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Romeo and Juliet vs. West Side Story: Students Get Ambitious for School Musical

  • grease danny sandy KS5 musical

 

Each year, BISC puts on a large-scale musical production that benefits from student participation at every stage—from acting to set design and lighting. We’re approximately eight weeks into planning and rehearsals for this year’s musical, "West Side Story," which has a unique twist. Check out what two of our students have to say about the experience so far.

Madeline A., Year 11

Being part of the "West Side Story" cast is amazing. At the moment we’re preparing a number for the upcoming holiday concert, which combines "America" from "West Side Story" and the ball scene from Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet." My role is to play a member of the Jets’ gang who is confused and shocked by Tony’s infatuation with Maria. I’ve really enjoyed helping to shape the number by sharing ideas for how to integrate the script for "Romeo and Juliet" into the "West Side Story" excerpt. We’re combining certain aspects of Shakespeare’s more famous works into the plot of "West Side Story" because they share similar events and scenarios. This is an incredibly fascinating concept, in my opinion, because it takes something classic and turns it on its head. I’m especially looking forward to how the climax is expressed–it’s an emotional rollercoaster that leaves everyone hoping for a resolution. I think people should come watch it because it’s not something that’s been done before, and introduces people to an entirely different portrayal of a well-known story.

Bella B., Year 8

The most exciting part of participating in the school musical cast is hearing everyone’s interesting ideas that bouncing them off of each other to make magic out of the amazing "West Side Story" script. I love watching all of my friends and myself shape into completely different characters. Everybody inspires and encourages each other, and provides feedback during each rehearsal, helping to fully develop the characters. At the moment, we are working on a combination of scenes that will showcase our ideas at the upcoming holiday concert. We are being extremely ambitious in attempting to mix up the musical with Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet" to make it our own. We’re creating an exciting showcase that will demonstrate how we have mixed the scripts. I am most looking forward to learning the rest of the songs and intertwining the scripts in an interesting way to create our own original play.

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