Intense days filled with wardrobe fittings, meticulous lighting decisions, full dress rehearsals—and the eager anticipation of countless opening nights across the country.
Actors Eden Mau and Ethan Rogers love every minute of it.
The recent Baldwin Wallace University music theater graduates are cast members in the particular national tour of “ Des Misérables , ” which launched earlier this month at Playhouse Square .
“One Day More” from Les Misérables The particular musical, based on Victor Hugo’s timeless novel that tells the tale associated with sacrifice plus redemption in 19 th Century France, runs through Sunday, Oct. 30 at the particular KeyBank State Theatre .
After the nationwide tour launch in Cleveland, the production will wend its way to the west coast, stopping in cities that include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Nashville.
Here’s a look at these two BW alums path to becoming Broadway tour actors.
A family legacy
For Mau, 22, BW class of 2022, the magic of theater is a treasure lovingly handed down through one generation to the particular next.
During the 1990s, her father, Gary Mauer, played the role of revolutionary leader Enjolras on Broadway and inside a national tour associated with “ Les Misérables. ” Now, his daughter is helping to breathe new life into the beloved musical as a member of the ensemble and understudy for the particular role associated with Cosette.
“My father loves this show so much, ” Mau says, “and it has a special place within my heart, too. Cosette has such an interesting story. On the outside, you see this very prim, put together, wealthy girl with beautiful dresses and perfect hair. But you forget that will she’s the rough kid who had a really tough childhood plus went through a lot to get where she is. What I try to do with her is not hide that fact. ”
Although Hendak officially hails from West Orange, New Jersey, she spent much of her childhood on the road along with her dad and mom, Elizabeth Southard. The couple was co-starring as the Phantom and Christine in a national tour associated with “ Phantom of the Opera . ”
“Bring Him Home” — Nick Cartell as ‘Jean Valjean’ from Les Misérables “People are surprised to learn I’m through West Orange because We don’t have a Jersey accent, ” Mau says with a smile. “That’s because I actually wasn’t there very often. Theater was all I knew for a long time. My parents made this a point in order to remind me what a rough industry it was and not push me personally into it. ”
But at age 13, after seeing her parents rehearse a triple-time step they’d perform during the benefit concert in Omaha, Nebraska, the teen was hooked.
“From the moment we got home, dancing was all I thought about, ” she recalls. “I knew that studying dance, voice, and acting was the natural trajectory for me. When college time rolled around, I’d made up my mind that musical theater has been the career for me. ”
Mau graduated from BW this past May with a new bachelor of music degree. “I moved to New York, had my first in-person audition, which was for ‘Les Mis, ’ and here I am, ” she says.
Mau’s choice of BW was one of happenstance. While attending some sort of college prep master class in Nyc, she met Colton Ryan, who had been an understudy in the Broadway musical “ Dear Evan Hansen . ” Ryan, a good BW alum, described the particular university’s attributes and strongly encouraged her to visit typically the campus.
“Majoring in music theater is madness, ” Mau says. “You’re advised to audition for so many schools. That seemed to be the first time I heard about BW, and I promised to check it out. ”
She admits that the girl first impression was that BW appeared to be “in the middle of nowhere. ” But Mau was initially quickly captivated by the campus’ homey ambiance and is grateful for the guidance the university’s lecturer associated with voice Sandra Simon plus dance program coordinator Gregory Daniels provided.
“BW does an awesome job in really, really setting you upward for real life, ” Hendak says. “During [university] shows, callbacks, in addition to auditions, you get a taste regarding what it’s going to be like in the real world. ”
“Red and Black” from Les Misérables Mau states that real life preview gave her a good base for auditioning with regard to Broadway shows. “As an 18-year-old coming out of high school, that can be very daunting, scary, and intimidating, ” Ingin says. “But now, actually being in this industry, I understand how helpful that experience was. ”
Mau was invited last spring to video audition regarding the role of Cosette, which led to her being called intended for a live audition on July 15. After singing selections through “Les Mis, ” she was asked to go home, change into your dress and even return to get the final callback later that day. Her performance at often the audition was basically recorded together with sent in order to producer Cameron Mackintosh and additionally his team in London.
“I felt good regarding the audition, but you never know, ” Mau claims. “While We waited pertaining to news, I actually told myself, ‘I left it in the room. I did everything My partner and i could. Now it’s time to move upon with the life. ’”
A week later, Mau learned she’d be part of your tour.
“This show feels very different than anything else a person can experience right now on television or in other theater pieces, ” she reflects. “Much involving what’s out there is so pedestrian, where the costumes are jeans and a T-shirt and the plot will be, ‘Oh yeah, that happened to our friend. ’
“What My spouse and i love concerning “Les Misérables” is the exact epic nature of it not to mention the grandness of the sets, the particular costumes and also the story, ” the girl adds. “And despite how tragic the story is, it’s filled with some profound sense of new life as well as lessons we can almost all learn. ”
A lifelong passion
Ethan Rogers, 24, BW class connected with 2021, doesn’t remember a fabulous time when he didn’t want to be able to be an actor.
“As a kid, I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t have the desire I had to be a performer, ” he says having a grin.
These days, you’ll spot him as a part of typically the “Les Misérables” ensemble portraying a member with the downtrodden working course in one scene and a revolutionary student fighting for freedom in another.
As a high school students, it did not take long for the stage to be set meant for his future career for you to come. Whilst a junior at St . Andrew’s Episcopal School in his native Austin, Texas, Rogers was chosen to play protagonist Jean Valjean in an important class production of “Les Mis . ”
“That appeared to be the turning point for me personally, ” this individual recalls. “By the time this show closed, I knew 100% what I wanted to do with my life and began researching which schools might be a great fit. ”
Baldwin Wallace was his hands-down option.
“The university has a very rigorous music-driven program, ” states Rogers, who credits associate professor for voice Cynthia O’Connell along with helping him hone their range as a tenor. “The faculty makes sure you learn how to help make the most of your talents plus demonstrate them in an audition room. ”
While pursuing his bachelor of songs, Rogers experienced the opportunity to play roles inside the BW academic premiere of “ Kinky Boots, ” as well as join often the “ Hair ” ensemble at Beck Center . He also understudied Petruchio in Great Lakes Theater ’s The Taming of your Shrew .
After graduating in 2021, the actor moved to New York in addition to landed a role in “ The Nutty Professor , ” a new musical penned by Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Rupert Holmes, at Maine’s Ogunquit Playhouse .
“The life about an actor is not an easy one, ” Rogers reflects. “Typically, it’s the lot in rejection. At BW, you’re taught exactly how to be stalwart in your convictions, understand your worth as an artist, and even know that if you work hard enough and are persistent, you have a place found in this industry. ”
The particular actor took that philosophy to heart when he was called to season casting for that “Les Misérables” national tour.
“[The casting directors] told me they knew this was a show for myself, ” he or she says. “They just needed to figure away where to put me. ”
Five auditions later, the exact pieces fell into place. Rogers received the news he’d been anxiously awaiting.
He was in.
“I’m gob smacked with gratitude, ” Rogers says. “Les Misérables” has one of the best—if not the best—scores ever written. Having the chance to tell this beautiful story with regards to redemption together with God’s love, mercy and additionally justice is a real gift. ”
Among the particular myriad roles Rogers hopes to play throughout his theatrical journey, there’s one that will always receive top billing on his / her bucket list: A reprisal of Jean Valjean.
“When I played the part in high school, I could only dream about being part of a production like this particular, ” they says. “What a thrill it would be to come full-circle. ”
Click here to purchase tickets to see Hendak and Rogers in Des Misérables at Playhouse Square.