Meet the cast of West Side Story – NaTonia Monet

Something about your background, family, education… etc

I’m from Richmond, VA. I recently found out that my paternal Great Grandmother was Native American. It makes sense being from VA and all. I wish I knew this when it was college scholarship time lol —-joking! But I grew up in a single parent home; raised proudly by my beautiful mother with help from my grandmas lol. If I leave them out I will never hear the end of it! I went to The Florida State University for my B.F.A. in Dance and I currently reside in New York City!

Your most recent work

I recently finished Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Theatre By The Sea playing the role of ‘Charlaine’.

Your thoughts on WEST SIDE STORY and the role of Anita

West Side Story will always be near and dear to my heart because it is the 1st big job (International Tour) I ever booked after my move to NYC. I played ‘Consuela’. And this show is so hard on your body I vowed I would never do it again unless I moved up a role and here we are… I’m playing Anita!

I think ‘Anita’ is one of the most Iconic Musical Theater roles ever and her arch and evolution in this story speaks so much to me as a minority in America. I think the current immigration policies and what is happening in America with racial tension makes this musical more poignant than ever! And my heart aches for this country right now. I’m crying as I type this.

Your thoughts on the state of today’s theatre and its importance to our society

I think Theatre is so important because as artists it is our job to
Tell the truth through our work and our art. And it is a creative way to make people listen!

Your goals as a performer, future roles… etc

Hmmm. As a performer my goal is broadway of course. I feel like I fit the role of ‘Peggy’ in Hamilton so well; so that is also a goal. I also write and perform comedy, so I would like to be in a comedic sitcom someday soon.

Any parting comments you might like to make

It’s Important to Listen. Always do more listening than talking. That’s why we have two ears and one mouth. When everyone wants to be heard in this day and age we go in circles because the listening is lost. It creates empathy and we need that more than ever.