PCC Theater Cast Talks About Challenging Roles in New Gatsby Show
Pasadena City College will adapt F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classical “The Great Gatsby” for the stage in five different screenings starting Saturday, October 12 at 2:00 p.m. in PCC’s Sexson Auditorium, Building C.
The play, written by Simon Levy, is open to the public and will be directed by Suzanne Hunt Jenner.
“It’s a very challenging and there are emotional roles. There’s so much great stuff for actors to work on,’ said Jenner, who is also a faculty member at the College and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. “It’s going to be quite a show.”
PCC’s theater majors will take the lead roles in this play about obsession, love, money and the American Dream.
Daniel Kingsland has only moved in Pasadena from West Coast about six months ago. His first audition in PCC was for the role of Jay Gatsby, but he immediately landed the spot.
“I am really glad. This is the first role I auditioned for as I moved out here and yeah, I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” Kingsland said.
Gatsby will order his life around his desire to be reunited with Daisy Buchanan, the love he lost five years earlier. Daisy will be played by Anna Dawahare.
“This is my second year at PCC. I’ve done shows at PCC before and I’m really excited to play the role of Daisy because this is the first dramatic show I’ve ever done,” Dawahare said.
Daniel Deussen will be playing the role of Tom Buchanan, the millionaire husband of Daisy who has an arrogant demeanor. Casey Kenyon will star as Jordan Baker, Daisy’s long-time friend; while Alexis Hartsfield takes the role of Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s mistress.
Despite the drama of Gatsby’s quest, which will lead him from poverty to wealth and eventually to tragedy, the play will also see comic in the role of Mrs. McKee, who will be played by Aria Curzon.
“Mrs. McKee is really fun. She’s quite the gossip, you know, very much a socialite about being on everybody’s business. It’s definitely a bit lighter compared to all the drama and the trail,” Curzon said.
Curzon is also a professional actress, who recently starred in the movie “Hairspray.” She has also done several voice over works in Disney’s “Recess” and “Lloyd in Space.” She started in the industry when she was six years old when she worked for her first commercial.
“I’m really interested in musical theater and theater especially because I grew up doing commercials and TV and film, whereas most people started in theater,” Curzon said. “I kind of started the other way around. So now, I’m trying to get my feet right in the theater world and get experience doing that. It’s completely different, and I’m really enjoying it.”
The narrator, Nick Caraway, will be played by Ned Kirby who has been in the acting industry for the past three years.
The screenings of The Great Gatsby will also be held on Saturday, October 12; Thursday, October 17; Friday, October 18; and Saturday, October 19.
Ticket costs $10 for general admission and $5 for students, staff and seniors. It can be purchased at the door only, beginning an hour prior to the start of the show.
Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is a classic piece of American fiction and is heralded in the literary world as the Great American Novel is noted for the remarkable way Fitzgerald captured a cross-section of American society. In Fitzgerald’s opulent, carefree Jazz Age, there lurks a materialistic center, making The Great Gatsby’s sharp depiction of the American Dream resonate anew for each generation.
Parking is available in any student lot for $2. Permits can be purchased in lot vending machines.
Pasadena City College is located at (625) 585-7002. For more information call (626) 585-7216 or visit www.pasadena.edu/performingarts.