Literature Live! Celebrates a Decade with ‘Gatsby’

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The cast of "The Great Gatsby:" (Left to right) Joe Minutillo, Stephanie Vertichio, Amanda Kristin Nichols, John Kroft, Alexandra Kopko, Chauncy Thomas, Dan Fenaughty, Sara Carolynn Kennedy, Charlie Westfal and Stephanie Turci. Franki Sciacchitano photo, courtesy of Bay Street Theater

 Next month, Literature Live! turns 10. And they’re doing it up big — Gatsby big.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic Jazz Age novel, “The Great Gatsby,” will come to life on Bay Street Theater’s intimate stage, adapted by Simon Levy and directed by Joe Minutillo.

“The Roaring 20’s was a time of excess, lavish parties and speakeasies,” a press release said. “Jay Gatsby was a secretive and successful kingpin of the elite party circuit, but he had one burning desire and one purpose: to be with Daisy Buchanan, the love of his life from his youth. Set on Long Island in 1922, this compelling drama portrays the human condition of ambition, love, lust, greed, deceit and, most of all, the struggles of class and the American Dream.”

The play will star Charlie Westfal as Jay Gatsby and Sara Carolynn Kennedy as Daisy Buchanan, with John Kroft as Nick Carraway, Dan Fenaughty as Tom Buchanan, Scott T. Hinson as Wolfsheim/Chester McKee, Alexandra Kopko as Jordan Baker, Amanda Kristin Nichols as Myrtle Wilson, Chauncy Thomas as George Wilson, and Stephanie Turci as Mrs. McKee/Mrs. Michaelis.

Literature Live! is a BOCES-approved Arts-in-Education program, and plays are chosen from the standards-based literature and supported with teacher-developed lesson plans and reference materials. All performances are 90 minutes and student weekday shows are followed by a Q&A.

The production is performed free for student groups and their teachers from across Long Island — supported by a matching grant of $100,000, with $27,550 currently raised to date.

“Bay Street Theater is committed to supporting students who have little or no access to the performing arts in schools,” the release said. “Now in its 10th season, the program has successfully served over 60 schools and nearly 30,000 students and their educators.”

Public performances are Thursday through Saturday, November 8 to 25, at the Sag Harbor theater, located at 1 Bay Street. For more information, call (631) 725-9500 or visit baystreet.org. To reserve free tickets for school groups, email mary@baystreet.org.

 

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