New Musical at Long Wharf Theatre Is Not A WEST SIDE STORY Sequel

According to the company's statement the play has real-life ties to co-author Mildred Ruiz-Sapp's family history and their connection to Puerto Rico.

By: Dec. 21, 2021
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New Musical at Long Wharf Theatre Is Not A WEST SIDE STORY Sequel

Earlier this week, it was reported that Long Wharf Theatre is developing a sequel to West Side Story, from husband-and-wife duo Steven Sapp and Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, which would follow the main character Maria following the events of the classic musical.

This evening, the company has released a statement negating the report and categorizing the work as having real-life ties to co-author Mildred Ruiz-Sapp's family history and their connection to Puerto Rico.

According to the company's statement the play "is not a sequel to West Side Story or a derivative work."

Read their full statement here:

When the play was first announced in February 2020, a press release described the work as, "In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ensemble, UNIVERSES receives a commission to develop a new musical, MARIA, a response to cultural appropriation in West Side Story, focused on what happens to Maria after the conclusion of the classic musical."

In February 2020, co-author Steven Sapp said in a statement, "We are thrilled to create this new work for Long Wharf Theatre, and we are excited that the stories that shape our Nation and drive our work are valued and honored by an invitation like this. We are currently celebrating 25 years of UNIVERSES and have long wanted to bring this story to life. With this commission, we introduce MARIA like you've never known her before. Our jump off point begins where the imagined Puerto Rican lives that inspired West Side Story left off. Interweaving true Puerto Rican narratives, we discover the journey of a starry eyed Puerto Rican girl through her life's journey, witnessing what she has experienced and the world she has inspired along the way."

No further details have been announced at this time on when the musical will premiere.

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