Hale Centre Theatre's season continues with the opening of a top-notch revival of Oscar Wilde's endlessly entertaining comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Directed by Cambrian James, this sparkling comedy which the London Telegraph calls "the most perfect comedy in the English language" plays April 5 through May 12, 2018. Tickets are $32.00 and are on sale now to the general public. Discounts are available for children and groups of 10 or more.

The Play. Amusing. Uproarious. Mirthful. No amount of adjectives can begin to describe Oscar Wilde's delightful comedy replete with dazzling wordplay and hilariously unlikely situations. The story follows the antics of Jack and Algernon, two carefree bachelors, who pretend, among other things, that they are both named Ernest in order to impress their beloveds. Silliness ensues with whimsical ingénues, jealous fiancées, indomitable dowagers, and a handbag - the most famous in theatre history! Under James' excellent direction and with a talented cast of actors, we guarantee a scintillating and wild night of Wilde!

The cast features Clara Bentz (Cecily Cardew), Aaron Blanco (John Worthing, J.P.), Shelby Daeffler (Honorable Gwendolen Fairfax), Spencer Dooley (Algernon Moncrieff), Matthew R. Harris (Reverend Canon Chasuble), Ami Porter (Miss Prism), Laura Soldan (Lady Bracknell), and Nathan Spector (Merriman/Lane).

The Importance of Being Earnest is produced by David and Corrin Dietlein. The creative team includes Cambrian James (Director), Brian Daily (Set Technical Director), Mary Atkinson (Costume Designer), Tim Dietlein (Lighting Designer), Brian Daily (Master Carpenter), McKenna Carpenter & Monica Christiansen (Scenic Painters & Props), Danny Karapetian (Sound Design), Tia Hawkes (Costume Stitcher), Cambrian James (Wigs and Make-up), Justin Peterson (Stage Manager), Gary Towne (Audio Engineer), Lindsey Leigh Harper (Backstage Manager), Taia Joy Flake (Rehearsal Assistant), Jessica Ottley (Production Assistant), Britney Carpenter (Executive Assistant).

Oscar Wilde (Playwright, 1854-1900) was born in Dublin, Ireland to Sir William Wilde and Jane Wilde. He was the second of three children. Lady Wilde, herself a poet, developed in young Oscar a love for poetry and literature. A brilliant student, Wilde eventually attended the University of Oxford and studied Roman and Greek History. After university, Wilde moved to London into fashionable cultural and social circles. By the turn of the 1890's, known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. It was around this time, his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was published and was widely condemned by Victorian critics for its "immoral" content, but it remains one of his most acclaimed works. In the subsequent years, Wilde had enormous success on stage with his comedies Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). After a series of unfortunate events, Wilde moved to France, and while there wrote his famous poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol." He died in 1900.

Cambrian James (Director/Choreographer) is a multiple ariZoni Award winner. He hails from California where he attended Hollywood Performing Arts High School. Performing professionally led to directing and choreography, winning numerous awards for My Fair Lady, Dames at Sea, Crazy for You, Hairspray, Footloose, Damn Yankees, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He is enjoying a long career as an actor/dancer in shows including Annie (Daddy Warbucks), Crazy for You (Bobby Child), The King and I (King) and Hairspray (Edna Turnblad). Thanks to Dave, Corrin, Taia, Laszlo and the very talented cast for their hard work.


Clara Bentz (Cecily Cardew) is thrilled to be a part of the iconic wit of Oscar Wilde in her Hale debut! A South Dakota native, she received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Stephens College. She is the current McMillin Fellow at TheaterWorks where she appeared in A Christmas Carol and Frankenstein. Past Credits Include: Macbeth, Emma, The Diary of Anne Frank, Midsummer, Anne of Green Gables. Love and thanks to the folks, the boys, Chris, and Connie.

Aaron Blanco (John Worthing, J.P.) is a graduate of the University of Arizona's B.F.A. Acting program with a stage combat certification. He is excited and grateful to return! He recently played Bob in Beau Jest (Hale Theater), Shane in Take Me Out (Nearly Naked Theater), Bluey in Peacemaker (Phoenix Theater), and Aramis/Fight Choreographer in The Three Musketeers at Southwest Shakespeare. Aaron would like to thank Bryanna and his three beloved children for their continued love and support.

Shelby Daeffler (Honorable Gwendolen Fairfax) is ecstatic to make her Hale debut! Shelby enjoys performing with companies like Southwest Shakespeare Company, Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival, and, most recently, in MET's Beauty and the Beast as Belle. Other credits include Sabine (Three Musketeers), Sylvia (Tribes), Emma (

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