Spring 2021: Stars of Stage and Screen

Drama Club Delivers Gatsby Night at Movies


The Great Gatsby hit the big screen last spring as members of the drama club overcame the difficulties of the pandemic in impressive fashion.

Nora Brown, Contributor

Over the past year, quarantine hasn’t given most of us anything other than crippling anxiety disorders and fresh material to terrorize our English teachers with in personal essays. However, something that quarantine couldn’t take from us no matter how hard it tried was high school theatre. At E.O. Smith,  the drama club had had more ups and downs than a rickety Six Flags Roller Coaster, but through the perseverance of its wonderful directors and advisors – Mrs. Abercrombie, Ms. Abbott, and Mr. Welden, it survived one of the most dramatic years we’ve ever had (see what I did there?). The drama club has spent several months working on a production of The Great Gatsby, and in the spring we got to see it fully completed and played on a screen at the Mansfield Drive-In. Adapting live theatre for a pandemic was no easy task – so E.O. Smith brought Gatsby to the big screen. Through the use of greenscreen, film, and careful editing, the show was still able to go on. For actors, it was a practice in portraying a character’s emotion through masks, and for the tech and crew, it was a practice in editing and producing the film. Despite all this, the entire club had a really unique experience working on the show, and we all had a lot of fun with each other!

Thanks to the help from the brilliant tech and editing members, the film turned out polished and engaging. ”

The night of the show for many of us was the first time we had seen a movie since the start of COVID. For the students working in the drama club, this made us even more passionate to create a good product. Thanks to the help from the brilliant tech and editing members, the film turned out polished and engaging. Some of the show was filmed with individual actors without masks, but the majority of it was filmed on a large set with social distancing and masks. It made the obstacles the cast and club as a whole faced more striking, and made us appreciate the achievement of the production much more. Some honorable mentions of the night: first, our drama club president standing on the top of a car and giving speeches with a megaphone, and second, the editor who made a dramatic montage of the dead characters, fading on and off the screen (you are a genius). Overall, the drama club was so happy with the product, and we are very grateful for everyone who came. Thank you! 

Editor’s Note: This story was written for the Panther Press in the spring of 2021.