Cygnet Theatre to Stage Two Comedies in Rotating Rep, 9/18-10/27
Take two world renowned playwrights, mix in a theatre that is not afraid of a challenge, and you get the next offering in Cygnet Theatre's 11th season. By producing two great theatre classics in rotating repertory, Cygnet is once again raising the bar for San Diego theaters. The monumental task of directing both The Importance of Being Earnest and Travesties will be handled by Artistic Director Sean Murray. Performances will be at the Old Town Theatre, September 18 - October 27. Opening Day for media is September 28.
"We always like to challenge ourselves and our audiences," explained Sean Murray. "By offering this creative twist for theatre-philes, we hope people will enjoy discovering the playful links between the two very different but inter-connected comedies."
Oscar Wilde's (1854-1900) The Importance of Being Earnest has been called the funniest play in the English language, and he is among the world's most quoted authors, noted for his wit and brilliance. The play was first performed in 1895 and is set in British upper class society. In this farce full of mistaken identity and originally subtitled "A Serious Comedy for Trivial People," Algernon and Jack are in love with two delectable young women, both of whom have illogically sworn to marry only men named Ernest. Full of outrageous frivolity with intricate twists and turns, The Importance of Being Earnest is like Downton Abbey with Oscar Wilde's wit.
Take one part Wilde, a touch of Lenin, a dash of Dada, a pinch of Joyce and you've got Tom Stoppard's Tony award-winning, absurdly hilarious Travesties. Stoppard (Arcadia, Shakespeare in Love) spins a dazzling medley of literature, philosophy, politics, and history in vaudeville-style. The wildest revolutionary minds of the 20th century come alive in this romantic and achingly funny modern masterpiece.
It's 1917 in Zurich, and English official Henry Carr is reminiscing about his experiences with revolutionary and historical figures like James Joyce and Vladimir Lenin. His memories are couched in a production of Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest in which he had a starring role. Situations from Earnest feature prominently as do many of the characters. Like Earnest, Travesties involves mistaken identities, imaginary brothers and a woman who is remarkably picky about the given name of the man she will marry.
According to Murray, "One play is filled with clever word play and is Monty Python-esque, laugh-out-loud funny, and the other is a classic comedy of manners written as only Wilde can. Both are hilarious."
The shows will be performed in rotating repertory by the same cast which includes Maggie Carney (A Christmas Carol), Manny Fernandes (Assassins, Private Lives), David Cochran Heath, Linda Libby (Company, Man of La Mancha), Brian Mackey (The Glass Menagerie, The History Boys), Patrick McBride, JorDan Miller (Bed and Sofa), Rachael VanWormer (Arcadia, The Little Foxes) and Jacque Wilke (Mistakes Were Made).
The production team includes costume design by Shirley Pierson, set design by Sean Fanning, lighting design by Chris Rynne, sound design by Kevin Anthenill, and properties design by Angelica Ynfante. Jennifer Kozumplik will stage manage.
Performances are September 18 - October 27. The two shows will alternate throughout the run. Show times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.
For more information regarding tickets, please contact the box office at 619-337-1525 or visit www.cygnettheatre.com. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office located at 4040 Twiggs Street. Discounts are available for students, active-duty military, seniors and groups of 10 or more.
Eleven years ago, when Cygnet Theatre opened the doors in a strip mall near La Mesa with the premiere of the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, they were announcing the birth of an unconventional, exciting, and fresh New Theatre Company in San Diego. Since that opening night, Cygnet Theatre has grown into one of San Diego's largest theatre companies and has become known for producing adventurous, entertaining and thought-provoking live professional theatre year round. At the recently renovated, state-of-the-art Old Town Theatre in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, Cygnet presents at least six main stage productions annually, ranging from classics and musicals to contemporary works that celebrate the human story. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Sean Murray and Executive Director Bill Schmidt, Cygnet has won more than 100 local awards for artistic excellence, including Theatre of the Year, Producer of the Year and multiple Best Production awards. Cygnet has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and The James Irvine Foundation, among many others. In addition, Cygnet Theatre is committed to education outreach, new play development and community collaborations. For more information, visit www.cygnettheatre.com.