SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa - Oscar Wilde's comedy "The Importance of Being Earnest," a sophisticated yet light-hearted classic, will be presented by Slippery Rock University's theatre department in seven performances beginning Nov. 9
The farcical comedy of manners is directed by David Skeele, SRU professor of theater, and romps through the far-flung foppishness and romantic restraint of a not so by-gone era.
WILDE Curtains are at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 9, Nov. 11-15 and at 2 p.m., Nov.11. All performances are in the Multi-Purpose Room of the University Union, the theatre department's temporary location while Miller Auditorium undergoes renovation.
The classic play focuses on the lives of two bachelors who maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Country gentleman Jack Worthing invents a younger brother, Ernest, whom he pretends to be when he visits the city so that he can freely pursue the likes of the beautiful Gwendolen Fairfax.
"Meanwhile his city-based companion, Algernon Moncrieff, invents an unlucky invalid by the name of "Bunbury," whom he pretends to visit in the country so he can leave his dull city existence behind for a bit of fun and frivolity," Skeele said.
"The tables turn when Algernon pretends to be Ernest and visits Jack's excessively pretty ward, Cecily, in the country, and begins to woo her under false pretenses. Obviously, Jack is not happy, but when his own deceptive behavior is called into question, the scene is ripe for much hilarity," he said.
Wilde's comedy was first performed Feb. 14, 1895, in London. Reviews of the day praised its humor. It initially ran for 86 performances and was Wilde's last comic or dramatic work. Three film versions of the play have been released, including a 1992 version with an all-black cast and the latest version in 2002.
The SRU cast includes: