KHS Drama Club Presenting West Side Story


Jessica Taylor, Kenwood's Theatre Teacher

As I  write my first director’s note at Kenwood High School, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Working on this show has been a labor of love for us all.

Amazingly, this dedicated drama club has taken me in as one of their own and proved the phrase “the show must go on” in more ways than one. On December 5, 6, and 7 we will be presenting to you, West Side Story. West Side Story is a magical alliance of Arthur Laurents and Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Steven Sondheim inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

We wanted the time and place of our West Side Story to seem familiar and current. West Side Story shares the story of two teenagers from rival groups, the Sharks and the Jets, whose ill-fated love only fuels the tension between the groups. Tony, a former Jet, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo who just happens to be the leader of the Sharks. Tony and Maria try to overcome the social constraints of their town and find true love but heartbreakingly, love sometimes is not enough.

West Side Story is about power, frustration, and belonging but most importantly it’s about the curse of prejudice and how it can tear people apart. West Side Story shows the harsh reality that no matter how much love two people can have, sometimes hatred has the final word.

Working on this show provided us all the chance to engage in rigorous discussions about race, discrimination, immigration, gender, violence, and inclusivity. This show, though written 63 years ago, echoes the very same issues that society is facing today and is what makes West Side Story so timeless. We appreciate your support of our students and our show and we hope the conversation continues with you.

Be sure to come out to Kenwood High School to catch this timeless production on December 5, 6, and 7 at 6:30 pm with doors opening at 6 pm.  It’s $5 for students and $8 for adults.