West Side Story Sweeps the Stage

This Jones High School update is sponsored by BancFirst, Loyal to Oklahoma & You.

The sounds of Broadway made their way to Dr. Lee Simmons Drive on Thursday evening, as the Jones High School Musical Theater Department performed its rendition of the beloved classic, West Side Story. The performance was electric! The play begins with the iconic snap from Riff (Conner Lucas), and ends with a tearful farewell from Maria (Sarah Grant).

Tony (Mark Williams) and Maria (Sarah Grant) melt the audience hearts with the beautiful duet Tonight.

This show was a huge undertaking for the students, led by Director, Mrs. Debbie Rueda, and Student Director, Peggy Dodd. Not only were students acting in the performance, but they had show-stopping singing and choreographed dance numbers. The students had to act as their own stage hands too, moving props in and out during scene changes. The stage setup was engaging as well, with a beautiful balcony scene, where Tony calls to his love, Maria, from the streets below.

The sassy and energetic Anita (Julia Proctor) dances with her brash and beloved Bernardo (Gavin Ashmore) with a wonderful Latin flare.

The strong lesson about the destructive power of prejudice becomes so clear in the closing scene, as Maria cries out in disgust for the hatred shown among the warring groups. It’s almost unsettling to watch high school students remind us of the ugliness that is shown when we pass judgement on another person, instead of trying to understand them. The unconquerable love that Tony and Maria had for one another, despite the racial environment and broken homes they grew up in, give us hope that love really can overcome hate. Let this be a lesson to us, to be kind to those around us and to look for beauty in everyone.

Thank you to the students and staff at Jones High School for all of your work in creating this production.  What a wonderful gift for our community!

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