All March, audiences at BYU-Idaho have been able to watch the production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
“As I’ve performed in front of an audience, their reactions have helped me create a deeper relationship with my character,” said Karen Garcia, who plays Jehan. “Seeing how they react to certain scenes helps me tell the story in a more honest way.”
Cast and crew thank all who have come to support the show as it has run its performances. All 13 of their shows have been sold out and long lines of students and community members have waited in standby to see the musical. Most have been able to get in if they come an hour before showtime at 7:30 p.m.
“(With an audience), there’s just a much deeper level of connection,” said Elisabeth Clark, an ensemble member. “Being able to interact with the audience and feeding off of their reactions just heightens the experience so much more.”
Mishaps and miracles have occurred throughout the performances that make it all the more immersive for the audience.
“My wig gets caught on almost everything,” said Abbey Daniels, who plays Esmerelda. “One time I spent fifteen seconds, which felt like an eternity on stage, trying to untangle my wig from Nathan’s shirt button during one part of the show. It was hilarious and he pulled it off well.”
While being the smaller of the two theaters within the Eliza R. Snow building, the Black Box studio still boasts an impressive set for this show. Staircases move back and forth to capture the impression of the Notre Dame cathedral or give the idea of being down in Paris’s streets. The set, cast and music all come together to tell this classic story and themes that have stood the test of time.
“For me, the strongest idea is keeping hope in dark times and resisting the easiness of feeling pessimistic,” said Joe Robinson, who plays Quasimodo.
Music is integral to the other messages of love, forgiveness and humanity within the show.
“The gospel connections and spiritual experiences I’ve felt while being in this show have been special,” Daniels said. “Especially ‘God Help The Outcasts’ and ‘Someday.'”
Both songs teach that we are all children of God and that there is always hope, even when the days seem dark.
The ensemble plays a large role in the show, with cast members playing multiple roles ranging from gypsies to saints to soldiers. Their vocal performance enhances the Hunchback experience.
“The music of Hunchback of Notre Dame really is the show, it adds just the right emphasis to each moment and will leave a special imprint on everyone who hears it,” said Hallie Grigg, an ensemble member.
It’s not too late to see the show. While the show is listed as sold out for their remaining shows, standby tickets are available. The remaining performances are March 29, 30, and 31 at 7:30 p.m.
“This musical demonstrates, in such a powerful way, that wherever we come from, whatever we look like and whoever we’ve become, we are all human and deserve to be treated with love and kindness,” said Callie Martineau, an ensemble member.
Several cast members have commented on the personal effect this show has left on them. They hope it will affect all those who come to see it as well.
“God knows each of us individually and hears our prayers,” Daniels said. “I feel so blessed to have been a part of this. God is so good.”