As the smoke cleared and the overhead light shone down onto the stage, the silhouettes of revolutionary French fighters proudly stood frozen in time.
“Cut!” our director yelled, walking towards the stage with a bouquet of flowers for the performers, “And that’s a Les Mis: The Movie wrap!” Nobody in the room could move; we couldn’t believe the theatrical project we poured ourselves into for three months went by so quickly.
I still remember the unsure expressions on our faces when The Harker School’s Musical Theater Director announced that we would perform Les Miserables this year. Because last year’s musical Damn Yankees was canceled due to COVID-19, everyone was unsure whether such an ambitious production could be accomplished. Instead of a live performance, our director adapted the production to fit pandemic regulations with pre-recorded vocals and socially distanced filming. I vividly remember the frustrating process of sitting in my room recording hours upon hours of audio takes, worrying about what my voice would sound like in the final product.
As the shelter-in-place regulations relaxed, we returned to campus in early February to begin the videotaping phase of our production. I looked forward to seeing the familiar excitement on our fellow cast members’ faces every week, despite the fact that we wore masks and socially distanced. By this time, we had audio recordings of our voices so we could lip sync on stage. I can’t wait to see the final production that premiers on April 30th.
Submitted by Daniel Wu, Santa Clara County – Los Altos.