By Rebecca Najera
Since the construction of the original Tyler Civic Theater was completed in 1949, the theater has had 68 consecutive seasons of shows, making it one of the oldest theaters in the round in North America. Auditions are open to people inside and outside the Tyler community, including TJC students.
Sophomore Chris Fisher will be starring in the theater’s upcoming production of The Great Gatsby.
“I have been cast as Nick, which is the narrator. It’s a really cool endeavor. This is one of my biggest roles I’ve ever done at Tyler Civic,” said Fisher.
The play is an adaptation of the literary classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald, taking place during the Roaring ’20’s.
“I like the complexity of each character,” said choreographer for the production, Rachael Dickson. “The characters can seem somewhat shallow, but as you really listen to what they’re saying, there’s such deep meaning.”
Dickson believes that the issues the characters were dealing with in the 1920s and overall themes provided by the play can still be applied to today.
“It’s far enough removed from us that we can look at it and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe they thought that way.’ But then when we really look at it, that same “junk” that they’re dealing with is in [us] too, and [we] need to face that. It’s far enough removed from us that we can allow ourselves to see it, and then become uncomfortable and kinda change the way that we think,” said Dickson.
Director of the production, DeAnna Hargrove was inspired to choose the play by her love for literature, period pieces, and set design. She believes that if TJC students were to attend the show, they may find that they are able to relate to some of the characters. The characters are just as old, or only a few years older than college students are. Like Dickson, Hargrove also believes students may find that what the characters are experiencing can be similar to experiences that they may have. After all, “A love story is always relatable,” said Hargrove.
In the past, students may have watched one of the film adaptations or read the book, but Fisher feels that watching the story come to life in the theater is a completely different experience.
“I think it’s awesome when brand new people come to a stage [performance] for the first time and just watch a show and get super excited about that kind of lifestyle and everything,” said Fisher.
Now TJC students have the opportunity to experience that excitement at a cheaper cost. At the box office, all that’s required of the students is to mention this article and present a valid TJC ID. By doing this, students will be able to purchase a single ticket for $15, or 2 for $25. The show will run Oct. 14-23.