Join NPHS for Gatsby Live!


TOWAMENCIN- Join us, old sport, on Monday, April 29th for Gatsby Live! Whether you are a Fitzgerald fanatic, a lover of literature, or just want to cheer on your classmates, stop by the stage in the auditorium lobby any time during the day on Monday to hear a reading from the The Great Gatsby.

English teacher Mrs. Ellen McKee initiated the Gatsby live event after being inspired by a similar event that takes annually at the Rosenbach museum in Philadelphia. Each year on June 16th, the museum does a complete reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses, which typically lasts an entire twenty-four hours. In October, the Seaport museum decided to do a reading of McKee’s longtime favorite Moby Dick, which her and her husband volunteered to read chapter eighty-seven of the novel.

“I love the idea of literature embraced by everyone and read aloud and heard in the city and that kind of thing so I thought this would be a neat thing to do at North Penn. We practically are a city ourselves here at the high school,” McKee explained.

McKee, who teaches eleventh grade English, received a lot of positive feedback from her students about the event.

“I didn’t know how many of my kids would be interested in doing something this nerdy, but fortunately I have a lot of great kids and I have 85 students who have volunteered to read,” said McKee.

McKee and her students have spent months of planning to prepare for the event. She first divided the book into fifty separate readings, and lately many of her students have stayed after school to help build props and make posters. The event also would not be possible without the help of Mrs. Weizer, Mr. Gilmer, Mr. Hilbert, and Mr. Nicholson, who is kicking off Gatsby Live with the first reading from the novel.

“It was particularly great because it coincided with the new stage setup that we have now in our auditorium lobby, which is a wonderful public space for events like this,” McKee exclaimed.

If the event goes as successful as planned, McKee hopes to make Gatsby Live an annual event, and is even considering reading from different novels.

“It’s a great American book being read in a great American high school,” added McKee.