A! Magazine for the Arts

The statue that inspired the set design of Barter Theatre's "Les Mis."

The statue that inspired the set design of Barter Theatre's "Les Mis."

Barter Theatre denies involvement in giant head found floating in New York River

May 5, 2013

ABINGDON, VA – Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia, has issued a statement denying any connection to the giant 7-foot-high Styrofoam head found floating in the Hudson River earlier this week. The story of the mysterious head was first reported April 23 by Newsday.

Barter Theatre admits that it does own a giant Styrofoam head, which is currently under construction for a production of Les Miserables opening May 18. However, the Barter head is 7 1/2 feet high, not 7 feet, and is still located in Abingdon, Va.

Producing Artistic Director Richard Rose said "I was briefly concerned when I heard the news story, but after a quick call to our Director of Production Camille Davis, I confirmed that our head was still safely stowed in our scene shop. I'm glad ours didn't end up in a river. We open in Les Mis less than a month, and it would be a real setback."

Barter Theatre is constructing the head as the centerpiece of its set for the musical Les Miserables, which opens May 18 on the theatre's main stage. The set is designed by Dale F. Jordan, and is being constructed by Barter Technical Director Mitchell L. Critel and his team.

The Les Miserables set was inspired by a particular piece of French sculpture, marking the grave of 19th-Century French republican Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Baudin. The climax of the Boublil and Schonberg musical is set during the June rebellion, in which students and republicans barricaded the streets of Paris. The rebellion was brutally crushed, and the death of Baudin was commemorated in this striking statue of a young student killed in the battle.

Read the original story: http://newyork.newsday.com/news/region-state/mysterious-hudson-river-giant-head-found-by-marist-crew-1.5127858.