I'm presently in rehearsals for Brampton Music Theatre's production, and I am casted as an ABC student. (My androgynous look has me casted as young men on occasion. It's a lot of fun and very challenging.) My friendship and similar physical traits to the young man playing Feuilly has lead us to build a wonderful backstory and depth to our characters.
Here is a letter written from my character (again, casted as 'Student #3') to Feuilly. I may post what I've written thus far on our shared character bio at a later time ...
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January 7, 1831
I write to you now being merely days since our trip to the country to see beloved Family, and I had only wished you had stayed the few days more to enjoy the hunting trip with your father; he was rather, if not excessively, insistent that I accompany him. The words he spoke to me were troubling, and it's only you I speak them to. I dare not trouble our soft, delicate mothers with such awestruck thoughts - from your own father, no doubt.
He had asked of me my loyalty. I had quickly answered what I know, 'to my family'. He had repeated the question, as if wrong in my first response. When asked for clarification, he was told of rumours amongst the students, of 'congregations and conversations' that ought not to take place in certain public establishments. I remained silent, the only thought in my mind was the fear that if he is suspect of my chosen company at C.M., is he aware of yours? My mind began to race in motion, to come up with anything that would potentially pardon your place there. It is, certainly, a public establishment, but much out if the way from the shop. (It is a happy chore, trust me, to visit you as often as I do, so I will not hear it again. You are just as happy to see me.)
Your father pressed on. It had worried me, because his tone was not that of an angry man seeking to punish his adopted son of activities potentially unbecoming, but his suppressed air of genuine interest. I suspect he did not want to lead on that his questions were that simply of curiosity.
He asked why everyone was so angry in my classes. I could only say one word, really: 'Betrayal.' He was confused. I elaborated as best I could without complication: 'Mother France held back on her promise, and she is turning away her children from her breast. They are dying in the streets, Papa. Feuil and I see it every day with our own naked eyes. We can only do so much, but we do what we can, because Mother abandoned us.'
He asked me again, with tears in his eyes, of my loyalty. I repeated, 'to my family.' The silence of the forest among us was as if the Lord Himself had seen into my heart and made firm this pledge. He had grasped my shoulder with such affirming strength, it was difficult to look him in the eye. I didn't want to dishonour not meeting his gaze, so I counted the protruding grey hairs in his eyebrows (how we'd tease him so, looking like one of those Oriental dragons!)
I couldn't, however, help myself to meet his eyes proper when he asked me, 'And the riots, if they do happen, as predicted, will you do your best to protect each other?'
I had nearly slapped the old man with the shot pheasant on my belt for not knowing better!
I know that we sit on a precipice, dear cousin. I cannot help but hark to teachings of Auguste Comte and what is called his 'metaphysical stage', where the rights of man will break through the cloud of greed and coventry, where every man will be a king.
I must depart this letter with my unconditional love to you, cousin, that you have yet once given me grief for not seeing you in the city as of late. My studies have kept me at a constant speed of exhaustion. There is a young lady here who has caught my attention ... Perhaps a handmade fan of satin and lace by Paris' most skilled hands may be an appropriate gift of admiration, oui?
Expect to see me soon, cousin.
With God's love,
Your loyal "Oiseau"