Overview


Synopsis

Oscar Wilde’s brilliantly clever comedic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was once called by critic W.H. Auden, “the only pure verbal opera in English.” Earnest tells the story of two young gentlemen in London, who each live a double-life, creating elaborate deceptions in order to have some balance in their life. John Worthing escapes the burdens of responsibility to have an exciting life in the city, pretending to be his fictitious younger brother Ernest. Algernon Moncrieff, meanwhile, has invented a convenient invalid Bunbury who he uses as an excuse to gallavant off to the country whenever he pleases. When John falls in love with Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen, he is determined to come clean -- but when Gwendolen reveals she can only love a man named Ernest, it somewhat complicates things. When Algernon discovers John’s secret and decides to visit John’s pretty little ward in the country, posing as the debached “Ernest,” the situation gets entirely more complicated! Hijinks ensue, and the two gentlemen and their ladies are in for more than they ever anticipated when formidable Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen’s mother, begins sleuthing around to uncover the far-fetched truth. Oscar Wilde's brilliant comedy captures with wit and charm the absurdity and delight of the Victorian "age of surfaces" (as Lady Bracknell calls it,) while capturing the struggle of four passionate lovers trying to conform to expectations and, in the most roundabout and delightfully funny way possible, love who they wish and live how they want.


Characters

Male

Lead

Spoken

Female

Supporting

Spoken



Show Information

Category
Number of Acts
3 Acts
First Produced
1895
Settings
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
an apartment in london and an estate in the english countryside, “the present” (1895)
Cast Size
Licensor
None/royalty-free
Ideal For
high school, professional theatre, star vehicle (male), star vehicle (mature female), college / university theatre, ensemble cast
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult, late teen, mature adult characters

Video Clips

See All Videos


Half-Price Ticket Hot Sellers