February 5-21, 1970

The Importance of Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde

Director's Notes

While rehearsing for tonight's production fo Oscar Wilde's magnificent social satire, The Importance of Being Earnest, we found ourselves so removed, in almost every way, from late Victorian England as to view it with no little sense of bewilderment. We have done our historical and social research, but here we all are, timed to and spaced out in 1970, reaching for behavioral insights that are at best ghostly hand me downs. Consequently, the social dictates of the 1890's but has evolved from OUR particular sense of politesse, guided by the not so gentle hand of Wilde's text.

The wonderful quality of WIlde's play is found in the ingenuity of its construction and vision. It took Wilde only three weeks to write yet the play has incredible polish. The vision is concerned with society, at best a very tight circle, its foibles, contradictions and stupidities. Yet there is an immense delight and charm in the characters complimented by moments of self-revelation that are completely disarming.

Ultimately, we can make no moral condemnation upon these people because in throwing over one order they trap themselves with what they have created, and that seems to me to be a pretty universal condition. What takes the play byond "the shallow mask of manners" is the wit, the love and discovery of each. The importance of being earnest.

– W.Webster

Cast & Creative Team
For The Importance of Being Earnest

  • Margaret Barton
    Miss Prism (Governess)
  • James Edmond
    Rev. Canon Casuble, D.D.
  • Dana Ivey
    Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax
  • Betty Leighton
    Lady Bracknell
  • Susan Mitchell
    Cecily Cardew
  • Neil Munro
    Merriman (Butler), Lane (Manservant)
  • Christopher Newton
    Algernon Moncrieff
  • Nicholas Simons
    John Worthing, J.P.
  • William Webster
    Director
  • Kenneth McBane
    Design
  • Charlotte Green
    Stage Manager