Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep

For the final production of its 2016/17 season, Artists Repertory Theatre presents The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, directed by Resident Artist Michael Mendelson. Previews run May 16 through May 19, the play opens May 20 and runs through June 11 on the Alder Stage.

An all-female cast of Portland theatre stars lead this production of Oscar Wilde's magnificent 19th Century comedy of manners and social status. Lovely Gwendolyn and adorable Cecily don't care who they marry as long as his name is Earnest (so manly and respectable!). Jack and Algernon are utterly smitten and only too happy to ditch their given names to bamboozle their way into the ladies' hearts. Imperious Lady Bracknell is aghast, agog and practically apoplectic, but her efforts to impose propriety prove useless against Cupid's earnest truth. High jinx, bon mots and cucumber sandwiches are served.

With this fresh take on an enduring masterpiece, Artists Rep's production features a host of Resident Artists including Linda Alper, Ayanna Berkshire, Joann Johnson, Sarah Lucht and Vana O'Brien with Resident Artists Michael Mendelson directing and Mary McDonald Lewis, Bobby Brewer-Wallin and Megan Wilkerson on the design team. Well-known Portland actors Jamie M. Rea and Crystal Ann Muñoz round out the cast with Portland newcomer Kailey Rhodes.

"Let me answer the question that might be on your mind: Why an all-female cast?" wrote Artistic Director Dámaso Rodríguez for the production's playbill. "We were looking for a classic comedy with a light touch to balance out our slate of contemporary plays with a darker edge. We were also hoping to find a play with great roles that could feature some of the incredible women in our Resident Artist Company. If Shakespeare's plays could hold up to the convention of all-male casts, so could Wilde's to an all-female cast."

"The Importance of Being Earnest is fluff, it is satire," said Director Michael Mendelson. "And, that's ok, that's great! Not everything needs to be political and it may be just what we need right now. It's about societal "norms" and poking fun at them. The lies we live and the masks we wear."

artistsrep.org

Check out photos of the production below:

high res photos Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Linda Alper Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Kailey Rhodes Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Jamie M. Rea with Kailey Rhodes Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Jamie M. Rea Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Jamie M. Rea with Kailey Rhodes Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Crystal Ann Muñoz, Ayanna Berkshire Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Cast Photo Flash: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at Artists Rep
Ayanna Berkshire



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