The Importance of Being Earnest Artwork by Nolka BatesThe Stoneleigh-Burnham School Theater Department will present The Importance of Being Earnest, a play by Oscar Wilde, February 20-22, 2015 in Emerson Hall.  Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 20 and Saturday, February 21, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 22. The play is a free community event and open to the public.

First performed in 1895 at the St. James Theatre in London, the play is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play’s major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde’s most enduringly popular play.

SBS theater teacher Lucinda Kidder noted that the play is, according to many academics and cultural historians, the most perfect example of British comedy ever written.

“Its ever-so-civilized roasting of the absurdities of society as defined in Victorian England requires a certain level of anglophilic immersion in British culture, and as such, presents a real challenge for student actors,” Kidder said. “The comedy of manners makes fun of a culture with which they have no direct experience, and thus we have studied the ways of British Victorian high society.”

Kidder added that at each rehearsal, the actors go through warm-up and relaxation exercises. Vocal projection and memorization techniques are important. In addition, each student has a crew assignment to assist with the technical aspects of production.

Cast list:

Gwendolyn Fairfax – Rose Watson ’16
Algernon Moncrief – Georgia Fowler ’17
Cecily Cardew – Sunrise Mager ’20
Jack Worthing – Nolka Bates ’16
Lady Bracknell – Zsofi Nemeth ’16
Miss Prism – Charlotte Minsky ’16
Canon Chausuble – Jewels Hatchard ’19
Merriman – Suki Wang ’15
Lane – Tzu-Chun (Jacquelynn) Li ’19

Stage Manager – Natalie DiMario ’16
Director – Lucinda Kidder
Technical Director – John Iverson
Costumes – Sharon Weyers

A video featuring the cast and crew, along with an interview with cast member Rose Watson ’16 can be seen here.

Artwork by Nolka Bates ’16