BNI Theatre Brings West Side Story to Stage

Logan Kelsey, Staff Reporter

Bishop Noll’s drama club is bringing the second Shakespeare story of the year to the BNI stage with the musical West Side Story.


Earlier this school year, the Bishop Noll drama club, directed by Carioto , put on the play Twelfth Night, a Shakespeare story that centers around twins, Viola and Sebastian, after they are separated due to a shipwreck. Now, for the upcoming spring play, the drama club is preparing to put on West Side Story, which is a more modernized musical version of the famous Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet.


Senior Mireya Melero will be portraying the female lead, Maria, and senior Spencer Spudic will be portraying the male lead, Tony, in the musical. In the musical, there are two gangs on the upper west side of New York who are in a turf war; these two gangs represent the Capulets and the Montagues. Tony represents Romeo and Maria represent Juliet; Tony is a rival gang member of Maria’s brother so when Tony and Maria fall in love, there is a lot of drama.


The cast agrees that the audition process for the casting of this musical ran very smoothly because it was organized and the director knew exactly what he was looking for in his actors. Carioto wanted to make sure that in addition to casting the roles based on talent, he wanted to represent the ethnicities of the characters accurately.


“This show is so relevant today and actually gives everyone representation. I didn’t want Whitewash Casting, or casting people who are white as characters that were people of color,” Carioto says. He also wanted to make sure that the cast understood the content of the play because “gang violence is a sensitive subject” and is still relevant today.


Carioto  has also decided that the drama club won’t be modernizing the musical any more than it already is; it will be identical to the broadway version and the cast will be dressed as if it were really the 1950’s or 60’s.


The cast wants to be able to really touch the audience with this show and appeal to their emotions because it deals with a lot of touchy subjects that people may be familiar with, especially teenagers. It deals with gang violence and racism which affects many people. The director and the cast feel that there’s something in this show for everyone.

“This show is fantastic in the sense that every audience member can be represented in who they see on stage, or find someone they relate to. There is a character on every side of each situation with varied thoughts or opinions that the audience can find identification with. I truly believe West Side Story can be a show for everyone,” Carioto says.


The cast, the director, and the members of the drama club who build the sets are working very hard to make this production a great one. They encourage all to come see the play on April 20-23 and the following weekend 27-29. Fridays and Saturdays are at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm.