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‘Les Miserables’ actress no stranger to stage

Claire Kaputska returns to The Prizery stage this summer after appearing in last summer’s “Oliver,” “Red, White and Broadway” and “Legally Blonde.”   

Theatre patrons have just seen Claire as the gum chewing, slightly ditzy Penny Pingleton in “Hairspray.”

But as Cozette in “Les Miserables,” Kaputska’s character is entirely different. 

Les Misérables opens Friday night and runs through Sunday, July 20. 

Probably the most different aspect of the two characters is the vocal style, one being more of a musical theatre belt and the other a legit classical style, according to Prizery Artistic Director Chris Jones.  

April Hill, voice faculty at Elon University and Summer Theatre music director, said, “Claire used a contemporary belt voice for Penny in ‘Hairspray.’  The style would be similar to pop singing.  This involves using a speechlike quality, but in theatre using a specific resonance that allows the voice to do so without causing vocal injury is necessary. 

In “Les Miserables,” Kaputska will be using a “legit” voice, which means that the technique is more classical, with more open vertical space in the throat, purer vowel sounds and vibrato.  Many listeners would identify this sound as more closely related to an operatic tone.”

Kaputska is excited to be returning to school this fall for her senior year of theatre studies.  She is attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. and hopes to move to New York City upon graduation to pursue a career in theatre.

Working with local youth in the summer shows is another reason that Kaputska loves the theatre world.  

“Theatre teaches young people that being creative and different can be a good thing.  It takes seemingly eccentric kids and gives them a way to channel their creativity and energy into something constructive.  So often, children are taught to stifle their impulses and conform, and seeing theatre and participating in it are ways to combat that,” said Jones.

Before returning to Belmont University in the fall, Kaputska will take a family vacation and back to rehearsals for “Fiddler on the Roof” at Studio Tenn in Nashville.

“We wish Claire the best of luck and look forward to our mention in her Tony award acceptance speech hopefully sometime in the near future,” Jones added.

Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, “Les Miserables” sweeps its audience through an epic tale of broken dreams, passion and redemption, against the backdrop of a nation in the grip of revolution. 

“Les Misérables” opens Friday night. Call the box-office for tickets at 434-572-8339 or order online at www.prizery.com.