Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Large 21 And Up
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Heavy

Character Breakdown

Riff

Riff is the leader of the Jets. He is full of life – he thrives as the center of attention and drives much of the action in the story. Though Riff is impulsive and brash, he is also intelligent, cares about the other Jets, and tries hard to be a good leader. Riff also has a wise-guy sense of humor, and brings levity to the dire conflicts between the two gangs. Cast an excellent actor with great comic timing who can sing, dance, and command the stage in this crucial role. 

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Diesel

Diesel is Riff’s lieutenant. He is big, slow, steady, and nice. Cast an actor in this role who is a solid singer and dancer with good stage presence.

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: C4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Baby John

Baby John is the youngest Jet. He is in awe of everything and desperately wants to impress the other Jets. It’s best if Baby John reads as younger than the other gang members onstage. 

Gender: male
Age: 12 to 18
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: B2
A-Rab

A-Rab is smaller in stature and takes nothing seriously – until something offends him, and then his anger is explosive. He’s right in the thick of the Jets’ hijinks.

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: Db3
Action

Action is the most violent of the Jets. A catlike ball of fury, he is always ready for a fight.

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Big Deal

Big Deal is a bespectacled, self-styled expert on everything. 

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Snowboy and Geetar

Snowboy and Geetar are members of the jets. 

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Anybodys

Anybodys is a spunky tomboy who wants to be accepted into the Jets as a member. 

Gender: female
Age: 12 to 18
Tony

Tony is a former Jet and a romantic at heart. Though he still loves the Jets and his best friend Riff, he quit the gang and got a job, determined to have a future. Tony falls in love with Maria and dreams of their future together despite their places on opposite sides of the Jets/Sharks conflict. Tragically, instead of running away with Maria, Tony is killed. Cast a wonderful tenor and expressive actor in this heartbreaking role. 

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Jet Girls

The Jet Girls are ladies who support the Jets. Cast as many performers in this ensemble as is appropriate for your production. 

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Velma

Velma is Riff’s girlfriend. She is slinky, slithery, and completely caught up in the glamor of being a Jet Girl. She should be a great dancer.

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Graziella

Graziella is Diesel’s girlfriend. She is very confident, a bit headstrong, and should be a great dancer.

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Bernardo

Bernardo is the leader of the Sharks. He is handsome, proud, confident, and has a chip on his shoulder. Bernardo takes his position very seriously and feels responsible for helping the Sharks carve out their place in New York City. He also cares deeply for his fellow Sharks, especially his fiery girlfriend Anita and his sweet sister Maria. Cast a fantastic actor who sings well and experienced dancer in this role.

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Chino

Chino is shy, gentle, and sweet-faced – and the person Bernardo wants to marry his sister. Though Chino begins the story with a measure of naiveté, he is quickly caught up in the anger and hatred of the conflict between the rival gangs. Cast a good singer and actor in this role.

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Pepe

Pepe is Bernardo’s lieutenant. He is proud, strong, and ready to fight. Cast an actor in this role who is a good dancer with a good stage presence.

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Indio

Indio is a member of the Sharks.

Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Shark Girls

The Shark Girls are ladies who support the Sharks. Cast as many performers in this ensemble as is appropriate for your production.

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Anita

ANITA is Maria’s friend and Bernardo’s girlfriend. She is strong and world-wise, with a sharp tongue and a flashy style. She deeply loves Bernardo and Maria, and tries to shield Maria from the harsh truths of the world. Cast a confident actress and fantastic singer and dancer in this iconic role.

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Maria

Maria is young, innocent, and optimistic about her life in America, but has an inner strength that shines painfully through by the end of the show. Maria falls instantly, completely in love with Tony – but as Bernardo’s younger sister, Tony is one of the worst people for whom she could have developed feelings. Maria’s journey is one of the most significant in the show. Cast a brilliant actress and dancer with a beautiful soprano singing voice who can embody Maria’s vulnerability and strength.

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: C6
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Consuela

Consuela is tough, young, bleached blonde, and brash. She is Pepe's girfriend. 

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Rosalia

Rosalia is younger and more demure than Consuela. She is Indio’s girlfriend. 

Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Fransisca

Fransisca is one of the Shark Girls. She is young and quirky.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Schrank

Schrank is a plainclothes police officer. He is strong and very comfortable in command. Schrank has a pleasant, charming manner that is at odds with his hatred and bigotry.

Gender: male
Officer Krupke

Officer Krupke is a goon-like beat cop. He is not very bright and often the butt of the joke.

Gender: male
Doc

Doc is the owner of the store where Tony works and the Jets often meet. Doc is old-fashioned, wise, and tired out, but he tries to guide the Jets through their troubles.

Gender: male
Glad Hand

Glad Hand is a “square:” a smiling, overly cheerful, and utterly out of touch youth director at a gym.

Gender: male