The Great Gatsby: A Jazz-age Collaboration At Trustus Theatre

Trustus Theatre breathes new life into an American classic through artistic collaboration with local dancers, musicians

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Trustus Theatre’s Season 34, The Art of Adaptation, continues this spring with their production of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. This American classic novel, adapted for the stage by Simon Levy, will take audiences back to the Jazz Age and will incorporate local talent from Trustus Theatre actors, Columbia City Ballet dancers, and Cola Jazz musicians. It will be directed by Trustus Theatre Artistic Director Chad Henderson with an original score by Mark Rapp and choreography by Stephanie Wilkins. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby will open on Trustus Theatre’s Main Stage on Friday, April 5, 2019 and will run through Saturday, April 27, 2019. Tickets may be purchased at www.trustus.org or by calling the Trustus Theatre Box Office at 803-254-9732.

Nick Carraway, a newcomer to Long Island, moves into a cottage next to the brilliant mansion of self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby. After witnessing many late-night parties at his mysterious neighbor’s house, Nick is finally invited to attend one of these legendary all-night celebrations where decadence is in great supply. When Gatsby begins a passionate pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, Nick is drawn into their world of obsession, greed, and danger.


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The Great Gatsby was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and was adapted for the stage by Simon Levy. It will be directed by Trustus Theatre Artistic Director Chad Henderson.

“Producing The Great Gatsby was admittedly a selfish decision as a director seeking to bring to life a piece of literature that he loved,” Henderson said. “I’m a big fan of early 20th Century literature, specifically Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I found myself talking to fellow theatre artists about the possibility of a The Great Gatsby production at Trustus, and the response was consistently wrapped in excitement at the idea. Then, I thought about the spectacle of The Great Gatsby. How do we bring something beyond what is expected for a large Trustus show? I knew we could find a fine ensemble of actors to play these classic roles, but I wanted to go further. That’s how SC Jazz Ambassador and trumpeter Mark Rapp, Cola Jazz, Choreographer Stephanie Wilkins, and The Columbia City Ballet came into the picture.”

Trustus Theatre’s production of The Great Gatsby will feature a score by Mark Rapp, live music from Cola Jazz, and dancers from Columbia City Jazz and the Columbia City Ballet.

“There are many challenges with a show like The Great Gatsby,” Henderson said. “First of all, this piece of literature has been read countless times and the films that were created were highly popular. Therefore, audiences will probably have had some experience with the piece at some point in their life. They’ll have expectations. Our goal is to meet those expectations and to hopefully create some new ways to experience the piece. There’s also a lot of moving parts that have to come together over the course of a very short tech week. Our live band and professional dancers will have little time to integrate with our cast of professional actors. In the end, what will be rewarding is the amount of collaboration that we’re bringing to this production. We’ve got three high profile organizations coming together to bring something special to Columbia audiences. This is going to be an exciting time at Trustus.”

Along with The Great Gatsby play, Trustus Theatre invites you to their The Great Gatsby House Party on Saturday, March 23, from 6-10pm at the Historic Seibels House (1601 Richland Street in Columbia, SC 29201). It will be an unforgettable evening under the stars, and your ticket will give you access to an open bar (beer, wine, specialty cocktail), scrumptious delights from Scott Hall Catering, and live dancing music from the Flat Out Strangers and the Station Seven Band in the garden. Inside the house, you’ll find DJ Preach Jacobs, portraits painted by Lucas Sams, raffles, a silent auction, and a chance to have a private meeting with Mr. Gatsby himself. Tickets are $75 each and are available for purchase by calling the Trustus Theatre Box Office at 803-254-9732 or online at trustus.org. The party is sponsored by Steel Hands Brewing, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Ciroc VS, and Breakthru Beverage Group.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby will run from Friday, April 5 through to Saturday, April 27 and tickets are on sale now. Tickets for the play and The Great Gatsby House Party can be purchased by calling the Trustus Theatre Box Office at 803-254-9732 or online at trustus.org. Opening night is Friday, April 5, at 8pm. The performances following are on Saturday, April 6, at 8pm; Sunday, April 7, at 3pm; Thursday, April 11, at 8pm; Friday, April 12, at 8pm; Saturday, April 13, at 8pm; Sunday, April 14, at 3pm; Thursday, April 18, at 8pm; Friday, April 19, at 8pm; Saturday, April 20, at 8pm; Wednesday, April 24, at 8pm; Thursday, April 25, at 8pm; Friday, April 26, at 8pm; and Saturday, April 27, at 8pm.

This production is sponsored by Intramed Plus.

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