A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
February 15, 2007 Volume 37 / Number 5

 

The Importance of Being Earnest


Joel P. Rogers as Lady Bracknell

The rarified world of the English upper classes is coming to Chico this spring with the production of Oscar Wilde’s witty comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest. This play stars two young men, Jack and Algernon, in love with girls who are determined to marry an illusive man named Earnest.

The production, directed by Cynthia Lammel, Theatre, features a cast of students—with the exception of the actor playing Lady Bracknell, Joel P. Rogers, Theatre Department chair. “There is an established tradition of allowing men to play the role of Lady Bracknell, the symbol of the force and weight of the Victorian aristocracy, codes of conduct, and etiquette,” explained Lammel. The gender bending increases he hilarity, and in this case, enabled Lammel to put a professional actor in this strong and challenging part.

The cast is immersing themselves in the customs of the period. The first rehearsal was, said Lammel, “a tea party of sorts.” Rogers, in full character as Lady Bracknell, poured tea for everyone, and they nibbled on finger sandwiches and scones while reading through the play.

Experience The Importance of Being Earnest April 4–7, 13, and 14 at 7:30 pm and April 8 and 15 at 2 pm. All shows will be in Wismer Theatre. Advance tickets for the reserved seating are $6–15 and are available at the University Box Office (x6333).

—Anna Harris, Public Affairs and Publications