Summer Place Theatre Announces Auditions for "West Side Story"

Summer Place News

Event date: 5/13/2024 6:00 PM - 5/14/2024 10:00 PM Export event
Summer Place Theatre Announces Auditions for "West Side Story"
Matt Whalen
/ Categories: News

Summer Place Theatre Announces Auditions for "West Side Story"

Summer Place Theatre in Naperville, IL is holding open auditions for actors 17 and up for their production of “West Side Story!”

Book by Arthur Laurents

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Based on a Concept of Jerome Robbins

Based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”

Originally Produced on Broadway by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince

By Arrangement with Roger L. Stephens

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. Arthur Laurents' book remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim are widely regarded as among the best ever written. The world's greatest love story takes to the streets in this landmark Broadway musical that is one of the theatre's finest accomplishments.

Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet” is transported to modern-day New York City as two young, idealistic lovers 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 innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

Audition Info


Director/Scenic Designer: Mike Frale

Music Director: Kitty Karn

Choreographer: Maddie Shelton

Fight Choreographer: Andrew Trygstad

Stage Manager: Bre Sakalis

Producers: Nicole Grueneberg, Matt Whalen

Sign up Here:

If you want to submit a video audition, please select that slot in the sign up. We will be in contact with you regarding requirements and where to send materials.

Forms to fill out: Audition Form and Code of Coduct (feel free to fill out, print and bring to the audition, otherwise, you can when you arrive. Scroll to the bottom of the page to download)


Monday, May 13th at Rubin Center 305 W. Jackson Ave, Naperville, IL

Tuesday, May 14th at Fort Hill Activity Center: 20 Fort Hill Drive Naperville, IL *note change in location*

Callbacks: Thursday, May 16th: Fort Hill Activity Center: 20 Fort Hill Drive Naperville, IL (callback notices will be sent out Tuesday night to those who are called back. Please watch your email.) If you did not receive a callback, it does NOT mean you are not in the show!

Audition Structure

Auditions will be 90 minutes consisting of a vocal audition, a dance audition and a fight audition. If you are auditioning for Tony, Riff, Bernardo, a Jet or a Shark, you must participate in all portions of the audition. If you are auditioning for Maria, Anita, a Jet Girl or a Shark Girl, you must participate in the vocal and dance portions. If you are auditioning for Doc, Schrank/Glad Hand or Krupke, you must participate in the vocal portion.

Material to Prepare

PLEASE NOTE: we are a non-equity, Chicago area community theatre. We do not pay or offer housing to out of town actors.  Please consider this before signing up for auditions. Thanks!

In addition to a Headshot/Resume, please prepare to sing one minute of a song that shows off your voice and is not from the show. Bring sheet music of the song you've prepared. An accompanist will be provided. No acapella or recorded music. Dress comfortably for the dance and fight audition.

Please review the dance audition video: as well as the fight safety video: 

Please bring any conflicts between May 20th-August 4th. No conflicts submitted after the first read-through will be accepted.

Offers will be made by phone between May 17-19. If you are not cast, you will receive an email no later than May 19th. 

Time Commitment

First Rehearsal: Monday, May 20th: 7pm

Typical Rehearsal Schedule: Sunday, 6-9pm, Monday-Thursday, 7-10pm

No Rehearsal on Monday, May 27th & Thursday, July 4th

Sitzprobe: Thursday, July 11th

Tech week begins Sunday, July 14th

Rehearsals will take place at Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, Naperville Central High School, and Fort Hill Activity Center, all in Naperville.

Performances: Naperville Central High School Auditorium (440 West Aurora Ave Naperville, IL 60540)  Friday, July 19th-Sunday, August 4th. 

Performance times: 9 performances - Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:00pm

Pickup Rehearsals: Thursday, July 25th at 7pm and Thursday, August 1st at 7pm

Mandatory strike after Sunday, August 4th performance

CASTING BREAKDOWN - All ages listed are stage ages. All genders are as presented in the script.

Tony (Vocal Range Bb4-Bb2, Male, Age 25-30): A romantic young man and former leader of the Jets, he has found a new lifestyle now. Tony finds himself violently torn between his friendships and love. Falls in love with Maria and meets an untimely death. Genuinely sweet and sincere. Strong vocals.

