Essay, Research Paper: West Side Story


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During my vacation in North Woodstock, New Hampshire, my two friends and I came
across The Papermill Theater. An old run down mill, turned into a theater, with
lots of history. We all decided to attend the play , West Side Story, hoping it
would be a good experience. As we entered the theater my eyes swayed from left
to right taking in all the history of the building. I saw old ceilings and walls
with different mill machines with in them. I came across the old set up of the
building consisting of a rundown stage with many scene props and dusty old
chairs. These chairs really stood out, they were all differently designed and
all different types. Some were folding chairs while others were cushion movie
like chairs. As the three of us discovered our seats we noticed how popular the
show really is, as a matter of fact all 100 seats ended up being filled. After
everyone was seated I took out my program booklets and began to read about the
backgrounds of the actors and actresses. I discovered that they were all
professional actors and actresses and had produced three well-liked plays
already this summer. These plays were “Anything Goes”, “She Loves Me”,
and of course “West Side Story”. As I continued to read I also cited the
pictures and the descriptions of every actor. I became very anxious to see what
was to come of this production. The lights finally went out and I was instantly
enthralled with the cast and plot. The play focused around the two gangs, the
Jets and the Sharks(the Puerto Ricans). They continued on to identify the
hostility of these two gangs through song dance and of course acting. Every
scene change was not a done with a curtain, but rather a spotlight. This
technique I enjoyed and found very intriguing to watch. As the actors toured me
through the play act by act I enjoyed it more and more. I even felt suspense
while the fights went on and the couples fell in love. By the end of the play I
was so caught up in the moment that I felt the tears of sadness as I wept for
the awful death of Tony and how much sadness it brought to not only Maria, but
also the other gangs too. In fact both gangs felt so much sadness that they all
assisted the carrying off of Tony to his grave. At that moment I knew Tony’s
death resulted in peace between both gangs. The play was a tragedy, but did have
a rather positive ending in one way. This production was such a wonderful
experience for me that I would totally consider going back to see another one
and more. I give much credit to every actor for the absolutely wonderful job
they did in the play. They made it so real for the audience. I praise the
Mainstage Acting Company on what a terrific performance they held.
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