Students retell legendary “Great Gatsby” novel on stage


Members of Theatre 2, 3, and 4 discuss ideas during the third block. Although the play is open to all students, theatre students in Theatre 2, 3, and 4 are primarily responsible for producing and performing the show.

This year’s school play is set to be an exciting student written adaptation of the 1925 iconic novel “The Great Gatsby”. F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s novel’s style, beauty, and storytelling is being transferred to the stage.

“The Great Gatsby” became public domain at the start of 2021. That means that all of the licensing that prevented people from creating adaptations of the work has expired. “Now, anybody can do what they want with the book,” said senior Anna Diem, publicity manager of the Captains’ production. “So I proposed the idea to our director, if we could do the show, considering we could have the opportunity to write it.”

With COVID-19 stopping performance last year, this is County’s first in person show in over a year. “We were kind of in a limbo where it’s like, well, we can’t perform, so what can we do?” Diem said. 

This creative process started last May, according to senior Sophie Hylton, stage manager. 

“Before we were able to come back to school, we would hop on a Google meet, we’d come up with a game plan, say what we wanted to tackle, then we would come into the building,” Hylton said. “And we’d sit and this is our board and emphasize our goals for the story.”

The writing group for this script consists of three seniors, Diem, Hylton, and Elaine ArringtonThis was a very creative process, according to Arrington. “Everybody was so sick and tired of not doing anything due to COVID,” said Arrington. 

With the group all being seniors, there is a lot of chemistry between everyone involved. 

The Great Gatsby takes place in 1920s New York and we watch Jay Gatsby try to reconnect with his former lover Daisy Buchanan.

“I play Daisy in the show,” Diem said. “And my two love interests are my two best friends. So it’s just kind of one of those things where I’ve been so gracious, and lucky to have chemistry with all of the people that I’m interacting with, good, bad or indifferent onstage.”

With this adaptation and its unique take on this classic novel, audiences have a lot to look forward to. “The plot is very dynamic. The characters are very interesting. There’s so much that happens in this show. There’s never a dull moment,” said Hylton.

The drama department has new lighting equipment in the auditorium and the show is going to have a lot of color, according to Hylton. 

Returning members of the cast are ecstatic to get back on stage while underclassmen are having their first opportunity to participate in high school theatre. 

“I was so pleasantly surprised, because that’s taking a leap of faith. They missed their first two years of school, they are kind of just jumping blind into the department. I think that was really lovely to see that so many people were willing to give it a shot,” Diem said.

This opportunity to get back onstage excites everyone in the County’s theatre department. Audiences can expect an accurate recapture of “The Great Gatsby” on November 11. 

“It is good for you as a student body or a staff member, as a person in this community, to support other members of your community who have been working hard to get something done. That is their passion, says Hylton. She and the other theatre students can’t wait to perform and let audiences see what they have been working so hard on.