Jean Valjean: A paroled convict and the protagonist and moral center of the show. Failing to find work with his yellow parole note and redeemed by the Bishop of Digne’s mercy, he tears up the parole note and conceals his identity to live his life as an honest man. He redeems himself repeatedly with selfless acts of generosity and love. He steps in to save Fantine. He adopts Cosette and ultimately gives his blessing to her and Marius, allowing them to marry. He rescues Marius from the barricade.
Javert: Police Inspector who relentlessly pursues Valjean for breaking parole. He sees the world and its people in shades of black and white, and believes that no one—including himself—is capable of change or redemption. He is NOT the villain, but his idea of the law is merciless and unbending.
Fantine: Desperate, haunted, terrified, hopeful, proud and fiercely protective of Cosette, Fantine is a woman who has been abandoned by her lover and seeks to support herself and her child, first by reputable work and then by selling everything that she has, including her body. As she dies she asks Valjean to look after Cosette. Ultimately, she appears as a spirit and escorts the dying Valjean to paradise.
Thenardier: An opportunist who has survived by robbing, cheating, stealing and looking out for himself, above all. Crooked, irreverent, selfish, boorish, vulgar. He plays the “bon vivant” host because it serves him well, and later leads a gang of dangerous thieves. Comic relief along with his wife Madame Thenardier.
Marius: A young student who is searching for himself and his purpose through his studies and through the revolutionary ideas of his peers. He is a casual friend of Eponine, but falls in love with Cosette instantly at a chance meeting. Marius’ experiences at the barricade age and mature him.
Cosette: Fantine’s daughter, she has become beautiful under Valjean’s care. She is lively, personable, curious and mischievous. She challenges him, behaving with dignity and imagination when seeking information about her past. She falls instantly in love with Marius, changing her world and her priorities.
Eponine: Daughter of the Thenardiers, she has followed in her parents’ footsteps to life on the street. Once pampered, now a ragged abandoned/neglected young adult, she has learned to take what she needs and wants from anyone not strong enough to protect it. The only thing she can’t have is the love of Marius.
Enjolras: Charismatic leader of the student revolutionaries. He believes that “the people” will join him in the fight to make a better world. Friend to Marius and the ABC students-- who are willing to follow him to the barricades and beyond.
Madame Thenardier: Opportunistic wife of Thenardier. She is coarse, greedy, larger than life, and able to improvise in any situation. Scheming, comic and quick to see an opportunity.
Children’s Roles - (may be high school students or actual kids)
Young Cosette: Fantine’s young daughter. Boards with The Thenardiers. She is mistreated, worked like a drudge, beaten by Madame and bullied by young Eponine. She is fearful, lonely and dreams of something better.
Young Eponine: non-singing/non-speaking. The Thenardiers spoiled, pampered daughter who bullies young Cosette mercilessly.
Gavroche: A child of the streets who has made his way with intelligence, honor and a cocky courage that endears him to the student revolutionaries. He sees himself as one of them.
Featured Ensemble Roles
Bishop of Digne: Houses Valjean after his release from jail and gives him gifts of silver and absolution. His act of kindness inspires Valjean to improve himself and escape the label of “criminal”. This role can be changed to a nun as well.
ABC SOCIETY: Students and workers, part of a secret society to fight for freedom. The students are from wealthy families, the workers are a stark contrast. (Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, Grantaire)
Thenardier’s Gang of Thieves - Brujon, Babet, Claquesous, and Montparnasse
The Foreman: The foreman of the factory where Fantine works. He is sleazy and even a bit menacing
Bamatabois: The “customer “who taunts Fantine into violence. Wealthy, dissolute young man who thinks of himself as a gentleman. Drunk, sadistic and feels he can buy anything-even Fantine.
Factory Girl/Worker 1/Girl 5: Fights with Fantine. Mean, catty and threatened by Fantine’s beauty. Jealous of the attention that the foreman pays her.
Old Woman: This is the woman who bargains with Fantine for her hair.
The “Man of the Night”: Controls the "Lovely Ladies". Mean, aggressive and abusive. Small solo line in “Lovely Ladies”.