

In the future, performing is not where she sees herself. Rather, she sees herself creating her own pieces of art and being the one in charge of the show. “In 5-10 years from now, I don’t really see myself performing on a stage,” Yates said. “I want to produce and write music professionally. Also once in my life, I want to direct a musical.”

Yates feels that she is now a stronger person because of her cast. “This cast had only two months to bond and a lot of these people I never even knew before the show. It’s crazy how well I bond with them now and how well we all get along.”