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The Importance of Being Earnest show poster

The Importance of Being Earnest at Under St. Marks Theater

Dates: (10/19/2023 - 10/28/2023 )


Under St. Marks Theater

94 St. Marks Place, NY NY, 10009
New York City,NY

Phone: 5419081475

Tickets: Sliding scale: $25 in person, $20 streaming (10/21 and 10/27). Pay what you can.

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  3. The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, in a black box. Funny and warm. Simple and neat. A Victorian drawing room filled with people who would have been thrown out of a Victorian drawing room. Directed by Janani Sreenivasan, with stage management by Fiona Hansen, costumes by McKenna Twedt, sets by José Ignacio Vivero, intimacy direction by Olivia Kormos, and music by Richard Lowenburg. Featuring Sunita Deshpande, Joëlle Dong, Gavrie Elliott, Rob Hunt, Xander Jackson, Belle Sinclair Pace, Zachary Sherry, and René Zara as Lady Bracknell. See their beautiful faces:

Tony Awards and Nominations for The Importance of Being Earnest

Ages: Teen and up

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The Importance of Being Earnest at Under St. Marks Theater Schedule

The show will livestream on 10/21 and 10/27.

Cast and Creative team for The Importance of Being Earnest at Under St. Marks Theater


Sunita Deshpande

Gwendolen Fairfax
Sunita Deshpande (she/her) of “Daredevil” (Marvel), “Moonshot” (HBO), “Gravid Water” (Upright Citizens Brigade) and “Senseless” (Theatre Row) is an improv actor originally from Tarpon Springs, FL. Her first short play, “A Sari for Pallavi,” was a finalist at the Samuel French OOB Festival and won Best Film at the Oscar-qualifying Rhode Island Film Festival. Her one-act “The Princess of Tea,” a dark comedy set in India during the British Raj, was featured in the Chain Theatre’s 2023 Winter One-Act Festival with several of the Earnest cast and crew also participating. She also performs standup and is currently working on her first full-length play, “Worshiping the Son.” She adores cats, Oscar Wilde, and Bill Burr (in that order.)

Joëlle Dong

Cecily Cardew
Joëlle Dong is a New York-based actor and filmmaker who found her way to performance via dance and cheer. A recent graduate of Brown University, Joëlle spent the past few years designing spaces, making films, and building a photography business in Providence, London, Hong Kong, and Palo Alto. She is grateful to her friends, family, roommates, NB, LS, MR, AK, Chris, and Kathy who have supported her in all endeavors; from lugging lumber to build film sets to reviewing self-tapes to helping lay flooring. She is thrilled to be making her New York stage debut with such a wonderful cast and crew. Special thanks to Janani for trusting me with Cecily!

Gavrie Elliott

Canon Chasuble
Gavrie Elliott is an actor, writer, and musician originally from Chappaqua, NY. Gavrie is a student at New York University Tisch School of the Arts learning the dark secrets of experimental theater. They are in the process of losing their last functioning brain cell trying to write a stage play. Gavrie is excited to be performing as Canon Chasuble in "The Importance of Being Earnest" — and they are particularly excited after watching season 2 of "Fleabag," where they were inspired to be the deliciously tempting priest.

Rob Hunt

Rob Hunt is thrilled to find himself at the Under St Marks Theater, drudging away for a bunch of ungrateful, upper-class snobs, unnoticed in the background as everyone else claims all of the glory and praise. He is definitely not bitter, ungrateful or harboring vaguely vengeful ideas, and certainly wouldn’t be planning on spiking the cucumber sandwiches. This is not his first time appearing on stage in NYC, but it might very well be his last.

Xander Jackson

Jack Worthing
Xander Jackson is a New York-born & raised actor who has been working for just over 4 years and performed in over 30 theatrical performances & short film productions. He has been training consistently with the Barrow Group while receiving tutelage directly from Seth Barrish, Lee Brock, & Shannon Patterson. He has recently performed the role of Hal in David Auburn’s "Proof" and Brucie in Lynn Nottage’s "Sweat." He is currently in the process of writing a stage play, in addition to several on-camera shorts. Xander’s greatest joy is the excitement that comes with sharing the stage with so many talented actors and is elated to add this production to that ever-growing list.

Belle Pace

Miss Prism
Belle Pace is an actress and writer born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and currently based in NY. Recent credits include "Unsolved Mysteries" (Netflix), "Invisible Shark" (Amazon Prime, TUBI), "Winds of Silence" (TUBI), and "My Secret Husband" (Legacy Pictures). She recently wrote her first short, "Keepsake," and is in the works on her first screenplay, "The Educated Debutante," in collaboration with her filmmaker brother Farrar Pace. She has trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Barrow Group, and the Acting Studio, and she recently made her theatrical debut at the 2023 Chain Theatre Winter One-Act Festival in “The Princess of Tea,” where she worked with many of the same talented cast/crew as on this production! Belle Pace is an actress and writer born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and currently based in NY. Recent credits include “Unsolved Mysteries” (Netflix), “Invisible Shark” (Amazon Prime, TUBI), “Winds of Silence” (TUBI), and “My Secret Husband” (Legacy Pictures). She made her theatrical debut in early 2023 with many of the same talented cast/crew as on this production! Recently she wrote and completed her first short, “Keepsake,” and is in the works on her first screenplay, “The Educated Debutante,” in collaboration with her filmmaker brother Farrar Pace. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia, she has since trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Barrow Group, and the Acting Studio.

