Go Deeper Making Art in 2017: Harrison Stengle on GATZ

Making Art in 2017: Harrison Stengle on GATZ

Posted September 1st, 2017

Name: Harrison Stengle

Company: Thinking about establishing a company called “Macho Goat.” As of right now it is just me.

Show in 2017 Festival: GATZ

Role: Writer, Director

Past Festival showsSword of the Unicorn (which is going to New York)

Julie Stackhouse, Jesse Bradley, Jonny Long, Jenna McLaughlin, and Lamar Bumbrey in rehearsal.

FringeArts: Tell us a bit about your show. 

Harrison Stengle: GATZ is a post-apocalyptic, vaporwave infused, interracial, post-modernist parody of the original work by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It tackles the themes that are presented in the original book as well as some that might not have been seen before. For example, Gatsby and Daisy’s interracial relationship is a major theme as well as white privilege. The idea is to twist the symbolism of the original story in a way that younger audiences can better associate with.

FAHow have your interests in or approach to art making changed in the last year? 

Harrison Stengle: I am mastering non-subliminal surrealism/symbolism. I want audiences to understand the collective unconsciousness. This can be very difficult to achieve. Understanding the science of it has been something I will continuously develop and strive for.

FATell us about an instance from 2017 when your interaction with art provided some much needed solace or refuge from outside troubles.

Harrison Stengle: My work is very emotional and it helps people. For Sword of the Unicorn I had people come up to me after the performance crying, telling me the play filled a void in their heart. I still hold friends from that show that are practically family now. I cross boundaries and changed peoples lives. When you create an environment where the actor can create freely and perform something meaningful, you find magic. GATZ will do the same thing. I cannot embody in a short email the amount of time, effort, emotion, and work that goes into them. I only hope that when people come to the show, they know. Like all my shows they are as complicated as you want them to be. At the surface it is a Gatsby parody, at its core it is a call for revolution.


Harrison Stengle

$20 / 80 Minutes

Sept 8-10, 13, 15-17, 20, 22-24 @ Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St