West Side Story

Shine is casting an ethnically diverse cast of musical theatre performers in our upcoming production of West Side Story! We are accepting video submissions from male students ages 13-18 for consideration as featured Sharks and Jets.

About the Production

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the “American” Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

Who’s Directing?

Shine Founder and Executive Director, Claire McNeill, will be directing.
Shine Teaching Artist, Daniel DeJesus, is the choreographer.

I’ve Got Questions. Who’s Got Answers?

Prior to auditions ask the producer at

During auditions ask the box office staff
After auditions ask the stage manager at

Submission instructions

Please submit three videos and your completed, signed audition form in a google folder. Be sure to make the link public. Make sure that your videos are well-lit and reduce the light behind you as well as any background noise.

1. A video of you singing your 16 bar cut of a song from a musical. Sing to a recording of piano accompaniment.

2. A video of you reading a side. Choose your side and character. To access the audition sides, click here  (The sides are numbered and are on the second half of the list.) Ask someone to read the rest of the characters in the side off-camera.

3. Please create a video of yourself performing the dance (see a breakdown here). The video should be a static shot and show you dancing from head to toe. 

We have a $30 audition fee, which is charged to students even if they are submitting an audition video. Please create account and save a credit card to your account so that we can charge you.

Where and when does the show perform? 

West Side Story performs at The Courtyard Theatre in Downtown Plano July 16-31, 2022. Each weekend, there is one Friday performance at 7:30, one Saturday performance at 7:30 and one Sunday performance at 2:30.

How old do I have to be to audition?

Actors must be ages 13-18 on the day of auditions to be eligible to audition.

How much is tuition?

There is no tuition associated with the show other than the non-refundable and non-transferrable $30 audition registration fee.

What role is perfect for me?

If you want to know what role is perfect for you, we recommend reading the PERUSAL SCRIPT available in the box office. But please keep in mind the role you think is perfect for you may not be the role the director chooses to challenge you with.

What if I am only interested in certain roles or ensembles?

There is a place on the audition form to state this.  If the director chooses not to cast you in the “only” roles you’ve chosen, one of two things will happen: 

1. You will not be cast in the show, or 

2. You will receive a phone call from the producer or stage manager offering you another role in the show.  It is probable that if you do not receive the specific role(s) you listed, you will not be offered an alternate role.

What does a director look for at auditions?

The director evaluates: 

VOCAL QUALITIES — pitch, placement, articulation, and projection 

DANCE SKILLS — do you have the dance technique and memory to execute choreography and learn quickly? 

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT — do you embody the character or simply read the words on the page? 

SENSE OF FOCUS — do you live in the world or are you too distracted by your thoughts or external factors? 

IMAGINATION and CREATIVITY — your unique interpretation of language and character EXPRESSIVENESS — is it in your words? your face? your body? 

HONESTY — are you reacting and speaking as your character would? 

PRIOR EXPERIENCE – if the director hasn’t worked with you before, we are thrilled to have you audition! If we have prior experience working with you, we take it into consideration. Were you reliable? Prompt? Kind? Directable?

THEN we look at things like age and height to think about what role you might fit into and which of the other people that auditioned might match up with you. The same criterion is true for callbacks.

What skill sets and talents are sought in our performers? 

The Principle Characters in West Side Story require strong vocalists, strong actors, and capable dancers. The Ensemble requires strong dance skills and singing skills. Students do not need past experience in any of these areas, but a bold audition and courage to take risks will help them to portray the characters coming to life on stage.

If I am cast what is the rehearsal schedule like? 

Rehearsals will begin on June 13. Rehearsals will be held Monday-Thursday from 1:00-5:00/6:00 and Saturday from 9:00-noon. Not every character will be called for every rehearsal, though central characters will attend almost every rehearsal. The number of rehearsals you attend depends on your role. Actors will be called in for 30-60 minutes on a Saturday for a costume fitting.

Technical rehearsals are July 11-14 from 5:00-10:00 pm and all cast members must be present. We permit NO absences or conflicts of any kind during tech week.

What if I have conflicts with the rehearsal schedule? 

Actors must state all conflicts with the rehearsal schedule on their audition form, which will go out one week prior to auditions. Shine will be unable to accept rehearsal and performance conflicts after casting except in the case of an emergency.

What do I wear to auditions?

Wear dancewear to the dance call and plan to change clothes before the second portion of your audition. When you sing and do cold reading, wear nice but comfortable clothing that allows you to move without risk of embarrassment, and does not mask the size and shape of your body. Wear closed-toed shoes. If you are called back it is a good idea to wear the same clothing you wore on the day of your audition unless otherwise specified. 

What do I bring to auditions?

  • Your completed audition form (front and back)
  • sheet music in a 3-ring binder for piano accompaniment for 16 bars of a song from a musical in the style of the show. No singing acapella. No singing to accompaniment recordings. 
  • Dance shoes (character shoes are one option)
  • Headshot

What is on the audition form?

The front has fields for your contact information so we know how to get hold of you (and your parents), your availability for callbacks and rehearsals, a space for listing conflicts, and a place to list your theatre experiences, training, and special talents. Resumes are not necessary.

Do I need to have a resume or headshot?

With the number of people coming through the door, it is important that we have a picture of you.

When will you announce the cast? 

The target announcement date is May 20.

How do I know if I am cast?

Everyone who auditions will either receive a phone call or email by May 20.

If I am cast, what do I need to provide?

Actors are required to provide specific shoes, socks, tights, underwear, and all make-up supplies as determined by the costume designer. Stage make-up costs approximately $15 to $30. Shoes may run between $20 and $60 dollars. Undergarments such as leotards, camisoles, and undershirts may also be required.

How are parents involved?

There are four times that parents/guardians are required to be involved if your child is cast in the show. Cast members are also required to be at the following dates and times:

1. Informational meeting on June 13 at 6:00 – 45-minute commitment

2. Pick one time to volunteer at a set build or paint call – 4-hour commitment

3. Load up and Load in on Sunday, July 10 – 1 to 3 hours commitment, depending on specific volunteer role

4. Strike on Sunday, July 31 – 2 hour commitment, exact time varies from production to production

Technical positions

On your audition form, you will be asked if you are interested in volunteering for a technical position if you are not cast in the show. Your answer to this question will not affect your casting in any way. Positions may include stagehand, wardrobe/dressers, board operator, assistant stage manager.

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