WSS returns to the Roaring Twenties for The Great Gatsby

When looking for actor inspiration, it’s bound to do worse than Leonardo DiCaprio.

That’s what grade 9 student Aurora Carson is preparing for at Whistler Middle School (WSS) the great gatsby, a timeless literary classic. In inhabited by the mysterious, titular Jay Gatsby, she watched and re-watched DiCaprio’s portrayal in 2013’s deluxe film version of Baz Luhrmann.

“It was totally different because first of all, Gatsby walked differently and stood differently. I had to learn to be a man,” Carson said.

Edie Hampton, an 11th grader who plays Gatsby’s long-lost lover Daisy Buchanan, knew from the moment she first read her lines that she wanted to play the elegant socialite.

“Everyone else is talented too, so I thought I’d get another role that I didn’t really like. So I’m really lucky to be Daisy. [Performing arts teacher Johanne] Nelson really helped me understand her character better. She is very feminine, very outgoing, always lively and happy. ”

According to Hampton, throughout the story, Daisy often finds herself grateful for the various men in her life, being pulled in one way or another, so those rare moments when she exercises her agency are crucial to getting right Acting is more important.

“There are definitely some subjects you have to put more emotion into because that’s the only moment when she really opens up to the audience,” she explained. “A lot of her life was decided for her, or they were talking, ‘I want Daisy. No, I want Daisy,’ so she didn’t really have a voice other than those few moments.” Ms Nelson Helps me inject a lot of emotion into these scenes.”

Nelson decided to choose the classic Jazz Age novel for this spring play for two main reasons: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic 1925 book is now officially in the public domain, and the related fact is that it has been part of the high school curriculum for decades main content.

“It’s a script that most high school students, current students or graduates, are probably familiar with because it’s a common book that pops up everywhere in their English classes,” Nelson said.

A total of 30 students participated in two separate casts this year, so you may see different performances depending on which show you attend. A small but mighty production team also dazzles Nelson with a special scene they designed that should be familiar to readers of the book, which, like Rolls-Royce, adds a tragic twist to the novel’s final chapter. (When I left out the book’s ending in the interview, Hampton jokingly yelled “No spoilers!” It’s a century-old novel.)

“We had a car, a really amazing car, that our stage crew pieced together from scratch to build this absolutely beautiful car that moves and shines,” Nelson said.

The live audience was very different from the school plays at WSS for the past two years. Last year, the cast, including Carson and Hampton, pre-recorded their scenes in an empty room. While nervousness was certainly a factor in returning to the live stage, it was also accompanied by a crackling sound ahead of opening night.

“I personally am very much looking forward to putting these students in front of real people,” Nelson said.

the great gatsby Opening Friday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Murray Youth Arts Center, followed by evening performances at 8 p.m. The theatre stage takes place at the same time the next day, and doors for all performances open half an hour before the curtains. Any participant over the age of 12 must present full proof of vaccinations and ID. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at showpass.com/greatgatsby.

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