Gustavus presents The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious Persons

Posted on February 16th, 2015 by

Story by Hailey Donae Moen

The Importance of Being Earnest at Anderson Theatre

The Importance of Being Earnest at Anderson Theatre

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College is pleased to present its hilarious gender-twisted take on the Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Earnest. Directed by Amy Seham, performances will be held in Anderson Theatre on February 19, 20, 21 at 8:00 p.m. with a matinee performance on February 22 at 2:00 p.m.

Wilde’s witty comedy of manners, which premiered in 1895, skewers the pretensions of Victorian society. The Importance of Being Earnest is the second most quoted play in the English language — after Hamlet! Wilde’s wicked humor deftly mocks the morality and hypocrisy of his upper crust characters: “In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.”

This romantic comedy’s plot revolves around the name “Ernest.” At his country estate, John Worthing supervises his charming young ward, Cecily. But in London, where he woos Gwendolen Fairfax (under the disapproving eye of her mother, Lady Bracknell), Jack presents himself as a sophisticate named Ernest. Gwendolen’s ideal has always been is to be married to a man called Ernest. In turn, Gwendolen’s roguish cousin and Jack’s best friend, Algernon Moncrieff, also masquerades as Ernest Worthing when he woos Cecily. Cecily has always dreamed of loving a man named Ernest. Confusion ensues as Gwendolen and Cecily discover that they both love Ernest…who doesn’t exist.

Director Amy Seham highlights Wilde’s subversive commentary on class, sexuality, and morality, with a particular focus on the gender expectations prevalent in Victorian (and current) times. The talented cast of 11 Gustavus students includes seniors Brady Mueller (Algernon), Autumn Ike (Gwendolen) and Annie Galloway (Jack). Junior Thomas Buan follows the British Music Hall tradition of a cross-gendered Lady Bracknell in full female regalia, and sophomore Jalen Gray plays sweet Cecily in girlish pink. The production features scenic design from Senior Carrianne Brobst, lighting & sound design by Terena Wilkens, and costume design by Larissa McConnell, assisted by Junior Anastasia Murray.

Tickets are available on-line at or by calling the Gustavus Ticket Center at (507) 933-7590.

Adult tickets are $9.00, student and senior citizen tickets $6.00, Gustavus students and staff free of charge with ID. Tickets not purchased in advance may be purchased at the Anderson Theatre Box Office beginning one hour prior to curtain.



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