• 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    All Good Things Must Come to an End

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg Saturday was the last show of Earnest, and it was sad to see such a fun show go. These past months that I have been working on the show, I have learned so much. Not only have I learned about myself, but I have learned about the world. The world that Wilde lived in, the world his characters lived in, and also the world we live in now. It is always easy to watch a play and distance yourself from what is happening onstage from the real world. However, I find it more rewarding when I can apply it to the world around me. I found many…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    And the Moral of the Story Is…

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg …Don’t worry, I’m not actually going to tell you what the moral of The Importance of Being Earnest is. That’s because that isn’t for me to decide, it’s for you. In one of the first meetings I had with Rodger Sorensen, the director, he emphasized his desire to not project a theme or moral on the audience. His reasoning behind this was because of Oscar Wilde’s amoral nature– he wrote his plays without any themes or morals. Wilde just wrote to tell a story, which is what Rodger wanted to do with this play as well. However, just because Wilde wrote it without a theme in mind doesn’t…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    Meet the Victorians: Part 2

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg A couple of posts ago, you got to meet a few of the wonderful actors in the show. Now you get to meet the rest of them! Madison Dennis– Miss Prism What is your favorite line from your character in the play? Does running away from Lady Bracknell count as a favorite line? Are you a rule breaker or a rule follower? Definitely more of a rule follower…for the most part. If you lived in the Victorian Era, what type of person do you think you would be? I would be upper class, but not aristocratic. What aspect of Victorian England would you enjoy the most?…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    Wit, Words, and Wonderful Games

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg What makes The Importance of Being Earnest such a long lasting play? For us working on this production, the magic lies in the words. Wilde clearly knew what he was doing and what he was saying, and he was able to pack his characters full of wit. Fashions may come and go, but wit is forever– that’s a saying, right? In any case, this was the topic that I wrestled with when it came to my lobby display. Rodger Sorensen, the director, and I decided that focusing on the words and the wit would be most paramount for the display, so I ran with that idea. On…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    Meet the Victorians: Part 1

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg The cast is working hard to make Earnest a real treat for audiences, and I thought it was time for you to meet them. There never is a dull moment in rehearsals, and it is clear that these actors mean business when it comes to comedy. In this post and the next, you will get a glimpse at the personalities of the people behind our beloved Victorians. I asked them a few questions pertaining to the show to see how they connect to it, and they did not disappoint. Enjoy their natural wit and pump yourself up for the hilarity that will soon ensue!   Sean Worsley (Jack…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    How to Be a Proper Victorian: Part 2

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg In the last post, I outlined some of the important rules that Upper Class Victorians followed closely. At rehearsal this past week, I asked the wonderful actors in our show to demonstrate some of the rules (and what it looked like when your broke them). Take a look at the pictures below, get a glimpse into Victorian etiquette, and see the silliness of the amazing cast! First, I had the cast display bad posture that couldn’t be found at someone’s house while visiting. Posture was always meant to be upright, with no slouching, leaning, or relaxing in any inappropriate manner. Next, I had them demonstrate proper escorting…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    How to Be A Proper Victorian: Part 1

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg Now that you know what the Victorian Era was, it is appropriate that you knew what it was like, particularly for the wealthy. Propriety was of the utmost importance for upper class Victorians, and there were many rules to follow. Every aspect of life had strict rules that must be followed, as they were concerned with how they were perceived. You will get a peak at those in this post, and in the next post you will see how members of the cast handle themselves when I have them follow some of the (sometimes outrageous) rules. General Rules: Learn to deny yourself and prefer others Never…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    Oscar Wilde’s World: The Victorian Era

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg Oscar Wilde was very much a product of his time, so it is only fitting to understand just what that time was before diving into the production itself. So what was the Victorian Era? The Victorian Era started in 1837 with the crowning of Queen Victoria to the British throne and ended in 1901 at the end of her rule. This time period was known as a time that involved relative peace and prosperity in the country. The British Empire expanded all over the globe during this time, and Britain became the most powerful country in the world. While this prosperity happened internationally, there were significant societal,…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    Meet Oscar Wilde

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg To truly understand The Importance of Being Earnest, one must meet the man behind the story. Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie was born October 16, 1854, to William Wilde and Jane Elgee in Dublin, Ireland. He had an older brother, William “Willie” Charles Kingsbury, and a younger sister, Isola Emily Francesca. His sister died when she was 10, which greatly affected Wilde throughout his life. Willie and Oscar attended Portora Royal School, where Oscar excelled in many subjects, particularly the classics.In 1871, Wilde was awarded the Royal School Scholarship in order to attend Trinity College in Dublin. After much success at Trinity College, Wilde earned a Demyship scholarship to attend Oxford…

  • 2016-2017 Season,  Importance of Being Earnest

    Welcome to Victorian London

    by Jessa Cunningham, dramaturg Can you hear the sounds of Victorian England coming to life all around you? Do you hear the clopping of the horse drawn carriages as they go down the street? Can you smell the scented perfume of a wealthy woman who just walked by? What about the sight of St. Paul’s Cathedral just peaking over the buildings? If you can’t, no matter, you will in time. By the time I am through with you, you will have a good understanding of how the Victorians lived. I plan to take you back to the world that Oscar Wilde wrote, resided, and struggled in. What better way to…