West Side Story
West Side Story
It has been more than a year since we decided to tackle West Side Story, with Dance teacher, Mr Selby, having called for this choice for even longer! Whilst we were still in rehearsals for the bloodthirsty ‘Macbeth’, we were mailing and phoning to New York at the start of a journey to produce, what I believe is, the greatest musical ever written.
Behind the scenes there has already been a buzz of work as the Finance, Admin and Communications departments have hustled and bustled to make the audience’s experience as well organised and entertaining as possible, even before the last one was finished!
We began by seeking to purchase the rights to produce West Side Story and arrange the hire of scripts and scores. Despite being a school production, the writers and original producers of the show still get their fair share of the profits and bill for permission to use their work. Some may feel this fee is unfair, but this is the way that creative workers get their cut of the spoils of their labour.
The budgeting of the show is a time to argue for big ideas, compromise when those dreams aim too high and to have the annual debate about ticket prices. Costs involved include hire and purchase of seating, lighting, sound equipment, costume, props, set and materials for added scenery. The bills are high but so is the quality of the shows we produce and this year we were thrilled to receive sponsorship from Morfitt Smith Estate Agents to help us cover the costs of some of the big ticket items.
We always want our shows to look and sound as professional as possible and for our performers and technicians to experience a professional atmosphere in the rehearsal room and in the performance space. Performing Arts Technician, Chris Hanlon, coordinates a brilliant network of students and staff, who meet weekly throughout the year to support all of our performance work. As our talented performers sweat through rehearsals, there is always a ‘techie’ or two making notes in the corner of the room.
The audience may not notice the work of dozens of people in the preparation of the play, but they would certainly notice if the work had not been put in. It is a privilege to be part of the High Storrs artistic community.