BUCKFIELD — The streets of Flatbush, Brooklyn will come to the stage of Buckfield Junior-Senior High School later this month.
“West Side Story” will be presented by the students of the school at 7 p.m. March 29-30 and April 5-6, and at 2 p.m. April 7.
“The characters are pretty much the same age as those in the story,” said Ethan Wright, theater and music teacher, and co-director of the play. “I was in it in college. It was an amazing experience.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Perry plays one of the lead characters, Maria.
“I love being Maria. She gets to show all these emotions,” she said.
Elizabeth’s mother grew up in Brooklyn, so she’s been able to help her with a Puerto Rican accent. Many parents are providing help with costumes and other aspects of the theater production. Elizabeth hopes to attend the University of Southern Maine in theater and music.
Portraying Tony is freshman Jon Randolph, who wanted a larger role than he had played in the past.
“I gave it a lot of thought after being chosen,” he said.
Wright believes Jon is perfect for the role.
“Jon has an honesty to him, a sweet character like Tony,” Wright said.
The cast has 32 students. Another 18 help out with sets and a myriad of other tasks needed during a stage play. A 12-piece orchestra comprised of students and music teachers will provide the music, and two of Wright’s former students who are now students at USM, Hannah and Hillary Perry, not related to Elizabeth, choreographed the many dances in the play.
Other departments in the school are helping out with the production. Art teacher Joe McLaughlin and his students are turning the entrance to the auditorium into a 1950s subway station complete with posters of the Brooklyn Dodgers and pictures of the actors in the school musical.
Auditions were held just prior to Christmas vacation. Since returning to classes, students have been rehearsing and building sets, Wright said.
Assisting him as director is his wife, Meghan Andrews-Wright. Assistant director is Rossie Kyllonen.
“This is the most well-balanced cast we’ve had. They are really high quality actors,” said Wright.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. They go on sale in the school’s office on Friday, March 15.