Shakespeare Theatre Company to Present THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, 1/16-3/2
Oscar Wilde's 'trivial comedy for serious people,' The Importance of Being Earnest, makes it way to the Shakespeare Theatre Company stage from January 16-March 2, 2014. With his talent for period plays, internationally acclaimed director Keith Baxter (An Ideal Husband, Mrs. Warren's Profession, The Imaginary Invalid, Lady Windermere's Fan) returns to bring this witty and intelligent comedy to life at the Company's Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW).
Wilde, one of the best-known literary figures of the late Victorian period, mocked social decorum and codes of etiquette when he crafted The Importance of Being Earnest. His critical satire weaves together mistaken identities, imaginary characters, courtship and the undoing of upper class society in humorous ways, leaving the audience in fits of laughter. "Of Wilde's other plays, this one is in a category all by itself.The Importance of Being Earnest, without any argument at all, is the greatest example of high comedy writing in the English language," said director Keith Baxter.
The Importance of Being Earnest tells the story of Jack Worthing, a self-made man, who uses the alias "Ernest" in his high society life and with his love Gwendolyn when he is away from his country manor. When his acquaintance, confirmed bachelor Algernon Moncrieff discovers this game, he is eager to take on the pseudonym to woo Jack's ward Cecily. What results is a flawless Wildean comedy of class, courtship, and lyrical wit. Both Jack and Algernon will jump over hurdles to keep up the charade to win the women they love and realize the vital importance of being earnest.
New to the Shakespeare Theatre Company stage, Siân Phillips will star as Lady Bracknell. Best known for her appearance on the BBC television series I, Claudius, Phillips has a long career history including many films, television programs and numerous theatre credits including Marlene for which she received a Tony and Olivier Award nomination. "Siân has worked with practically everyone and is a stunning actress. She won an Emmy For I,Claudius and became one of the iconic leading ladies of the postwar era. It is wonderful that we have her here in this production," said director Keith Baxter.
The Importance of Being Earnest is sponsored by Arlene and Robert Kogod. Additional support is provided by Maphook, Inc. and Share Fund. The media partner is The Washingtonian.
For tickets and more information, patrons can call 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.