Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Theatre
The Importance Of Being Earnest
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The Importance of Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde

Pasant Theatre
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
October 9th - 11th and 16th - 19th, 2003

Six weeks after the triumphant opening of The Importance of Being Earnest at the St. Jamess Theatre in Londons West End, Oscar Wilde was arrested on charges of "gross indecency." In another six weeks, he was convicted and sentenced to two years of hard labor for his "crime" of leading what might be construed as a double life - one as the brilliant and witty master of multiple literary genres, welcome in all the best homes; the other as a despicable corrupted of young men, deserving of the worst scorn that could be heaped upon him. Wilde vehemently denied the attacks on his character and defended his life and art with dignity and eloquence.

How bold then, was this work, with its plot that hinges on the explosion of the dual identities created by two young respectable men about town for the purpose of circumventing the strictures of a repressive Victorian society! At its heart, Earnest is a penetrating critique of the social hypocrisy that, in our contemporary world, successfully masquerades as perfectly charming comedy. One can only wonder what Wilde might have had to say about present day politicians, clerics, corporate leaders....and, dare we say it... about almost any one of us.

Production Team

Director: Carolyn M. Gillespie
Scene Design: Kirk Domer
Costume Design: Gretel Geist
Lighting Design: Danielle M. Baisden
Sound Design: Daniel A. Swallec
Technical Director: Rob Berls
Costume Shop Supervisor: Karen Kangas-Preston
Production Stage Manager: Erin A. Haggerty
Assistant Director: Khalid Bhatti
Assistant Lighting Designer: Lauren Hill


Cast List

Lane/Merriman Thomas McCartan
Algernon Moncrieff Andrew Towler
John (Jack) Worthing Rick Kunzi
Gwendolyn Fairfax Rachel May Roberts
Lady Bracknell Monica Clark-Robinson
Miss Prism Erin Roe
Cecily Cardew Sarah Habel
Rev. Canon Chasuble Graham Irwin
Mr. Gribsby Edward Howell