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Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin
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San Lorenzo Valley High School is proud to present the landmark Broadway musical "West Side Story", with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents. "West Side Story", directed by Will Guilford, with music direction by Nicki Kerns and choreography by Whitney James-Heskett, is presented at the San Lorenzo Valley High School Performing Arts Center April 26 through May 6. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:00 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. There is no performance Friday, April 27. Community Night is Thursday, May 3. Tickets prices are listed below and available to purchase in advance at: http://hs.slvusd.org/community/art-drama-boosters/

Inspired by the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet, "West Side Story" takes Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, and places them in the vibrant battleground of New York City’s West Side in the 1950s. In the midst of the deep-seated rivalry between the Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks, and the white gang, the Jets, Maria and Tony discover that ancient grudges are no match for true love. Their warring factions, however, refuse to back down, and the “rumbles”, romance, and resentment lead the bloody path to the lovers’ ultimate, tragic conclusion. With soaring, sophisticated, and diverse melodies, energetic and athletic dance battles, and its remarkably salient social message, "West Side Story" remains one of American musical theatre’s most revolutionary and most loved treasures. This show includes a cast of over 40 actors, with nearly 20 students involved in technical production positions.

With recent events in Puerto Rico, SLVHS will have a donation container at each performance. The funds raised will be sent to a public school in Puerto Rico to support hurricane relief and rebuilding.

Will Guilford has been directing musicals in the San Lorenzo Valley and throughout Santa Cruz County for the past 30 years. This year marks his eighth time directing for SLVHS; past credits include "Alice In Wonderland", "Damn Yankees", "Guys & Dolls", "Oklahoma!", "Crazy for You", and "Grease". Presently, Will teaches 6th through 8th grade Drama at SLV Middle school, and Drama I and II at SLV High School. He obtained his B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Davis in 1985, received his Teaching Credential from U.C. Santa Cruz in 1988, and earned a Masters in Radio, Television, Film, and Theatre from San Jose State University in 2001 and his second Masters in Educational leadership & Administration in 2008. His thesis, "Adolescent Self-Esteem: The Role Theatre Plays," focused on the importance of the art of drama in bolstering self-confidence and self-esteem in our youth. Will has also completed extensive research on why it is imperative for schools to provide students with an array of extracurricular activity options. His musical credits, over 50 directed and produced, include "Beauty and the Beast", "Little Shop of Horrors", "The Wizard of Oz", "Dracula: The Musical", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "The Pajama Game", "Annie", "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", "Bye Bye Birdie", "The Sound of Music", "Oliver", "Cinderella", "Honk!", "The Music Man", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Seussical", "High School Musical", "The Little Mermaid" and "Peter Pan".

Nicki Kerns, music director, vocal coach and pianist, holds a piano performance degree from Dominican College and is currently working toward her master’s degree in music education. While this is her first time as music director for SLVHS, she served a vocal coach on past productions of "Grease" and "Crazy for You". Besides playing/music directing various shows in the area, Nicki is the music director/organist at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Cruz, the accompanist for the choirs at SLVHS and SLVMS, the owner/piano instructor at Up Scale Music in Boulder Creek, and keyboardist for The Raytones.

This is Whitney James-Heskett’s second time working with SLVHS. Previous credits include: SLVHS’s production of "Urinetown"; Mountain Community Theater’s productions of "9 to 5, the Musical", "The Fantasticks" and "Young Frankenstein: The Musical"; Kirby School’s production of "9 to 5, the Musical"; and Little People’s Repertory Theatre’s productions of "Alice’s Avengers in Underland" and "Cinderacula". She teaches at the Palomar Ballroom in Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz.

Performance Dates:
7:00 p.m. on April 26 and 28, May 3, 4 and 5
2:00 p.m. on April 29 and May 6

All performances will be held at the San Lorenzo Valley High School Performing Arts Center located at 7105 Hwy 9, Felton, CA 95018.

General Admission - $15
Seniors/Staff - $13
Students - $10
With ASB Card - $9
Community Night - May 3 (all tickets $10)

WEST SIDE STORY is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIshows.org