'Gatsby' gets green light for IR premiere this weekend

Date Published: 
May 26, 2017

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Whether they’re coming in from East Egg, West Egg or across any other egg-less province, the local community is getting the “green light” to head out to Indian River High School this Friday and Saturday night for the IR drama club’s production of “The Great Gatsby.”

The Simon Levy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story will “borne back ceaselessly into the past” to feature everything 1920s — from snazzy suits and flapper dresses to the jazz stylings of the Indian River High School band during intermissions and throughout the show.

Coming off the success of their production of “Romeo & Juliet” this past winter — in what was the first-year drama club’s first-ever show — hopes were even higher for “Gatsby,” with everything coming together just in time for curtain call.

“We have a lot to pull together in the last week — as is the nature of theater — but we’re all really excited,” said Sadie Andros, director and first-year English teacher at IR. “We’ve gone a little bigger for this show. We’ve got a great set that we’ve been designing and painting. We have a car, live music — it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The production will also benefit from an experienced cast of actors at Indian River High School, many of whom have graced the stage not only in “Romeo & Juliet” but at local venues including Clear Space Theatre in Rehoboth Beach, and as members of the Possum Point Players at Possum Hall in Georgetown.

Portraying the ever-enigmatic Daisy Buchanan will be long-time Clear Space and Possum Point veteran Kerinne Walls (“Bye Bye Birdie,” “Hairspray”), the soon-to-be graduate taking on another lead role after playing Juliet in the club’s maiden production last January.

Starring opposite Walls will be IR senior and fellow Clear Space/Possum Point Player Chris Jones (“Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Hairspray”), in the narrator role of Nick Caraway. They’ll be joined by Chance Kamin as antagonist-brute Tom Buchanan, Olivia Garvey as self-centered cynic Jordan Baker and Danny Prado keying in his “old sports” to take on the role of tragic hero Jay Gatsby.

“They’re very collaborative, they’re talented, and they’re all so dedicated,” said Andros of the cast. “The kids really like script — it was their choice for our second main-stage. It’s a story that still speaks to them and that they can get excited about.”

“Gatsby” will premiere at the Indian River High School auditorium in Dagsboro for two shows, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 26, and on Saturday, May 27. The event is open to the public for both nights.

“We’d love to see anyone who wants to attend come and support us,” said Andros. “We have a great professional theatre here at IR, and I think ‘The Great Gatsby’ is just a timeless story that people will definitely enjoy. We finally got our costumes today, so we’re all just very excited.”

Indian River High School is located at 29772 Armory Road in Dagsboro. Tickets will go on sale at 6:30 p.m. both nights and cost $5, with all proceeds going to the school’s drama club. Showtime is set for 7 p.m. on both nights, and the doors will open at 6:45 p.m.