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Gadsden State Theatre presents ‘The Great Gatsby’

“The Great Gatsby” cast members pose for a group photo during a recent rehearsal. The Gadsden State Theatre production opens Oct. 13 at Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center.

Gadsden, Ala. —  The tragic story of Jay Gatsby and his pursuit of beautiful Daisy Buchanan is coming to the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center at Gadsden State Community College. Performances of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic, “The Great Gatsby,” will be performed by students in the College’s theatre program at 7 p.m. Oct. 13-15 and 20-22.

“This story is a journey through the mind of Nick Carraway as he recounts the summer he met Jay Gatsby,” said Joe Fuselli, the executive producer and production manager. “His story is one filled with the excesses of wealthy New York society, and the secrets that ultimately lead to their downfall.”

As Nick narrates, “The Great Gatsby” takes the audience through key moments of Fitzgerald’s novel and, along the way, forever changing Nick. He finds himself in the middle of Gatsby’s attempt to reconnect with Daisy, who married Tom Buchanan when a young Gatsby was at war.

“Now returned and with new wealth, Gatsby has a plan,” Fuselli said. “And, Nick is the key to making it happen. This story really captures the essence of the Roaring 1920s while at all times feeling as though you are following the story through a series of memory.”

Gregory Heathcock, the director and producer of “The Great Gatsby” performance, adapted the play for the Gadsden State stage.

“This story and its language have always been a creative inspiration of mine,” he said. “I’m excited to bring this amazing story to life and be able to elucidate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ideals and concepts to a new generation of young minds.”

Heathcock and Fuselli — along with Alyssa Farley, stage manager, and Alli Angel, lighting designer — are working with 20 students in the production. Most of the performers attend Gadsden State and are on a full or half theatre scholarship. The cast and ensemble include Jonas Abernathy (Nick Carraway); Katie Lawler (Daisy Buchanan); Elliot Ford (Jay Gatsby); Josh Kimbril (Tom Buchanan); Olivia Harp (Jordan Baker); Hayden Reeves (George Wilson); Layla Abernathy (Myrtle Wilson); Kadin Gardner (Meyer Wolfshiem); Christen Law (Catherine); Gunner Nesmith (Mr. Mckee/Buchanan Butler); Allyson Geier (Mrs. Mckee); Noah Harrell (Gatsby Butler); Quinton Kirk (Mr. Gatz); Ryan Kelly (Michaelis); Ashley Pentecost (ensemble); Autumn Pentecost (ensemble); Hayden Reeves (ensemble); Emma Beasley (ensemble); Buffy Bailey (ensemble); and Dillan Kelly (ensemble).

“This production has allowed our students to expand upon their education and love of theatre and dive into a practical application of creating theatre from the page up,” said Heathcock, who also manages Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center. “We started this process with no script and, through dozens of rewrites and read-throughs later, we created something special.”

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at wallacehall.org.  For more information about the Gadsden State Theatre Program as well as other fine arts programs, visit gadsdenstate.edu/FineArts.

Members of the Gadsden State Theatre Department rehearsing for the upcoming production of “The Great Gatsby” which opens Oct. 13.
Members of the Gadsden State Theatre Department rehearsing for the upcoming production of “The Great Gatsby” which opens Oct. 13.
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