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How to play a great Maria? 
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:36 am
Posts: 3
Location: USA
Post How to play a great Maria?
What makes an awesome Maria? I know her role can seem a little boring if it isn't played right so I was hoping I could get a few opinions on this subject. :D

thank you!!!


Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:52 am
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:32 am
Posts: 478
Location: USA
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I honestly think the best way to play Maria is to have her start out as a girl trying to fit in with the other city teens, hence why she wants the neck on her dress cut lower. She's more or less naive to the ways of America, and is pretty innocent in her thoughts at the start of the show. She's not really into the life of gangs, but she just sees it as a way of life that she wants next to no part in.

But as the story progresses and she gets more involved in the gangs and more in love with Tony, she starts to become less innocent, and more passionate. I like to think that after Anita loses Bernardo, Maria begins to love Tony more passionately when she realizes he may NOT last forever in a gang.

Then, out of the fact she's now been exposed to the ways of gangs and out of true passion, she finally picks up the gun at the end.

I think her character is a literal portrayal of what love and passion really do to a person.

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Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:52 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:36 am
Posts: 3
Location: USA
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thank you!!!!!

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:D


Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:46 pm
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Chorus Member
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Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:59 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Somewhere in New Jersey
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As I said in a post on Tony, too many people say that the lovers are the weakest point of WSS. Which is much like the claim that all the life in Romeo and Juliet dies with Mercutio. But it doesn't have to be like that if the lovers are played right.

Maria makes no secret of the fact that Chino doesn't really do it for her at all. She may be fond of him, but she isn't IN LOVE with him. Maria comes from a culture where marriages are often arranged and love is expected to come AFTER marriage, for the woman, at least. (Maria's peers don't seem to be subject to this, but perhaps Maria's family is a little more old-fashioned than, say, Anita's--especially for the youngest daughter of the family.) But it doesn't seem to be enough for her. She may be chafing at the restrictions of the life her elders have mapped out for her. If that's true, then she, no less than Tony, is yearning for "something more"--and that could make even more of a connection between them.

There's a TERRIFIC essay by a guy who calls himself JerseyJohn, on his website http://www.wssonstage.com. It's called "Making Nice" and compares the play and movie, and details how many characters were sort of sanitized for the movie. It also explains how the characters might be played onstage. He does seem a little harsh on Maria--claiming that the blame for the tragedy is hers in a large way, when how could she have known how the attempt to stop the rumble would turn out?--but the ideas he puts forth on how to play her are fascinating. Read it here at http://www.wssonstage.com/MakingNice.html

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Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:19 am
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