West Side Story School Edition

West Side Story School Edition
Young lovers are caught between prejudice and warring street gangs in a high school adaptation of one of the most important and powerful musicals of all time.

From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. With additional resources for students and directors, West Side Story School Edition makes the iconic musical more accessible and meaningful for high school performers.

Arthur Laurents' book remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever; the score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim are still widely regarded as among the best ever written; and Jerome Robbins’ choreography endures as one of the most innovative and inventive applications of the medium.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to 1950s New York City as two young, idealistic lovers, Tony and Maria, 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 heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

Free Read: Director's Guide Libretto

You can also listen to the full song clips on the right hand side of this page.

Available with the School Edition

Re-creating Robbins' choreography and playing Bernstein's score has been a consistent challenge for high school performers and directors trying to mount the show. West Side Story School Edition helps remove these obstacles by providing an official Choreography Manual and videos featuring easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for all of the show's iconic dance numbers. The educationally-appropriate videos highlight students from all over the world under the supervision of Jerome Robbins expert Julio Monge.

Guide Vocal Tracks sung by student performers are included as digital downloadable files with your license, while Performance Accompaniment Tracks playable through the MTI Player app are available as an additional resource for schools without access to an orchestra.

The Director's Guide includes suggestions and solutions for sets, props, costumes, staging and more. In addition, the Enhanced Study Guide provides in-depth analysis of the show's themes, major moments and historical context.

The world's greatest love story takes to the streets in this landmark adaptation of the Broadway musical that is one of the theatre's finest accomplishments.

A Note on Casting

MTI School Editions offer students, teachers, and administrators unique opportunities to develop and grow as performers, producers, and patrons of the arts. We believe in diverse representation when casting your production, and encourage an environment that fosters inclusion and supports the inherent value of the sharing of multicultural experiences.

We recognize the intrinsic challenges faced when casting large and diverse productions, principally when limitations arise regarding the available auditionees. In such a situation, when casting a production in an educational setting, it is beneficial to assign roles to actors who can most succeed at portraying the character. Allowing students the opportunity to explore another person's perspectives, motivations and experiences in an authentic and sensitive portrayal stimulates compassion and empathy not always found in a classroom setting.

Theatre is a shared experience to tell a story - not only with the audience but within the cast, crew and production team. We encourage you to include as many diverse experiences as possible when sharing your story with your students.

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Questions & Answers

August 29, 2018
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West Side Story School Edition

I am wondering if any of the differences in the school edition might affect the orchestration/difficulty of the score, versus the regular edition. 

Can you speak to the score being any less difficult for high school students in the school edition?

Thank you. 

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