To tap into her role as an unnamed member of The Sharks in this year’s production of West Side Story, sources report that Cranston High School sophomore, Caroline Martin, has been constructing a ludicrously complicated backstory for her character.
“I think part of the reason you don’t see my character that much is because she’s working a part time job as a secretary during the day,” explained Martin. “It pays the bills but, within the next five years, she hopes to be teaching at the local high school.”
“The only time I’m on stage in the first act is in the background of “America” but that’s all the time I really need to establish my character,” she continued, explaining that she does so by rolling her eyes while standing stage right during Anita’s solo. “That little act of irreverence gets at the conflict I have with Anita. I don’t agree with her leadership style but I’m hesitant to vocalize that since it might turn some of The Sharks against each other.”
“It’s hard to choose my favorite part but I think it has to be when we’re all consoling Maria about Tony’s death in the finale,” said Martin, adding how important it is to watch her character’s actions during the play since she has no actual lines. “I’m supposed to kneel down, look Maria straight in the eye, and take one of her hands in mine. I think that subtle intimacy hints at me being in love with Maria. My character feels a lot of internal conflict about being in love with another woman during a time where that wasn’t accepted. She’s been struggling with her identity for a long time and I assume that was her motivation to move from Puerto Rico to the U.S. in the first place. It was a chance to start over.”
At press time, Martin was seen explaining to other cast members that before he passed, her character’s grandfather told her to always live humbly and that was why she didn’t get an individual bow at curtain call.