Temple Theaters stages Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece "The Importance of Being Earnest" Feb. 7-17
“To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.” — Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest”
It’s been hailed as the funniest play in the English language. And it still may be, more than 100 years after Oscar Wilde wrote this brilliant Victorian comedy of manners and it was first staged in London’s West End.
When the Temple Theaters production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” opens on Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Randall Theater, it will be a “premiere” of sorts: It’s the first time that Temple has staged this often-performed comic gem.
“Earnest” has it all, according to director Dan Kern: brilliantly witty dialogue, characters who are really “characters,” and a deft plot that relies on deception and mistaken identity in the pursuit of romance.
| Ryan Jones as Algernon Moncrieff (left), Krista Apple as Lady Bracknell (center) and Sean Thompson as Jack Worthing in Temple Theater's production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest."
| (Ryan S. Brandenberg / Temple University)
“It is still one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see,” said Kern, professor of theater and head of the M.F.A. program in directing. “Its greatness is undeniable, and it must be seen.”
The Temple production will be staged in the round in the intimate Randall Theater, enabling the audience to develop an even closer relationship with the characters, become even more engaged with their antics and savor their deliciously entertaining dialogue.
Designers for the Temple Theaters production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” are Marie Anne Chiment, senior lecturer in theater, set designer; Sarah Moore, third-year M.F.A. student, costume designer; John Stephen Hoey, lecturer in theater, lighting designer; and T. Lawrence Simon, undergraduate theater major, sound designer.
A preview performance on Wednesday, Feb. 7, is at 8 p.m. Opening night curtain on Thursday, Feb. 8, is at 7 p.m. Evening performances continue Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9 and 10, and Monday through Saturday, Feb. 12–17, at 8 p.m., (except for a 7 p.m. curtain on Wednesday, Feb. 14, as part of the Second Wednesday Dinner-Plus-Theater package at Temple’s Diamond Club). Saturday matinees are held on Feb. 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20. Seniors, non-Temple students and Temple employees pay $15; free for Temple students with OWLcard. Tickets are available at the Liacouras Center Box Office, 1776 N. Broad St. (in person cash-only sales), online at www.liacourascenter.com or by phone at 1-888-OWLS-TIX.
For more information, call the Temple Theaters Information Line at 215-204-1122.
Editor’s Note to Media: For review tickets, contact Patricia Allen, Temple Theaters marketing and public relations, at 215-204-1334, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.