On May 4th, the National Players, America’s longest running traveling theater company, are returning to Holyoke to perform the classic Scott Fitzgerald American novel from the twenties, The Great Gatsby. This will be the third year that the Nation Players have come to Holyoke High School – in previous years they have performed both To Kill A Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath.
Not only is the performance intended to entertain, but also to make connections to academics. Every time the group performs at Holyoke High School, they bring a seminal HHS text to life for students.
“There’s a lot of proof that the more exposure students have to live theater and other arts, the better,” said Executive Director of One Holyoke CDC, Michael Moriarty. “It deepens understanding of books students study, builds critical thinking skills, and promotes empathy & dialogue.”
Mr. Moriarty and One Holyoke CDC have been involved in the National Player’s visits to Holyoke since 2015, when he heard about “To Kill a Mockingbird” coming to Holyoke. Ninth-grade students in the Holyoke School District have been reading this Harper Lee classic since before 1976, when Mr. Moriarty was a freshman. For this reason, the National Players performances traditionally have had two showings: one for the students of Holyoke High School, and one open to the public.
This year, Moriarty and the National Players have something special planned: instead of happening in the HHS auditorium, the performance of Gatsby that is open to the public will be held at the Wistariahurst Museum – the perfect place for a story about the decadence of the 1920s.
“We thought presenting the show in a mansion where millionaires lived in the 1920’s is a really fun idea,” said Moriarty.
The public show will take place at 1pm on Saturday, May 5. Following the show there will be a Gatsby themed party, and a raffle will be drawn for Bruce Springsteen On Broadway. Tickets will be sold for $55 to see the show, raffle ticket for $50, and a combined show and raffle ticket for $75.
See the links below to purchase tickets or support this endeavor.
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