West Side Schools recreate West Side Story

West Side Schools recreate West Side Story

Every year some of the most talented students at Seton and Elder High schools work tirelessly throughout the year to put on a musical in the spring. Students auditioned for roles in November and start rehearsing shortly afterwards.

I went around to talk with some of the performers in the musical from Elder to get their take on this year’s show. Anthony Ciarla, Duncan Kelley, Jake Rinear and Sam Barsan are all seniors who are playing significant roles in this year’s show, West Side Story, so I thought that they all would be good candidates to talk to about it.

Ciarla has certainly dedicated himself to musicals throughout the years. He told me that this will be his ninth time partaking in the Selder (Seton and Elder) Series. He has made a steady climb his entire way through, acting as children while he was in grade school and now he takes on the male lead role of Tony in this year’s show.

Now he is ready to go out and put on this particular musical but it wasn’t always that way.

But this year’s show was not always his first choice. “Honestly when I heard it was going to be West Side Story, I was not excited. I always thought of it as a more dark and dreary show, unlike the previous few.” However his opinion has changed as now he has “come to really love the show” and is “ecstatic to be able to be a part of it.”

Another guy who is no stranger to the musical is Duncan Kelley. He will be playing the role of Riff in his fourth time being in the show and while his high school experience is similar to Ciarla’s, they did have different attitudes at the original announcement of this year’s production.

“I was extremely excited to learn the show would be West Side Story. It’s always been one of my favorite musicals with an awesome story and even better music,” Kelley said about the show and adding on that he has “always wanted to play the role of Riff.”

Both of these guys and all of the other members of the cast have worked tirelessly since November with hours of practice for the musical.   They both knew this going in but still stuck with it all the way through  saying that the hard work “definitely pays off” as Ciarla put it.

What helps to make a commitment that consumes this much time, is to love what you’ll be doing at the end. They both love being on stage in front of an audience and they both said that they get a great rush from being in front of an audience and saying that “there’s nothing quite like it.”

This year’s  show should be great led by these guys and a few other seniors. There will be shows Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 P.M. and Sunday at 3 P.M. I would encourage everyone to try his or her best to make at least on of these shows to show to all of the people participating that we appreciate the hard work that they have put into putting on a great show.