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The Hill School's Ellis Theatre Guild to Present "Les Misérables"

The Ellis Theatre Guild will be performing the world-renowned Broadway phenomenon Les Misérables for its winter 2023 musical production at The Hill School on Friday, February 24 at 7:15 p.m., with additional shows on Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. and Sunday, February 26 at 1 p.m. Free tickets for all four performances can be reserved here.

“We have spent the past four years preparing for this musical,” Director of the Center For The Arts Chris McGriff says. “I am so happy to say that we have the talent, and I am so proud of our students for stepping up to the plate to tackle these iconic characters and even more iconic songs,” he continues.

The main character, Jean Valjean, will be played by Daniel Schlegel '23. “I can’t wait for you to see Daniel Schlegel as Valjean. Daniel started four years ago playing Corny Collins in Hairspray.  From Corny Collins to Valjean has been quite the journey and I am so very proud of his growth as an artist,” McGriff comments.

“Luke Gerdeman and Meena Ali as the Thenardiers is a not to be missed pairing that will have you laughing and grinning from ear to ear,” McGriff explains. Luke Gerdeman '23 played Sweeney Todd in the Ellis Theatre Guild’s adaptation of Sweeney Todd this past fall and Meena Ali '23 played Rose in the fall 2021 production of Gypsy, and Sandy in the winter 2022 original musical, Love, Dot.

McGriff wants the audience to keep an eye out for heart-wrenching performances from Emma Herzog '24 (Eponine), Harry Whaley '25 (Marius), Timmy Woodward '24 (Enjolras), Joy Boothe-Genthe '24 (Fantine), Grace Wang '25 (Cosette), and Frankie Halvey '24 (Javert).

“This is the most talent I’ve seen on this stage since I’ve started working here,” McGriff says. “We’re blessed to have previous stars like Cordelia Davies '23, Grant Lupien '23, Lizzie Hopper '23, and Sela Muto '24 in the ensemble contributing some stand-out performances. All I can say is this production is absolutely not to be missed!” McGriff excitedly notes.

The 2022-23 academic year marks Director of the Center For The Arts Chris McGriff’s five-year anniversary at The Hill School, and he is determined to make this year memorable for his theatre students and the community. As this musical is often known to be romanticized, McGriff is putting a spin on the production by showing a more gritty, harsh perspective.

Terri McEntyre, fight and intimacy director, and her assistant, Shawn, will be returning to Hill after previously helping the cast and crew for Hill’s production of the Hunger Games last spring. They will be teaching this year’s cast how to professionally fight on stage and perform intimate scenes together.

Bobby Goodrich comes back as the full production designer for Les Misérables. Goodrich designed the custom wigs and elaborate costumes for Hill’s productions, including Love, Dot, Hairspray, and Sweeney Todd. They recently became the full production designer for Sweeney Todd in the fall of 2022. In addition to the overall set design for Les Misérables, Goodrich will continue to oversee wigs and costumes for the production.

Joining Goodrich and McGriff are Technical Director Peter Gorneault who will have the help of nine talented Hill students; Laura Cobbs, Hill’s adjunct dance instructor, leading the cast in dance heavy choreography; and guest orchestral director, Adam Kowalski, who will be live directing nine Hill music students during the performances.

“As the program director, I’m just so proud of these students. They have worked very hard over the years; and as a result, we get to do Les Misérables and do it well. That is truly a blessing,” McGriff says.

Stay updated on @HillArts on Instagram and Twitter for sneak peeks and teasers.

Les Misérables is a musical about Jean Valjean, a man condemned to 19 years of hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family who finds only hatred and suspicion when he is released on parole. Meeting one man who believes in him, Valjean breaks his parole to begin a new life. The story truly begins as Jean Valjean crosses the landscape of early 19th century France, always pursued by the righteous police inspector Javert. From his adoption and love of the orphan Cosette to the darkly funny plots of the thieving Thenardiers, from the soaring revolutionary fire of the student rebels who fight on the barricade in the streets of Paris to the final confrontation between Jean Valjean and Javert, the story of Les Misérables is one of love, courage, and redemption. (Broadway.com)


Meena Ali ’23                   Madam Thenardier
Joy Booth-Genthe ’25      Fantine
Luke Gerdeman ’23         Thenardier
Frankie Halvey ’24           Javert
Emma Herzog ’24             Eponine
Daniel Schlegel ’23          Jean Valjean
Grace Wang ’25               Cosette
Harry Whaley ’25             Marius
Timmy Woodward ’24      Enjolras
Camilla Gomez*               Young Cosette/Young Eponine
Mason Keith*                   Gavroche
Emerson Kellie*               Young Cosette/Young Eponine


Araiya Casriel '24             Ensemble
Bennett Cerullo '23          Ensemble
Michael Cheng '26           Ensemble
Alexa Creciun '26             Ensemble
Cayden Cubbin '25           Ensemble
Cordelia Davies '23          Ensemble
Hayden Downie '26         Ensemble
Zuri Holub '26                  Ensemble
Lizzie Hopper '23             Ensemble
Sienna Licata '25              Ensemble
Grant Lupien '23              Ensemble
Holly Mason '24               Ensemble
Sela Muto '24                   Ensemble
Srinidhi Pasumarthy '26   Ensemble
Jahiem Pratt*                   Ensemble
Devon Smith '24              Ensemble
Andrew Ward ’25             Ensemble
Marshall Welch '24          Ensemble
Cindy Yu '26                     Ensemble
Sissi Zhen '24                   Ensemble
Liliann Zvarick '26            Ensemble 


Tofe Akinyanmi '23           Tech
Kyle Chen '24                   Tech
Lola Ge '26                       Tech
Payton Jobson '23            Tech
Morgan McMahon '24       Tech
Zach Rice '24                    Tech
Brooke Zelin '24                  Tech
Kelly Grable '23                Assistant Stage Manager
Ryann Holladay '24          Assistant Stage Manager
Sophie Walsh '24             Stage Manager 


Gabriel Bak '25
Jake Fleck '24
Jonathan Jean '24
Casey Li '23
Carolyn McNay '23
Liyan Sun '25
Evan Sun '24                    

* = Out of School members