Merrill students take stage in Theatre Alliance production of Les Miserables

2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Central Wisconsin Educational Theatre Alliance. This year students from nine area high schools will be performing the smash Broadway hit, Les Miserables. This musical is based on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, one of the most widely read novels of all time. Set in France during the time of the student insurrection in 1832, this musical tells the hauntingly beautiful story of those who are poor and outcast and the things in life that are worth fighting for and perhaps even dying for.
More than one hundred of the area’s most talented students are involved in the cast, crew and orchestra (they represent Merrill High School, D. C. Everest, Wausau East, Wausau West, Newman, Northland Lutheran, Mosinee High School, Marathon High School, and Wisconsin Valley Lutheran).
Merrill students involved in the production are Laura Weiland, Northland Lutheran High School; Abe Akey, St. John Lutheran School; Kevin Lee, Michael Bergmann, Matthew Pfantz and Jacob Beyer, all of Merrill High School.
CWETA was created in 1992 as a way for local high schools to meld top theatrical student talent so large productions could be performed. In recent years, CWETA, which produces a musical every two years, has performed “Phantom of the Opera,” “Peter Pan” and “Cats.” CWETA last produced “Les Mis” in 2005.
The theater alliance has never repeated a production before, but plenty of factors weighed in to make this the year, said Laurie Maegli and Terry Riska, “Les Mis” directors. There are terrific student actors with strong voices that fit the epic. The “Les Mis” movie hit theaters on Christmas, which they believe will create carry-over interest. And the first CWETA production of “Les Mis” attracted the largest crowds in alliance history, and they hope that popularity is just as strong this time around.
Performances will be held at DC Everest High School, Schofield, on the following dates: Thursday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 9, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 10, 1 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased through the CWETA web site at, or call 715-359-6561 ext. 4135.

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