"The second we announced 'West Side Story' the audition list went [skyrocketing]," Tompkins said, who was quick to note, again, the demands of this performance. "The only thing that's easier for them is that they're playing almost their own age group."
While Tompkins said cast members are enthusiastic about their roles, there is a scene toward the end of Act II -- when the Jet boys affront Anita -- that is difficult for the boys to get through. Freshman Ben Harrison confirmed.
"The taunting scene is hard," he said. "It's uncomfortable for a lot of people."
Tompkins said that while they do an outstanding portrayal, "you can see that it bothers them a little bit."
The musical, she added, is not meant for little kids.