The Importance of Being Earnest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 3, 2014

Catawba College’s Theatre Arts Department will finish its 2013-2014 season with a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a romantic comedy by Oscar Wilde. The play will run April 8 and 9 at 6:55 p.m., and April 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. in Hedrick Little Theater on campus.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” is a farcical comedy in which bachelors and friends John “Jack” Worthing and Algernon “Algy” Moncrieff take on alter egos to escape social obligations and entertain love interests. As the plot unfolds, mistaken identities and chance meetings lead to hilarious feuds with joyful resolutions. The unexpected plot twists, devastatingly witty one-liners, and Oscar Wilde’s mastery of satire have kept audiences laughing for over a century.

One might think that a play celebrating its 119th anniversary wouldn’t be interesting to modern audiences, but director Craig Kolkebeck, who normally directs contemporary experimental productions, is up for that challenge. He vows to get the audience to relate to the play through music.

“Much like what recent filmmakers have done with The Great Gatsby and Marie Antoinette, I’ve culled British pop music from the 80s throughout the whole show in an effort to bring us a little closer to the piece.”

With familiar, contemporary music, choreographed set changes, and of course, the hilarity of the story itself, “The Importance of Being Earnest” promises to entertain and engage theatregoers.

Cast members include Jordan Abbatiello of Midland as Merriman; Amanda Becker of Fort Mill, S.C., as Cecily; George Glass of Concord as Dr. Chasuble; Tyler Elrod of Davidson as Lane; Eric English of Asheville as Jack; Sumur Neace of Clemmons as Lady Bracknell; Michelle Newberger of Lutz, Fla., as Gwendolen; Emily Olszewski of Erie, Pa., as Miss Prism; and Greg Stoughton of Niceville, Fla., as Algernon.

Crew members in addition to director Craig Kolkebeck include Sam Erwin of Myrtle Beach, S.C., stage manager; Maddie Auchter of Houston, Texas, assistant stage manager; Daniel Brown of Atlanta, Ga., choreographer; Jacquelyn Loy of Burlington, costume/hair/makeup design; Professor Dave Pulliam, set design; Professor Christopher Zink, lighting design.

Join Catawba College Theatre for the closing of its season with “The Importance of Being Earnest” starting April 8.
April 8 and 9 at 6:55 p.m.
and April 10-12 at 7:30 p.m.
$10 general admission
$8 non-Catawba students and senior adults
or at the door
Hedrick Little Theater on campus
Box office 704-637-4481