Drama presents the roaring ’20s


Matt Martinez, Staff Writer

Cal High Drama is bringing the roaring ’20s back to the present in their upcoming adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.”

Students have been working hard for over a month to do their best to bring the world that F. Scott Fitzgerald created to life.

The play is being helmed by two student directors, seniors Neha Kaul and Jordyn Grimes, who have acted as the ringleaders of the creative process during their eight weeks of rehearsal.

The play’s three-night run concludes tonight with a 7 p.m. performance in the Cal High theater.  Tickets are $10 for side seating and $12 for center, and can be purchased either at the door or at www.chsdrama.org. 

“I’d say come see the talents of Cal High,” said theater arts and play production teacher Laura Woods, who is serving as producer.  “There are over 50 kids involved in this production. On-stage, off-stage, designers, choreographers, sound people. They’ve been working very hard and their work deserves to be seen.”

As producer, Woods said her job is to oversee every aspect of the play. She said these responsibilities include, “hav[ing] the tech kids where they need to be, but also to make sure that the directors are utilizing very clean blocking, and that all the transitions are smooth.”

Grimes explained that it’s hard being a student having to lead other students sometimes. 

“As a director you’re essentially in charge of everything,” said Grimes.

But the production members have collaborated well.  

 “I feel like we got a pretty good balance,” said Grimes. “And Neha’s my co-director, and if I didn’t have her this would not be where it is.”

The entire crew has been putting a lot of effort into rehearsals, which have been held Monday through Thursday since the last week of February. 

Students, both on and back stage, said that the play’s focus is on capturing the overall ambiance of the time period depicted in the novel.

“It totally immerses you in the 1920s,” Grimes said. “If you want to come, and feel like you’re in the ’20s, from looking at the costumes, and the dancing, and the set, and everything, you’re gonna feel like you’re there.”

Creating the atmosphere of the play is what many members of the cast and crew consider to be the best part of the production.

“This play is definitely more heavily focused on atmosphere,” said ensemble member Ashlyn Hough, a junior. “Last year it was more focused on acting and characters. This time the focus is props and costumes.”

The effort of the tech crew is considered to be the highlight of the whole play. They have been working hard during their play production periods to construct a memorable set that makes the audience feel as though they’re looking back in time at the glamorous decade.

“The costumes were my favorite part of the preparation,” said senior and ensemble dancer Sanjana Murthi. “They’re really pretty.”

The impressive set has been in the works for months, with design and construction being overseen by senior Reece Lax. The tech crew began building the set last November.

In addition to the set, one of the selling points of the show is the production’s dance numbers, which were choreographed by senior Alexi Colon. During rehearsal, the ensemble typically worked separately from the leads so more emphasis could be placed on the grand dance numbers during the party scenes.

“I love working with everybody,” said Grimes. “I want to see what everybody brings to the table on opening night and see it all come together.”

Senior Ben Crawford, who is portraying the character Tom,  added, “If you like shows that are well put together with a great story and great atmosphere, you’ll like this. We have a great cast and a well-built set. Overall it’s a well-rounded show.”