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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

September 9, 2008

Building A Dream (by Resident Actor Sonny Kong)

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 7:39 pm

As West Side Story nears the end of it’s rehearsal process, the emergence of a beautiful final product quickly approaches. However, much is yet to be done.  Technical elements are being finalized, costumes are being added, and some minor changes in blocking are being made to accommodate the larger-than-life-set.  The “urban playground”, designed by Stefanie Christensen, gives the Jets and Sharks a variety of levels on which to play, but also lends a challenge for the “dream ballet” sequence.In order to take the characters out of their reality and place them into a dreamland of sorts, Stefanie brilliantly gathered sheer white fabric and hung several panels from above, spanning the entire stage. Fog was later added to enhance the effect. Once these technical elements were in place, it was my turn to join the picture.Although I am playing “Action”, the most aggressive and rambunctious Jet, I am also playing “Dream Tony”. That is, I quickly reappear as the dream version of Tony (accompanied by a “Dream Maria” as well) while the “real” Tony and Maria watch their dream come to life right before their very eyes. The ballet sequence is technically difficult, especially considering that both myself and Micky Dims (Dream Maria) both are relatively new to ballet. In actuality, my background in dance comes from hip-hop and Micky’s background comes from gymnastics. However, both of us picked up ballet in recent years and were lucky enough to get chosen by choreographer Kevin P. Hill as the dream duo. It seems the both of us have been to countless (and I really do mean COUNTLESS) extra rehearsals with Kevin or with Michael Lasris (“Bernardo”/Dance Captain) to learn and polish the ballet. After many rehearsals, the ballet eventually came together and transformed into a seamless and coherent artistic creation. While additional technical elements are still being added, the ballet, as well as the rest of the show, is nearing completion and is almost ready for viewing by the general public. As my excitement builds to open my first show here at Charleston Stage, I am simultaneously stepping away from the show and watching it emerge as a realized conceptualization… Get ready for West Side Story

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(Resident Actor Sonny Kong And Local Actor Micky Dims As “Dream Tony And Maria”)

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