The Merced College Drama Department returns to the stage on Friday night, March 25, for the first of six performances of The Great Gatsby. The production marks the department’s first public performance since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are very excited to welcome the Merced community back to our theaters for our live events, especially after only a few years of online performances,” said John Albano, dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts and Social Sciences. “Our students look forward to interacting with the audience, which is a core part of the learning process and the joy of performing live in the arts.”
Self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby passionately pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan, while Long Island young rookie Nick Carraway gets involved Their obsession, greed and dangerous world. The stunning Jazz Age glamour and decadent excesses captured in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel are brought to the stage in Simon Levy’s adaptation, approved by the Fitzgerald Estate.
“Live theatre is back!” said the show’s director, Professor Lauren McCoo-Blacks. “With it, there is an opportunity to collaborate with Merced College students, staff and the community on The Great Gatsby. Through live jazz, 1920s Flappers dancing, Christine Silveira’s glamorous period costumes, and Chad Phillips’ stunning scenery and lighting designs bring this modern American classic to life.”
All performances will take place at the Merced College Theatre at 3600 M Street in Merced. The schedule is as follows:
- Friday, March 25, 7:30pm
- Saturday, March 26 at 7:30pm
- Sunday, March 27, 2pm
- Thursday, March 31, 7:30pm
- Friday, April 1, 7:30pm
- Saturday, April 2 at 7:30pm
The cast and crew are nearly all Merced College students, including Ezra Cross as Jay Gatsby, Alyssa McCabe as Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Callaway Zach Dimper-Alvarez, Danielle Passos as Jordan Baker, Christian Smith as Tom Buchanan, Matthew Rivera Wilson as George Kee Costa as Myrtle Wilson. Music student Cody Benner, music director of the production, also contributed some original music.
“The Great Gatsby has gone from my favorite piece of literature to the most exciting show I’ve been on to date,” said Vickie Costa, a first-year music and theater student who plays Myrtle Wilson. “I had a lot of fun bringing my favorite characters to life while building lasting, meaningful friendships with people who are equally passionate about the show.”
General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the box office one hour before showtime, at the Merced College Bookstore during regular business hours, or at mccd.tix.com. Discounted student tickets for the March 31st show are $5. For information, please call 209-386-6644.
The full cast and crew are listed below, along with majors:
Genesis Acasio, Theatre Arts; Michael Alcorser, Undecided; Tess Barclay, Theatre Arts; Tatianna Bunthoff, Theatre; Jared Carrillo, Theatre Arts; Dennis Chavez, Theatre Arts; Nicole Clarkson, Theatre Arts; Vickie Costa, Music and Theatre Arts; Ezra Cross, Theatre Arts; Zak Dimpel-Alvarez, Music; Asia Joaquim, Theatre; Angel Marie Gonzalez, Theatre Arts; Kyle Marchan, Theatre Arts; Alyssa McCabe, Liberal Arts; Jacob Mines, undecided; Danielle Passos, theater arts; Noah Penfield, theater arts; Zairah Quevedo, social and behavioral sciences; Matthew Rivera, communications; Jennifer Salas, psychology; Olivia Sanchez, Theatre Arts; Ethan Stokes, Theatre Arts; Nate White, Theatre Arts; Kalani Perez, Community Member; Christian Smith, Community Member.