Jumping into the Arts!


Photo provided by Mr. Zayas

After school hours with Zayas and his Gatsby Crew!

Xela Harris, Staff Writer

The RJ Reynolds theater program provides the community with an exciting new musical production this fall, The Great Gatsby. The show follows the main character, Jay Gatsby, and his love interest, Daisy Buchanan. It’s about moral decay and the dangers of greed and longing for wealth. 

Gatsby’s dream is to have a fulfilled life with Daisy. Spoiler alert! Gatsby’s quest leads him from poverty to riches, into the arms of his beloved, and eventually to death. Some would describe it as fatally idealistic, and others would say it is a romance. 

This show takes place in the 1920s and is highlighted by the music, led by music director and senior Paul Gunter.

Photo provided by Mr. Zayas

“It’s mostly jazz music,” Gunter said. “Gatbsy is set in the Ragtime swing era, so there’s some of that and also some later jazz as well.”

Gunter has been involved in the music community at Reynolds since his freshman year.

“I really wanted to help create a performance [in the show] with a group of musicians on campus,” Gunter said.

The music and costume designs are rumored to be amazing because of their accuracy with the time era. Costume designer and senior Kyle Brady has put his all into the clothing for this production.

“I’m super interested in costume design,” Brady said. “I’ve been sewing since I was a child, and it has always been really interesting to me.” 

Brady has been into theater since his freshman year; he has been costuming at RJR since the tenth grade with the production of Jesus Crist Superstar.

There are many enthusiastic performers in the production. Senior Caleb Williams plays the police officer in Gatsby. Williams enjoys the presence of his castmates and the theater community.

“Everyone in the theater is really nice…I enjoy talking to everyone and making new friends,” Williams said. “I like the roles I play because they’re all really fun, and I feel like it’s nice to be a part of.”

These new friends can come from various grade levels, all of whom learn from one another. 

“I love learning from underclassmen, too,” senior Quinn Kinser said. “They do a whole bunch of things that I never think of.”

Kinser plays one of the lead roles, Daisy Buchanan. Kinser has been performing in plays at the Reynolds auditorium since the 8th grade and really enjoys being involved with theater.

“The experiences I kept getting only got better,” Kinser said. “As I kept practicing, my love of theater grew with my experiences.”

Photo provided by Mr. Zayas

Make sure you give our theater arts program applause on the opening night of The Great Gatsby, October 27th!