The Importance of Being Earnest

The Production:

This play has been called “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”. Written by by Oscar Wilde, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play is a high farce with witty dialogue which have help to make it Wilde’s most enduringly popular play.

Sharla Ball is a 24 year old artist living in Indianapolis IN. The Importance of Being Earnest marks her second production directing for The Attic Theatre company and her sixth play involvement for Attic Theatre. She previously directed The Philadelphia Story in May of 2016. Sharla has a Bachelor of Science in Theatre from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has worked professionally with Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee as an Assistant Director and Stage Management Apprentice. She enjoys performing roles on-stage as well as off. You may have seen her most recently as Miss Grace Farrell in Attic Theatre’s 2017 production of Annie.

I’m one of those directors that doesn’t watch movies before directing a play because I don’t want it to interfere with my own creative process. I’ve seen the Colin Firth version at some point in my life but I cannot remember it well enough to recommend it, and I won’t be watching it before the play is over.

Sharla’s Recomendation: If the audience could read the play before coming to the show, not only would they be able to follow the plot easier but also understand the great dialouge as the cast will be delivering their lines very quickly. Get together with family or friends and pick out parts to read. It’s more fun that way and it’s a great way to pass the time on a rainy day.

Ian Hauer as Jack Worthing Most recently played Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, and the recipient of Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Attic Theatre’s 2017-18 Year End Awards.

Navar Watson as Algernon Moncrieff –  Played Macaulay Connor in The Philadelphia Story.

Rebecca Roy as Gwendolen Fairfax –  The founder of the Attic Theatre, and played a role of Margaret Lord in The Philadelphia Story, and more recently Juror # 11 in Twelve Angry Women.

Mallory Slate as Cecily Cardew – Played Juror #4 in Twelve Angry Women, and was the Recipient of Best Supporting Actress for Which #2 in Attic Theatre’s 2016 Macbeth.

Costume Designer Jon Durgan was assigned to create original costumes for the play. Below are original sketches which Jon has put together to give the audience a sneak peak into what they can look forward to on stage.

~ The Importance of Being Earnest was originally written with 4 acts and 2 additional characters which you can still read today in a collection of Oscar Wilde’s plays. We will be performing the 3 act version as most theatre companies do.

~ In October 2007, a first edition copy of The Importance of Being Earnest, dated back to 1898, was anonymously donated to a charity shop in London in a handbag. The principle character in the play was said to have been found in a handbag as a baby, from which the entire mystery of his identity stems.

~ Wilde includes stage directions in The Importance of Being Earnest for the main characters to whistle a tune from a popular british Opera, most likely Gilbert and Sullivan. In his earlier career, Wilde was a London celebrity and was satirized by Gilbert and Sullivan as the character Bunthorne in Patience.