Omaha Public Schools Present ‘West Side Story’
July 10th, 2014
Omaha, NE — Students from many area schools are joining forces to produce some Classic musical theatre.[audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ops-WSS-2014-web.mp3]
Opening tonight at South High School is the Omaha Public Schoolâ€™s summer musical, â€œWest Side Story.â€ Directing Leonard Bernsteinâ€™s distinctly American take on Romeo and Juliet is Benson High School drama teacher Erienne Wredt.
â€œAnd theyâ€™re taking a show that we all know, that we grew up with, that is a part of the musical theatre vernacular of America, and they are bringing it to life,â€ said Wredt.
She says the bulk of the work for the production is done by students.
â€œThe cast is all students. The crew – who is moving the scenery – is all students. We do have adults leading the students, but during the show and what the audience will see is all student-driven, itâ€™s all student work,â€ she said.
Wredt points out that â€œWest Side Storyâ€ is hardly an easy musical to produce, especially for the performers.
â€œThe musical score for it is daunting,â€ she said. â€œThereâ€™s very few characters that get to sit in their comfort zone – pretty much everybody gets pushed for this. On top of that, itâ€™s a huge dance show. This is a show that was conceived to be all dancing, so that is a huge challenge.
Samantha Quintana is a recent Central High School graduate, is playing the role of Anita. She says that the cast and crew are up to the task.
â€œThereâ€™s just so many really, really talented young people,â€ Quintana said.
Wredt says that in rising to the challenge, the students are gaining valuable skills and experience.
â€œTheyâ€™re learning how to do things closer to professional than they get a chance to at an individual school level, and I think that is an amazing opportunity for these kids,â€ she said.
Playing Riff is Ryan McCann, a sophomore at Bryan High School. He points out that there are other benefits to participating.
â€œMeet new people, making new friends,â€ he said.
Omaha Public Schoolsâ€™ Summer Musical, â€œWest Side Storyâ€ runs July 10, 11, 12. All performances are at South High School and begin at 7:30 pm. More information is available by calling (402) 557-2443.
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