This question is based on the following line in the Wikipedia article on Éponine (a character from Les Miserables):

Éponine is also featured in the stage musical adaptation. She is played by two actors, a young girl for Young Éponine in the Montfermeil scenes, and by a young woman for the adolescent Éponine in the later Parisian scenes. Actresses playing Young Éponine and Young Cosette sometimes interchange roles in different performances to equalize performance opportunities and vocal strain.

(emphasis mine)

Is this something only young actresses do, and not older ones? If so, why - is there a biological explanation, or something else? The sentence is not cited, so it could also be wrong, in which case that would also be an answer.

1 Answer 1


This sounds unlikely. The young Cosette is a relatively demanding singing role for a child. The young Eponine is a silent role, so presumably far easier to cast. Since there are usually strict limits on how often children are allowed to perform, it would be illogical to 'waste' a valuable Cosette and have her play Eponine. But maybe they do it anyway to give their Cosettes a break from singing.

For a different show with two similar child roles (e.g. 'The Sound of Music'), companies will often train children for both parts so they are more flexible in their planning.

  • Might be nice to address the broader topics of voice care. I'm not sure that "cast management practices" is on-topic here, but "taking care of your voice" is. Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 13:41
  • @AndyBonner Voice care is already covered in numerous other questions here. I don't think the question is quite off-topic, but I agree it's borderline.
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 13:58
  • Any idea why there are usually strict limits on how often children are allowed to perform? I'm again wondering about a biological explanation, if there is one.
    – Allure
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 9:25
  • 1
    @Allure This is about professional theater. Normally it's forbidden to employ children, but there are certain exceptions like for theatres. There's always an upper limit on how many days a year a child is allowed to work.
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 10:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.