OUE Theatre presents ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Theater Department of Ohio University Eastern is proud to announce its up-coming production of Oscar Wilde’s comic masterpiece “The Importance of Being Earnest” on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and April 22, 26, 27 and 28 in the Shannon Hall Theater.

“The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People” was first performed on February 14, 1895 at the St James’s Theatre in London.

Set in late Victorian London, the play’s very modern theme is exposing the triviality of so many social customs and institutions which are often considered serious and untouchable by satire.

Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make “The Importance of Being Earnest” Wilde’s most enduringly popular play.

This is the third time OUE Theatre has staged the “Importance of Being Earnest,” a play some critics have called the funniest ever written. Previously produced in 1986 and 1997, the play focuses on the friendship of Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrief.

Both men lead double lives and as their secrets are revealed hysterical complications ensue. The plot is absolutely filled with moments of both high and low comedy that will have audiences rolling with laughter.

The real attraction of the play, however, is the brilliance of the language according to OUE Theatre Director Dennis Fox: “The absolute appeal of Wilde is his use of language. From the first line of the play to its ending, the language is a constant verbal barrage of wit. There is very little opportunity for the audience to catch their breath from laughing. It is an extraordinary play.”

Fox has assembled a veteran cast for this production: Cody A Kramer of Martins Ferry who was last seen as the Narrator in “A Christmas Carol;” Derek DeMattio, of Richmond, an OU alumnus who was last seen as Young Adult Ebenezer in “A Christmas Carol;” Carly Greiner, of Barnesville is a Junior at OUE and was last seen as Dorothea in “A Christmas Carol;”Michael Lane, of Quaker City and a Freshman at OUE was last seen as The Ghost of Christmas Future in “A Christmas Carol;” Matt Smith, of Flushing is a Sophomore at Ohio University Eastern and was last seen as Topper in “A Christmas Carol;” Renno M. Barnes, of Barnesville, who was last seen as Jacob Marley in “A Christmas Carol;” Rebecca Lewton, of Martins Ferry, who last played Mrs. Fred in “A Christmas Carol;” Chelsey A. Barnes, of Barnesville, who was last seen as Belle in “A Christmas Carol;”and Audrey Dillon, of Barnesville, who was last seen as Sonia in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

Assistant Director is OUE Theatre veteran Megan Simcox, of Colerain, who was Assistant Director for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

Thursday evening performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8 p.m. The Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m. For more information or to make reservations, contact Fox at (740) 699-2340 or ouetheater@ohio.edu.