Meet All 33 Young Performers Making Their Broadway Debuts in West Side Story
West Side Story is back on Broadway with a modern upgrade — and a whopping 33 actors making their debuts on the Great White Way! Directed by Ivo van Hove with modern choreography by Anne Terea De Keersmaeker, this exciting new revivial showcases a batch of diverse new talent ready to take Broadway by storm. Scroll through the gallery to meet all 33 newcomers.
Dharon E. Jones, 22
"It's full circle for me. The first movie musical I saw was West Side Story when I first started dancing, maybe 10 years ago. To play the first African-American Riff on Broadway in this newly revoluioned revival means so much more to me even now. It's a once in a lifetime moment."
Zuri Noelle Ford, 22
"This production means change — debuing in a role played by no one that looks like me, at least on the Broadway stage. It's really exciting to be in something that's going to make people look at West Side Story completely differently."
Roman Cruz, 30
"I was blown away by this opporunity. I feel really honored and grateful. It's been full circle because I grew up in this environment in New Jersey, where there's a lot of violence and gang-related activities going on. I'm able to express a side of my upbringing that not a lot of people are able to experience."
Matthew Johnson, 19
"I just kind of came to West Side Story when I auditioned. I was still in school when I tried out. This production speaks to the community of Brooklyn that I know — how we fight tooth and nail for our loves ones."
Yesy Garcia, 26
"This has been one of my dream shows since I was a little girl. Being able to do this version of it has been really special. Seeing how it's changed during previews has been amazing."
Jarred Manista, 18
"This is my second time doing West Side Story. This has been a crazy and new experience — not only because it's Broadway but because I've never swung before. In the last show I was playing one character a night, eight times a week. Here, I'm learning five parts and having to go between different characters not knowing when I'm performing. It's a very unique opporunity."
Uli-Seng François, 20
"I’m really grateful to be a part of this West Side Story because of how relevant it is. For me, I think it’s important to tell this story thinking about the kids that are the core of the story. It touches on things that are relevant today, whether it’s police brutality or oppression or the disenfranchisement of people."
Audrey Collette, 23
"I’m not very nervous because everyone here is so talented. It’s been a really fun experience. Everyone has a ton of energy going into it and not a lot of hesitancy. I’m a dancer and a filmmaker, so this production is super exciting to me."
Tyler Eisenreich, 25
“It’s very exciting to be a a part of something so different and it’s changing people’s minds on how they see traditional theater. It’s nice to be a part of something super thought-provoking.”
Paul Morland, 23
"I feel an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement to be amongst such beautiful people sharing such an exciting retelling of a classic story."
"I pinched myself for a year after booking this. I never thought I’d be doing Broadway let alone such a different version of West Side Story. The music, the dance, and being able to make this vision come true with all the inclusivity, it’s been amazing."
Michaela Marfori, 17
"I came onto this show pretty unfamiliar. My mom and dad grew up watching it. I remember watching it when I was 10 years old and it was so exciting for me."
Michael Seltzer, 25
"It's wild to be doing this. Since I was a child I remember my Grandpa singing 'Maria.' It was his favorite song. He was a performer singer — it's always been a part of my life. To be doing it so differently is a separate dream."
Mia Pinero, 26
"It was overwhelming because West Side Story was my first professional show at summer stock theater. It’s been very near and dear to my heart but I’ve never done it at this scale. Of course Broadway’s always been this humongous dream of mine, so to be able to make it my debut is pretty surreal. This production is very bold and shows the New York we live in right now. It’s not nostalgic, it’s relevant."
Marlon Feliz, 28
"To me it sort of signifies this divine coming together of all the right elements. I couldn’t have even imagined a more perfect fit. I didn’t get into musical theater till a few years ago — I come from a contemporary dance background. We have joy for you but we also really have something to say with this story."
Marissa Brown, 29
"I auditioned for it a week before it started and I moved from L.A. to New York in less than a week. It’s been a whirlwind experience. I grew up watching West Side Story — it’s exciting being around all these creative people."
Stephanie Crousillat, 30
Stephanie is sister to Marc.
"We never thought we'd cross paths like this because we took different directions in the same world. This is sort of the marriage of the two. I did contemporary work and he's been doing the downton dance thing. Our parents are gagging over it."
Marc Crousillat, 28
Marc is brother to Stephanie.
"It's our first professional job together and our parents were crying every minute of the show. It's very different to be working with her. We're both doing gender-bending roles. So that's been a cool thing to share."
Madison Vomastek, 22
"It’s a very humbling experience. I just graduated from school. I was trying many jobs and this happened to work for me. Getting the opportunity to exercise my voice and tap into acting, two things I’m not as familiar with as my dancing.. it’s a huge challenge for me."
Kevin Zambrano, 23
"I woke up from the call from my manager and she was like, 'Do you want to be on Broadway?' I literally stood up in my underwear, ran around my house, just continued pacing. My brain couldn’t function correctly. I called my parents. My mom was crying, I was crying. It was a dream come true."
Jordan Dobson, 23
"I loved West Side Story but it was a show I never invested in as a person of color. As a black male, you think it's not a story for you. To have them see me for a Tony standby was a shock. I never thought I'd be singing these songs."
Jennifer Gruener, 27
"It means so much to me because this is my favorite show. I grew up watching the show with my family. I’ve done lots of regional productions of it. For it to be my Broadway debut is so amazing."
"It means the world. This was my dream production to be in and for it to be my debut is just an honor."
Isarel Del Rosario, 18
"I didn’t find out about the audition till two days before. I rushed immediately there. After five callbacks I wound up not making it but got another callback six or seven months later."
Ilda Mason, 30
"It means the opportunity to tell my story as an immigrant. It’s my Broadway debut and it’s literally a dream come true. This production is so important and relevant and speaks about my people. It speaks about my journey and what I have experienced in this country."
Gus Reed, 27
"I actually was in a production of West Side Story in high school but I was not a big musical theater person before this. I more came at it from a film background."
Daniel Ching, 27
"It means a great deal. This West Side Story is such a uniquely powerful, risky, beautiful, potent statement and I feel very honored to be a part of it."
“What’s so special about this specific production is that I’m a black person playing a Jet. I play Action who has had a rougher life and I take pride in playing this role in this production. I’m so honored to play him. As a black boy who didn’t grow up with all the privilege and opportunities that others have had, I’m really happy to tell that story."
Satori Folkes-Stone, 23
"My earliest memory is watching it with my grandma and my mom. I clung onto all the musical numbers — I was obsessed with it. I always saw myself doing the show but didn’t know when it would happen — and it happened!"
Bridget Whitman, 25
"West Side Story has been a meaningul musical to me. Growing up I loved the movie, and right out of high school I auditioned for the national tour. I didn't get it because I didn't know how to sing. Now here we are!"
Armando Eleazar, 26
"It's going great. Honestly it's so interesting being inside of it. You get used to the magic a little bit more and it's not as insanely magical as it from the outside. I like the contrast of that."
Alexa De Barr, 27
"This musical has followed my career. I did the national tour of West Side Story. And the music is my favorite. I’m so excited to do a new, innovative version of it. It feels new but also like home — it’s the same music."
Adolfo Mena Cejas
"It has exceeded my expectations — it’s such a different production. It’s been such a complicated process because of all the technical things. But we’ve been able to put everything together and make, I think, a great show."