Zachary Sherry

Algernon Moncrieff
Zachary Sherry is an actor and writer, originally from Pompano Beach, FL. Besides performing for the stage and screen, he also streams games on Twitch and YouTube. Recent screen credits: “Off Campus” (DUTV, dir. Andrew Susskind), “Evil Lives Here” (iD Discovery), “We've Been Trying to Reach You About Your Car's Extended Warranty” (2022), “Covid Support Group” (2022), and Dark Valley Podcast (2021). Stage credits: “Commedia del Arte” (Sterling Renaissance Festival), “Down the FOX Hole” (Chain Theatre Festival, dir. Joshua Warr/Valentine Aprile) and “The Princess of Tea” (Chain Theatre One-Act Festival, dir. Janani Sreenivasan). YouTube/Twitch: SolarPunkSkunk.

René Zara

Lady Bracknell
A lifelong stage actor and musician, René Zara has appeared in such productions as "Bye, Bye, Birdie" (Rose), "Noises Off" (Poppy/Belinda), "Peter Pan" (Wendy), "Nunsense!" (Sister Mary Leo), and "Ruthless! The Musical" (Judy/Ginger). René is also a vocalist, film score composer, and songwriter. Her choral arrangement of Imogen Heap's hit "Hide and Seek" is featured in "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." Her on-screen credits include the award-winning short "Mrs. Osbourne" (that she also produced, wrote and scored), "Reel Actresses of Hollywood East" (Instagram), and also various streaming projects (René is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA). In 2024, she will appear in a feature film directed by critically-acclaimed filmmakers The Kinnane Brothers.

Creative Team

Janani Sreenivasan

Director & Producer
Janani Sreenivasan is a writer, director, actor, composer, and musician originally from Corvallis, Oregon with parents from Tamil Nadu, India. She has directed and acted for the Tank's Rule of 7x7 festival and the Chain One-Act Festival, placed short films in the L.A. Comedy Festival and the Iron Mule Short Film Festival, and co-founded the long-running NYC improv band The Vigilante with Rebecca Vigil. Her jokes have been featured in Reductress and The New Yorker. Her short play "Get Leo" depicted her hunger for Leonardo DiCaprio to portray her onstage and was staged and published by the Bechdel Group. IG: @jennyvasan Site:

Fiona Hansen

Stage Manager
Fiona Hansen is a Brooklyn-based stage manager originally from Groveport, Ohio. Recent projects include "Television" by Cameron Darwin Bossert (ASM), "The Church of the Holy Abortion" by Emily Davis in the event “Mujerstory” at IATI (SM), "Harmony Hall" by Duncan Pflaster at the Frigid Festival (SM), a staged reading of "Metra" by Emily Hartford (SM), and the online international theatre festival Our New Gold (Writer, Director, Co-Founder). She is excited to be a part of this project and hopes everyone breaks a leg!

McKenna Twedt

Costume Designer
McKenna (she/they) is an actor, costume designer, and producer from Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Western Oregon University with BFAs in acting and costume design, McKenna is committed to producing rarely seen or new works created by artists from across the human spectrum. McKenna currently works as a background actor for film and television as well as volunteers their time as a reader and theatrical production consultant. McKenna has worked with several Oregon companies including Third Rail Repertory Theatre, CoHo Productions, Theatre Vertigo and Ashland New Plays Festival. IG: mckennatwedt

José Ignacio Vivero

Set Builder & Advisor
José Ignacio Vivero is an Ecuadorian multidisciplinary artist, as well as a director, actor, puppeteer, stop motion artist, playwright, and musician. More info:

Olivia Kormos

Intimacy Director
Olivia (she/her) is a NYC-based intimacy professional working across theater and film. She loves exploring the intersections between consent, care, dramaturgical storytelling, and everything in between. Theatre credits include "Harmony Hall" (Frigid Fringe), "SENDER" (Playwrights Horizons Theater School), "Heathers" (Broad Street Players), and "Amélie" (Tisch New Theatre). Film: "Chapped Lips," "Heartstrings," "Ludus in Ashes," and "My Best Friend's Boyfriend is a Vampire" (in post-production). Olivia has trained with Theatrical Intimacy Education and works in art history content development outside of theater.

Richard Lowenburg

Music Advisor
Richard Lowenburg is a Brooklyn-based musician and actor. He plays keys with the jazz-funk band Mysa and is currently composing a musical about aliens doing high school musical theater. His music directing credits include the streaming Off-Broadway production of “A Very Merry Children’s Scientology Pageant Live” (Unattended Baggage) and “Mr. Burns” (Prismhouse Theater Company). IG: therichlow


Viraj Shriwardhankar (he/him) is an actor/producer/arts administrator from Boston (he now lives in Queens). Favorite things include dogs, coffee, and working out. Select acting credits: Hanschen (“Spring Awakening”), Avery (“The Former Kings of Clutch City,” winner of Best Play at the Downtown Urban Arts Festival), and El-Fayoumy (“The Last Days of Judas Iscariot”). Future projects: [Insert Title Here] at Green Room 42, and “Musical Theatre Goes Folk/Rock” at 54 Below. He has also held employment at 321 Theatrical Management, Broadway Across America, and the Tony Awards. BA: Wagner College. Instagram: @viraj.shri Website:

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish poet, novelist, and playwright. During the first run of The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895, Wilde was tried and convicted of “acts of gross indecency with other male persons.” As his reputation collapsed, his name was removed from Earnest playbills and the play closed early. A two-year imprisonment weakened his health and led to his death at 46 in Paris. Earnest has since been adapted for film, TV, opera, radio, and libretto in several languages. “It takes a great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.”


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