The Roaring Twenties are making a comeback live on stage at Town & Gown Theatre in the fourth production of their 65th season. “The Great Gatsby”, a classical tale based on the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is set in the summer of 1922 and follows the young, mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsession for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. Its portrayal of the Roaring Twenties where self-indulgence, idealism and social upheaval prevailed has been described as a cautionary tale of the American Dream where the world of the wealthy evolves around greed and obsession and eventual danger. Town & Gown Director Cody Whittenburg is giving this classic performance a few modern twists while staying true to the story, “The music used in the production is modern and then remixed to a 1920s jazz style.” This large cast of 16 has a lot of new faces, the youngest being 14 years old. “They are young and enthusiastic,” said stage manager Kimberly Harrison. In fact, Jay Kuruvilla who plays Jay Gatsby is making his acting debut. “I’m very, very, very proud of each one of them,” Whittenburg said.
“The Great Gatsby” was initially suggested for Town & Gown Theatre’s 65th season as a collaborative effort with the Stillwater Public Library’s event “Two Books, One Community” happening in March and April. Whittenburg made additional arrangements for a local jazz band, Broken Mocha, to perform in the lobby before the show and during intermission. In addition, Stillwater’s local bar “Gatsby Wine Bar” will provide a cash bar with wine and beer for patrons before the show. The second weekend run of the show corresponds with the Stillwater Community Legends Weekend 2016. Visitors will enjoy around 20 Stillwater events and activities that weekend. Perhaps a live theatre performance Town & Gown Theatre will top it off. “We are ecstatic about bringing this classic production to the stage but we are most appreciative of the community support,” said Whittenburg.
“The Great Gatsby” will run for eight performances April 7-10 and 14-17, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees beginning at 2:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Monday, Apr. 4, and can be reserved by calling the box office at 405.372.9122 or purchasing online tickets at www.townandgown.org. Ticket prices are Adult, $14; Students, $12; and Seniors, $12 (available for Sunday matinees only).
For more information about “The Great Gatsby,” visit townandgown.org or find us on Facebook.
Photo cutline: Town & Gown Theatre is deep in rehearsal for its fourth production of the 65th season, “The Great Gatsby.”
1. Ashley Jorgenson testing her 1920’s hair and makeup plays Daisy Buchanan
2. Cast Dance Rehearsal
3. Group photo (L to R from top row) Maddy Billings with Poppins the dog, Jacob Young, Anna Smith, Bennett Frohock, Vance Black, Carson Bode, Ashley Jorgenson, Jay Kuruvilla, Courtney Pilkington, Brandy Gofourth, Dylan Nicholson, Sydney Bradle
4. Scene Rehearsal: (L to R) Bennet Frohock, Jay Kuruvilla, Ashley Jorgenson