Department of Theatre to stage Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' | UToledo News

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Department of Theatre to stage Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will present “The Importance of Being Earnest” Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 2-4.

Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. All performances will be held in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

Earnest, a.k.a. Jack (Nolan Thomaswick), with his love interest, Gwendolyn (Christina Pinciotti), in a rehearsal scene from UT’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Earnest, a.k.a. Jack (Nolan Thomaswick), with his love interest, Gwendolyn (Christina Pinciotti), in a rehearsal scene from UT’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Written by Oscar Wilde, the UT production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” is directed by James Stover, visiting assistant professor of theatre.

Against the backdrop of 1908 London and its stiff, Victorian societal conventions, two friends find the pseudonym of Ernest usually covers their socially unacceptable behavior — until it doesn’t.

“Downton Abbey” fans will recognize the Victorian social and class structures that are at the heart of the play’s story. Wilde’s colorful characters and witty dialogue expose the stuffy conventions for what they truly were.

Although the set and costume will reflect the period, Stover said he plans to present the play in the style of a modern sitcom.

“The relationships between the characters are timeless and as relevant today as ever,” he added. “The play is so well-written and well-constructed that it’s possible to have fun, silly, even wildly comedic moments, while still being able to tell Oscar Wilde’s story.”

Cast members are Bryan Harkins as Algernon; Nolan Thomaswick as Jack; Faith Murphy as Lady Bracknell; Xaverie Baker as Cecily; Christina Pinciotti as Gwendolyn; Sarena Jackson as Miss Prism; Durell Roberts as the Rev. Chausable; and Tyler Mitchell as Lane and Merriman.

Tickets are $8 for students and children; $10 for UT faculty, staff and alumni, and military members and seniors; and $15 for the general public. Call 419.530.ARTS (2787) or order online at utoledo.tix.com. Tickets also will be available at the door.

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