The message is the thing for cast of ‘West Side Story’

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes The cast of McNary High School’s production of West Side Story is well aware of the bigger issues at work in the play, but even that didn’t prepare them for acting out some scenes. Their roles in the play set Alea Bellish and her boyfriend, Rudy Trevino, on opposite sides of warring gangs that threaten to tear apart two star-crossed lovers in the retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.  Bellish plays Jet girl Clarice and Trevino is Indio, a Shark. “At first it was kind of hard giving him the dirty looks when we’re walking around in a promenade at the big dance. It was a little like, ‘What am I doing?’” Bellish said. “But everyone is being great about it because we’ve realized that we’re acting and, once it’s over, we can go back to being cool with each other again.” “If you just take a snapshot of the stage with the Jets on one side and the Sharks on the other, you can sort of hold that over McNary and see the same things happening here,” Trevino added. “This is kind of my school on the stage. There’s a lot of realism and it’s sending a message that this needs to change.” The play opens Thursday, Jan. 19. Curtain time is 7 p.m. Additional shows are slated Jan. 20-21 and...

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