Tina B.
  • Music Education
  • Class of 2017
  • Junction City, KS

Tina Butts Among Five KWU Students Cast in SCT Production of 'West Side Story'

2015 Jun 29

Tina Butts of Junction City , KS, was among five Kansas Wesleyan University students cast in the Salina Community Theatre (SCT) production of "West Side Story," with a three-weekend run, June 12-28, 2015. All five were chosen to portray members of the Puerto Rican street gang called the Sharks. They are Jacobi Blair* as Toro, Jaicee Wilson as Moose, Dania Gonzalez as the female lead Maria, Sadie Smithas Rosalia, and Tina Butts as Lupita. (*Note: Due to other pressing demands on his time, Jacobi Blair was forced to withdraw from the musical. However, he was deeply honored to be included among the five KWU students selected during tryouts and given a part in this SCT production.)

Performances were at 7:30 p.m. June 12-13, 18-20, and 25-27; with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. June 14, 21, 28.

These five students sang with the KWU Philharmonic Choir during the 2014-15 academic year, and both Smith and Wilson were in the cast of the joint KWU-SCT production of "Godspell" performed this past spring in Fitzpatrick Auditorium at Kansas Weslyan University. Associate Professor of Music and Music Chair Ken Hakoda will be playing in and directing the pit band for "West Side Story," as he did for "Godspell."

The theatre production collaboration between Kansas Wesleyan University Theatre and Salina Community Theatre is tied to the new Music Theatre major which has been introduced at KWU starting fall 2015.


In this classic love story which debuted in 1961, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-era New York City, as two young idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Berstein, and libretto/lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The original stage production had choreography by Jerome Robbins.