The 5th Avenue Theatre is currently bustling with nearly 100 high school students from all over Washington State who are hard at work in the rehearsal hall and backstage for Rising Star Project: West Side Story, which will play for three performances only from July 12 – 13, 2019.
Rising Star Project, a 5th Avenue Theatre education program that places musical theater in the hands of tomorrow’s artists, innovators, and leaders, allows teenagers to develop professional skills by producing and performing a musical on The 5th’s mainstage.
This year, which marks the seventh Rising Star Project production, students are in the process of remounting The 5th’s professional production of West Side Story, created by an all-student cast and crew, as well as students working in producing, development, marketing, and casting departments, with guidance and mentorship from The 5th’s staff.
“Rising Star Project helps every young person achieve a fulfilling career, a stronger sense of self, and confidence in their ability to inspire positive change in the world,” said 5th Avenue Theatre Director of Education & Engagement Orlando Morales. “This season’s Rising Star Project is no exception. It is very exciting to watch this driven group of individuals discover more about themselves and their community as they unpack and explore the themes and stories West Side Story presents.”
West Side Story, the awe-inspiring musical, beloved by many, reimagines Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the context of gang violence and racial prejudice. Although created 50 years ago, West Side Story is still as impressive, vibrant, and influential as ever; this Rising Star Project production of West Side Story makes the show new again. With a quintessential score and choreography, West Side Story brings relevancy to musical theater, coupling artistry with a reexamination of bias and stereotyping. The production, remounted entirely by students, makes the storytelling even more special. Audiences will watch a cast of dedicated high school students perform this iconic and sweeping tale with all the grace, passion, and quality of its mainstage counterpart.
Rising Star Project: West Side Story is a recreation of The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry’s direction, Bob Richard’s choreography based on the original conception of Jerome Robbins, and Matt Perri’s music direction for The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of West Side Story, produced in association with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Playing July 12 – 13, 2019 at The 5th Avenue Theatre, tickets for Rising Star Project: West Side Story are on sale now at www.5thavenue.org, by phone at 206.625.1900, or in person at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.