The Entirely Student-produced Rising Star Project: WEST SIDE STORY to Play The 5th Avenue this July

The Entirely Student-produced Rising Star Project: WEST SIDE STORY to Play The 5th Avenue this July

The 5th Avenue Theatre is currently bustling with nearly 100 high school students from all over Washington State who are hard at work in the rehearsal hall and backstage for Rising Star Project: West Side Story, which will play for three performances only from July 12 - 13, 2019. Rising Star Project, a 5th Avenue Theatre education program that places musical theater in the hands of tomorrow's artists, innovators, and leaders, allows teenagers to develop professional skills by producing and performing a musical on The 5th's mainstage. This year, which marks the seventh Rising Star Project production, students are in the process of remounting The 5th's professional production of West Side Story (May 31 - June 23, 2019), created by an all-student cast and crew, as well as students working in producing, development, marketing, and casting departments, with guidance and mentorship from The 5th's staff. A complete list of participating students is included at the end of this release.

Playing July 12 - 13, 2019 at The 5th Avenue Theatre, tickets for Rising Star Project: West Side Story are on sale now at, by phone at 206.625.1900, or in person at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.

"Rising Star Project helps every young person achieve a fulfilling career, a stronger sense of self, and confidence in their ability to inspire positive change in the world," said 5th Avenue Theatre Director of Education & Engagement Orlando Morales. "This season's Rising Star Project is no exception. It is very exciting to watch this driven group of individuals discover more about themselves and their community as they unpack and explore the themes and stories West Side Story presents."

West Side Story, the awe-inspiring musical, beloved by many, reimagines Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in the context of gang violence and racial prejudice. Although created 50 years ago, West Side Story is still as impressive, vibrant, and influential as ever; this Rising Star Project production of West Side Story makes the show new again. With a quintessential score and choreography, West Side Story brings a relevancy to musical theater, coupling artistry with a reexamination of bias and stereotyping. The production, remounted entirely by students, makes the storytelling even more special. Audiences will watch a cast of dedicated high school students perform this iconic and sweeping tale with all the grace, passion, and quality of its mainstage counterpart.

Rising Star Project: West Side Story is a recreation of The 5th Avenue Theatre's Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry's direction, Bob Richard's choreography based on the original conception of Jerome Robbins, and Matt Perri's music direction for The 5th Avenue Theatre's production of West Side Story, produced in association with Spectrum Dance Theater.

The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of America's leading musical theater companies. We enrich the community we love with the art form we love--giving the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that go on to light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway. From the page to the stage, we bring passion and epic scale to every musical we create. With big talent. Bigger-than-life productions. And did we mention dazzle? As a nonprofit theater company and our region's largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals with people of all ages across our region and state. Each year, we reach 75,000 young people through our nationally acclaimed education programs. Programed designed to develop new musicals ensure that the next generation of great musicals will be there to tell the stories that captivate tomorrow's audiences. On the national stage, we are a leading voice for the power of this American art form to lift the human spirit.

For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit

Rising Star Project is proudly sponsored by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation. With additional support from the following major donors: The Hearst Foundations, The Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Charitable Foundation, Susie and Phil Stoller, The Sabrina Roberts Memorial Fund, Rex and Angela Bates, Jolene McCaw Family Foundation, RealNetworks Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Bob and Clodagh Ash, The Casey Family, Linda and Kevin Cheung - Start It! Foundation, Rob Denbrook, GM Nameplate, The Jean K. Lafromboise Foundation, Tom and Judi Lindquist, Claudia and Bob Nelson, Seattle Rotary Service Foundation, Elizabeth and Gary Sundem, Becca and Bill Wert, H.S. Wright III and Kate Janeway, DCG One, and Promotion Arts.

Photo credit: Jason Snow

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