Maria (Vocal range C6-Bb3, Female, Age 18-21): A hopeless romantic and innocent young girl. She falls in love with Tony and finds herself at the center of the violent conflict between the two gangs. Bernardo’s sister. Puerto Rican. Strong vocals.

Riff (Vocal Range G4-Bb2, Male, Age 18-26): A spritely, quick-tempered leader. He seeks to eliminate the Sharks and establish his own gang’s dominance. Tony’s best friend, he is eventually murdered by Bernardo. Must be a strong dancer. Acrobatics is a plus.

Bernardo (Vocal range Eb4-Bb2, Male, Age 25-35): A proud, strong, handsome Puerto Rican man. Bernardo seeks to carve out territory as a sense of identity for himself and his friends. Maria’s brother and Anita’s boyfriend. Leader of the Sharks. Must be a strong dancer.

Anita (Vocal range D5-F3, Female, Age 25-30): Feisty and assertive. She dispenses “older sister” advice to Maria and tries to shield her from the dangers of the gangs. Bernardo’s girlfriend and Maria’s friend. Puerto Rican. Must be a strong dancer.

Chino (Male, Age 20-25): An angry and, at times, naive Shark who turns murderous and vengeful. Suitor to Maria and friend of Bernardo’s.

Action (Baritone, Male, Age 20-30): One of the Jets, Featured Solo “Gee, Officer Krupke”, is one of the “Ace men” of the Jets. Like some of the others, his nickname is indicative of his personality; he is very bad-tempered and always ready to fight at the drop of a hat, and as such often needs to be held back.

Anybodys (Female, Age 15-25): A spunky tomboy who is desperate to become a member of the Jets. The other Jets mock her for her ambitions, but generally appreciate her company. Full of energy and heart.

The Jets: Diesel, A-Rab, Baby John, Snowboy, Big Deal, Gee-Tar, Mouthpiece. Gee-Tar doubles as Tony’s understudy and Mouthpiece doubles as Riff’s understudy. 

The Sharks: Pepe, Indio, Luis, Anxious, Nibbles. Nibbles doubles as Bernardo’s understudy.

The Jets Girls: Graziella, Velma, Minnie, Clarice, Pauline

The Sharks Girls: Rosalia, Consuelo, Francisca, Teresita, Estella, Margarita. Estella doubles as Maria’s understudy and Margarita doubles as Anita’s understudy.

Doc (Male, Age 50-75): The owner of the candy store where the Jets hang out. He tries to guide the Jets youthful angst and provides a safe haven for Tony. Old fashioned and wise in his ways.

Schrank (Male, Age 40-60): A local police detective frustrated by the ongoing violence between the Jets and Sharks. Blunt, brash, and unapologetic. Also plays the role of Glad Hand, a well-meaning social worker in charge of the gym dance. 

Krupke (Male, Age 30-60): The local beat cop. He has no patience for the gang’s conflict and tries to keep tensions from erupting between them. Regularly mocked by the local gangs.

We encourage actors of all races, ethnicities, genders and abilities to audition. 

NOTE: This is an unpaid, non-Equity production. 

In case you would like to familiarize yourself with the songs from the show and which songs each character sings, we have provided a list below -

Song List

Act 1

Prologue: Jets and Sharks

Jet Song: Riff and Jets

Something’s Coming: Tony

The Dance at the Gym: Jets and Sharks

Maria: Tony with Gee-Tar, Mouthpiece, Luis and Anxious

Balcony Scene: Maria and Tony

America: Anita, Rosalia and Shark Girls

Cool: Riff and Jets

One Hand, One Heart: Tony and Maria

Tonight: Full Company

The Rumble: Riff, Bernardo, Tony, Jets and Sharks

Act 2

I Feel Pretty: Maria and Shark Girls

Somewhere: Teresita and Minnie

Procession and Nightmare: Full Company

Gee, Officer Krupke: Jets

A Boy Like That / I Have a Love: Maria and Anita

Finale: Maria and Tony

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