After two years of darkness shrouding the Little Theater, a mysterious green light beckoned the crowds back into one of RHS’s greatest assets; this time, disguised as a 1920s socialite scene. The Great Gatsby follows Daisy Buchanan, a dissatisfied married woman who reconnects with her former love, the renowned and mysterious Jay Gatsby, amid the drama of the wealthy in Jazz Age New York. A classic AHLISA read, fans flocked to the theater to see the New Players in full Prohibition-era glam.
The play was quite a success for the New Players, boasting three sold-out performances and fantastic reviews. Tickets were so widely requested that whispers of a fourth production almost caused a last-minute final show. Gatsby superfan Renee Peters commented, “I thought the show was incredible and very impressive. The New Players are a super talented group that never disappoint. The costumes were stunning and the energy was great! ”
As Renee mentioned, the costumes were an essential part of the ambiance Gatsby is known for. Flowing dresses, glitzy headpieces, and flashy suits indicative of the time period adorned the actors, furthering the extravagance of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. Each character wore multiple outfits, creating a significant job for the costume designers. “The alterations took hours of tireless work! The actors and crew were great to work with and helped make the quick changes and the entire process happened as smoothly as possible,” says costume designer Bronwyn Spencer.
As Bronwyn alluded, all elements of the production flowed together seamlessly. Actor Charlotte Rivera commented on the hard work of the behind-the-scenes crew: “I loved seeing so much detailed costume design, set design, lighting, and the work of the stage managers and actors put in this performance!” The actors’ passion brought this performance to life, especially in the party scenes. “One second the curtain was down, and the next there was a lively celebration lighting up the stage,” Charlotte noted. The New Players’ dedication was evident due to their dynamic performance and fantastic reviews.
The Great Gatsby breathed life back into a once-dark Little Theater, and all viewers agree. The effort put in by each artistic field stitched together a masterful sensation that preludes an exciting theater season to come.
Graphic: Riddhima Patllollu