Monday, December 8, 2014

Welcome to the world of THE GREAT GATSBY

Seanchai Library is proud to debut EXPLORE the Stories Behind the Art with Tacoma Little Theatre, among the oldest community theaters in the nation and the oldest on the U.S. west coast with a rich heritage going back to 1918.

“No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.” —Nick Carraway

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel is keenly relevant today.  It challenges ideas of romance, success, and the American Dream that we still struggle with.  Tacoma Little Theatre will be presenting Simon Levy’s stage adaptation, Directed by Dale Westgaard, of the classic 1925 novel January 23 through February 8, 2015 at its theater in Tacoma's Stadium District..

EXPLORE Gatsby, is a three dimensional guide to information meant to add to the experience of attending and enjoying the play.  Created in the virtual platform known as Kitely, EXPLORE will feature an interactive environment based on the novel, and will offer live presentations of the source literature that TLT patrons, and fans of the novel from all over the world can enjoy through their home computers.
EXPLORE will be open to online to guests, patrons, and metaverse explorers January 15th with live programming beginning January 16th.  The Gatsby inspired environment will remain open to the public through February 22nd. The schedule of live events is in the planning stages.

While EXPLORE looks like a game, it is not.  No one "wins" or "loses." It uses a gaming platform and technology to build customized community based cultural, and educational events without physical or localized barriers.

Planned features of EXPLORE will include:

  • The Guest House – The entry point, this structure will provide support and basic information for those new to virtual worlds, as well as provide entry links to other places of interest on the Kitely Grid and within EXPLORE. It will be situated on an island separated from the Gatsby sections of the environment by a bridge.
  • The Valley of Ashes – In the novel, this is the central point that connects West Egg and East Egg to the rest of the world.  “This is a valley of ashes – a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men” Crossing the bridge into this central point, visitors will be able to explore information specifically about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life and works, as well as information regarding the widening divide in 1920s America between the “haves” and the “have nots.”
  • West Egg – Jay Gatsby’s mansion and Nick Carraway’s guest cottage will be the setting for live readings of the unedited text of the novel, beginning the evening of January 16th.  In the works as well are possible online discussions with TLT production personnel.  The environment will provide links to information regarding society and culture of the 1920s, and the motifs evoked in the novel.
  • East Egg – Across the water from West Egg, and connected by the Valley of Ashes, is the location of the home of Daisy Buchanan (object of Jay Gatsby’s obsession) and her husband.  Step through the doors of The Buchanan mansion and find yourself in the Lobby of Tacoma Little Theatre. Learn about its 97 year history, explore the auditorium, and stroll through a virtual recreation of the actual stage setting for TLT’s production of The Great Gatsby.  You can even sit in the seats!

Check this site for more information January 15th approaches.  Share your ideas on what sort of live online programming you would enjoy by leaving a comment.

To get a clearer sense of what EXPLORE Gatsby will offer, enjoy these two video samples which were prepared by Seanchai Library for other, similar projects.

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