THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST Auditions
By Oscar Wilde
Adapted by Michael J. Lasley & Parrish Williams
Directed by Michael J. Lasley
Although the play was written near the end of the 19th century, the message is still valid—a person’s name and heritage mean little; it’s what you make of yourself that counts. Two charming young ladies—sophisticated Gwendolen from the city and naive Cecily from the country—are in love with Earnest Worthing. But there is no such person as Earnest Worthing. Gwendolen thinks Jack is Earnest, and Cecily thinks Algy is Earnest. Each girl swears that she could never love a man who wasn’t named Earnest. In the midst of all this confusion comes Lady Bracknell, who doesn’t like the idea of anybody loving anybody. It sounds like a big mess, but Wilde unwinds this knotty affair into one of the favorite comedies of English literature.
Prep Session – November 12th @ 7:00 pm
Auditions – November 18th & 19th @ 6:30 pm
Performances March 22 – April 6, 2019
John (Jack/Ernest) Worthing, J.P. – Jack Worthing is a seemingly responsible and respectable young man who leads a double life. In the country, Jack is known as Jack. In London he is known as Ernest. As a baby, Jack was discovered in a handbag in the cloakroom of Victoria Station. Jack is in love with his friend Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen Fairfax.
Algernon Moncrieff – Algernon is a charming, idle, decorative bachelor, nephew of Lady Bracknell, cousin of Gwendolen Fairfax, and best friend of Jack Worthing, whom he has known for years as Ernest. Algernon is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral, and given to making delightful paradoxical and epigrammatic pronouncements.
Gwendolen Fairfax – Gwendolen is in love with Jack, whom she knows as Ernest. A model and arbiter of high fashion and society, Gwendolen speaks with unassailable authority on matters of taste and morality. She is sophisticated, intellectual, cosmopolitan, and utterly pretentious.
Cecily Cardew – Jack’s ward, Cecily is probably the most realistically drawn character in the play. She is intrigued by the idea of wickedness. This idea, rather than the virtuous-sounding name, has prompted her to fall in love with Jack’s brother Ernest in her imagination and to invent an elaborate romance and courtship between them.
Lady Bracknell – Algernon’s snobbish, mercenary, and domineering aunt and Gwendolen’s mother. Lady Bracknell married well, and her primary goal in life is to see her daughter do the same. She has a list of “eligible young men” and a prepared interview she gives to potential suitors. She is cunning, narrow-minded, authoritarian, and possibly the most quotable character in the play.
Miss Prism – Cecily’s governess. She highly approves of Jack’s presumed respectability and harshly criticizes his “unfortunate” brother. Despite her rigidity, Miss Prism seems to have a softer side. She entertains romantic feelings for Dr. Chasuble.
Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. – The rector on Jack’s estate. Dr. Chasuble entertains secret romantic feelings for Miss Prism.
Lane/Merriman – Household servants to Algernon and Jack, respectively.