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June 09, 2015 : Rehearsals Underway for OUL Theatre’s West Side Story
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
 
Lancaster – Rehearsals are underway for the Ohio University Lancaster Theatre’s summer production of West Side Story.  The show debuts during Lancaster Festival on July 26.
 
“We are deep into the rehearsal process of blocking, vocals, and choreography,” said OUL Theatre Director Victor Jones. “Actors have also begun their journal writing to work on their backstory. This musical is inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and that play provides some insight on the depth of love that Tony and Maria have for one another. Our cast wants to be true to the time period in which the show takes place. Our detailed costume plot and working on the dialect for each cast member will help bring his/her character to life.”
 
Each summer OUL Theatre puts on a community theatre production.  That means OUL students and community members are encouraged to audition to become part of the cast. Jones said there are eight OUL students in this production, as well as 32 community cast members, and 20 community orchestra members.
 
“When looking for an OUL community theatre production this summer, I wanted something that would be artistically challenging for not only myself but the actors, singers and dancers,” said Jones. “Theatergoers will love seeing this legendary musical being brought to life on our stage. The legendary songs and melodies will have the audience singing the tunes well after the production is over.”
 
Jones said West Side Story is special to him for many reasons.  It has a beautiful story and message.  The show also has a special place in Jones’ past.
 
“The first time I was introduced to this musical I was a freshman at Stanbery in Lancaster.  My vocal music teacher Gary Smith told us it was going to be on TV that night, and we all needed to watch it. I gathered around the TV that evening with the neighborhood kids, popped some popcorn, and we watched it from start to finish,” said Jones. “My first professional theatrical experience was when I was an intern at Kenley Players. KP had productions at Veterans Memorial and other venues in several states. During the summer season that I worked there, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the talented Carol Lawrence who appeared in Rogers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music that summer. Carol Lawrence was also the original Maria in West Side Story on Broadway. Wow, what an experience that summer was!”
 
Jones believes this summer will also be an amazing experience with West Side Story at OUL.  Visit www.ohio.edu/lancaster/events/theatre.cfm to purchase tickets.