Time and Place: Summer, 1922, Long Island, New York
Setting: A landscape of sea and sky.
The action of the play is fluid. Set pieces and furniture, like the people, appear and disappear, impressionistic, like a fairy tale.
The weathered, partially-destroyed billboard of the faceless Dr. T.J. Eckleburg and his gigantic eyes, framed by a pair of enormous spectacles, passes judgment on the action of the play. Throughout, the eyes change color.
This is a Fable - of America, of the Jazz Age, of enchantment and illusions, of a world where love and dreams are pursued and betrayed.
Running Time: approximately 2 hours with one intermission.
Note about Casting: The play can be done with a minimum of 9 actors - 5 men,
4 women. At the producer's discretion, suggested doubling may be ignored, or additional dancers and party guests may be added.
Cast of Characters:
JAY GATSBY - a Romantic Idealist, with a disarming smile
DAISY BUCHANAN - Southern, with a voice that sounds like money
NICK CARRAWAY - Midwestern, with a kind face and gentle manner
TOM BUCHANAN - Daisy's Husband, with a powerful cruel body
JORDAN BAKER - Daisy's Friend, with an athletic almost masculine body
MYRTLE WILSON - Tom's Girlfriend, New York, fleshy and sensual
GEORGE WILSON - Myrtle's Husband, New York, spiritless and anemic
MEYER WOLFSHIEM (also MR. MCKEE, COP & DANCER)
MRS. MCKEE (also MRS. MICHAELIS & DANCER)
Author's Note: The described stage setting is the idealized vision of the play played out against a larger-than-life mythic backdrop where spectacular production elements substitute for the lyric beauty of Fitzgerald's descriptive prose; however, symbolism and metaphor, which are central to the novel, may be realized in many ways, and I leave it to the imagination of directors and producers to tell the story as simply or as elaborately as they choose. It's my intention that scenes overlap, linger, even play simultaneously sometimes so we play freely with time and space. After all, this is memory, a dreamscape. If possible, it would be exciting to have a live musician, A Jazz Man (sax, clarinet), to represent the passion and sound of the Jazz Age, since music is integral to the telling of this story. One should approach this play the way you would a musical.