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Beal West Side Story: Riff – Henry Firmston

This is one in a series of interviews with actors in Beal secondary school’s “West Side Story.”
For Anybodys – Cosette Pin, Click HERE.
For Bernardo – Skylar Knight, click HERE

Beal West Side Story:, Henry Firmston, Beal secondary SchoolName: Henry Firmston
Age: 17
“West Side Story” Character: Riff

1) How did you discover the Beal Musical Theatre program?
Back when I was in Grade 9 I had a bunch of friends from The Grand Theatre’s High School Project who were a part of Beal Musical Theatre’s production of “Hairspray.”

I went to see the show and I just thought the general production quality was greater than that of any high school production I had ever seen or been a part of.

Long story short, I transferred from the school I was at and auditioned to be a part of Beal Musical Theatre and now here I am!

2) What personal skills do you bring to your character?
I’ve been training as a dancer since I was 10 years old.

I have always been athletic as well, playing basketball and running track. So I really respond to this athletic style of dance. Jerome Robbins original conception of the choreography is rooted in ballet, yet seems fresh, tough and masculine.

3) What has been the toughest challenge, personal or acting, that you’ve faced during the rehearsals of this production?
We have an amazing set that is made of industrial scaffolding that has given us the ability to challenge ourselves with many opportunities for flips and jumps off of different levels.

However this has taken a physical toll, so I have made sure to have orthotics in my shoes, and make sure to have a full physical warmup every day.

4) Name the three songs that got the most listens on your playlist in the past 4 weeks.
“Death With Dignity” – Sufjan Stevens
“The Last Ship” – Original Broadway Cast Recording
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” – Whitney Houston

5) Five years ago did you ever imagine that you would be on stage performing in front of thousands of people? Do you think you’ll still be performing five years in the future?
Yes!

Five years ago I was in “Camelot” at Huron Country Playhouse, so I am really excited to experience that feeling again with “”West Side Story.”

And yes, I absolutely plan to be performing five years from now.

From each pair below pick one.
a) Instagram or Snapchat?
Instagram – It has a wider reach than Snapchat.

b) New York or Hollywood?
New York – Because that’s where Broadway is.

c) Singing or Dancing?
Both – Don’t make me choose!

d) Math class or English class
Neither – Don’t make me choose!

e) Jets or Sharks
Jets – Duh.

Beal secondary school’s “West Side Story.”
May 6-9, 2015
Performance begins at 7:30pm
Running time: 2h15m
Tickets in advance are $15, at the door $20

All performances take place at Beal Secondary School, 525 Dundas Street, London, On.
Click this link for tickets.

This post is kindly sponsored by Budweiser Gardens Broadway in London series. The best of Broadway – right here in London!
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