2012 Press Releases
“West Side Story” Premieres in Belarus
Issued by the U.S. Embassy
May 22, 2012
The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the premiere of the legendary American musical “West Side Story” at the Belarusian State Academic Musical Theater (BSAMT) on May 23 and 24, 2012. This production, the first ever fully-licensed staging of an American musical in Belarus, has taken two years to come to fruition thanks to the hard work of the talented artists of the BSAMT, among others. “West Side Story” will run fifty times in Minsk and throughout Belarus, including in Gomel on June 13. Dates and places of other showings will be announced throughout the year.
To support this project, the Embassy funded the purchase of a one year license from the U.S. copyright holder and helped the BSAMT in identifying U.S. specialists to assist with the production of “West Side Story” in Belarus. In particular, the Embassy made possible visits by choreographers Paul Emerson and Jason Ignacio from the United States to aid in casting and rehearsals, as well as the visits of U.S. conductor Philip Simmons, who will conduct at the premiere. The Embassy also donated percussion instruments and microphones for the shows.
Collaboration on the production of “West Side Story” gave birth to other excellent projects, such as the participation of conductor Philip Simmons in the June 2011 BSAMT Open Air Opera Gala and participation of U.S. “Company E” choreographers and dancers in a joint program called “Broadway Night,” which features hits from famous Broadway musicals. “Broadway Night” will appear in Brest on June 6 and in Minsk on June 8.