West Side Story / Thun (CH) Is this the first time you play open-air?  Yes! What makes the difference to be on the stage in a theatre or open-air?  You might have weather problems. It can be either very cold or very hot. We are  on the water so we have a beautiful landscape. - Any mosquito-problems? - Not  yet... Sometimes we have a lot of flies, more than mosquitos. Wether they disturb  or not depends on what you're doing. Sometimes you just want to chase them  away but you can't. But it's ok. It's nice to start when it's not completely dark and  then see how it's getting darker, that's a special atmosphere. The show is played all the way through, there is no break. But after the death of  Bernardo and Riff you hear a bell striking 12 times and the police-people take  them up and take them away. Then there's a break of about 20-30 seconds because  the orchestra has to retune, and then they start again. The show has been cutted quite a lot. They go straight through the last 25 min. I  think. This was necessary because there is a time-schedule. They can't play over  10:00pm because of the sound, and also because of the monitors, which we don't  have anymore. We have a little in-ear, so we hear the music from the orchestra  and from the in-ear. The monitors were in the direction of the lake. On the water  the sound would raise and go to the other shore of the lake. The people would  complain, especially when it's over 10:00pm.  Why can't you start the show earlier then?  We can't start earlier because it would be too lightful, the light would be too  strong, and they couldn't use the show-lights. In the beginning it doesn't matter,  because it's supposed to be in the street. But later on it just has to be dark  around. How does it work on the Seebühne with the wardrobe, facilities etc.?  Everything is under the stage. It's all made of wood, but for 6 weeks it's fine.  Actually the lake is our shower, if we want a shower after the show we have to  jump in the lake, because we don't have a shower. We have bathrooms, but no  shower.  - But what about the temperature, today the lake had 14°? - Well, if it's a  good weather, the water has between 15-18°, when it's like 18° it's fine. We jump  in for about 20 seconds. There is a ladder from the stage leading into the lake,  because they know that especially when you finish the show and you are really hot  you'd like to take a shower. But it's seldom like that, because when the show  finishes we had quite a long break, because the first minutes after "Somewhere"  when Tony + Maria are singing, we are all above the stage holding hands, and then  after that it's finished for us, we have nothing until the end of the show. - So then  you take your soap and your towel... - No, without soap, then they would probably  put you in jail! *ggg*  For how long have you been on the "Probebühne" for rehearsals before you  changed to the Seebühne?  We started rehearsing on the 3rd of June in an old fabric where they rented about  400m² and we had a really huge wood-floor. About 2,5 weeks ago [= at the end of  June] we went to the Seebühne. On the Probebühne we didn't have staircases, we just had a balcony for the balcony-scene. On the stage we then had to do a lot of  rehearsals facing- and timing-wise for the music. In the fabric you waited and then  just went on the stage. Here you take time to  run the stairs up and down, and we  had to see the traffic, how it would work. Is there a difference to do the rehearsals for a 6-weeks-production compared to  a long-run production?  Yeah, the people are more... I don't know, saying more relaxed might be a  mistake, but yes, the cast was relaxed. And now it's the perfect time to play the  premier, we're ready to do the show with audience. - But it's a lot of work to do  when you know you're on stage for only 6 weeks? - Yes, it is. But it's also nice to  know that you don't have a year of this ahead. And you can say now we are ready,  we do this 4 times a week, and after 6 weeks it's over. So the people are relaxed,  and actually just want to enjoy it.   Is it a show in which you have fun on stage? Do you have the possibility to  create your own role, to make it varied?  I play a member of the "Sharks", we are the "Ausländer", we come into America  from Puerto Rico, actually it's a mix of every race. I'm "Indio", I'm not supposed to  be Indian, but anyway from somewhere in Latin America. The "Jets" are the  Americans, the born american people, and they hate us because we are strangers.  The whole thing is about you have to make your own role. Of course not for the  leading parts... but for us we have to have the whole story in our head. A lot of  things are really mean, very tough, but for everything else we can create anything  we want. You can play shy, you can play tough…  - You can be shy in a "Sharks"-  gang?  - No, I don't think there is much space for a shy guy, but maybe for a more  sensitive one. And I think it's very free for us to play different in every show. Is "West Side Story" one of the shows of which you would say, every performer  "has to play it once"? Did you ever want to play in "West Side Story"?  I was very happy when they asked me. Well, I never really thought about it like  'Oh, I want to play West Side Story!' you know. But I always loved the music, I love  the movie, actually that's a good show to do. The music is fantastic, we have 30  elements of orchestra!   Have you seen the show on stage before?   Yes, I did, it was my second musical. I was 16 years old, in Milano, I saw the  original Broadway-production, it was fantastic!  Is it a special atmosphere staying in a holiday-area, in such a beautiful place  with the lake and the mountains around?  Well everybody is just in a good mood, especially if the weather is like this which  it was actually for a long time, we were quite lucky!  Thun 15.07.2008   (c) Sabine