UW’s drama department has been mainly “living in tragedy land,” according to drama teacher Jennifer Roberts-Smyth. This year, however, they are straying from the usual.
According to director Stewart Arnott, <em>The Importance of Being Earnest</em> by Oscar Wilde was “the clear favourite” amongst the other possibilities for the drama department’s fall production. The play’s plot revolves around a countryman named Jack, a very responsible and respected man. However, he has pretended for a very long time that he has a wild brother named Earnest who lives in the city. <em>The Importance of Being Earnest</em> is considered by many to be the “perfect comedy.” “[Out of] all these stylistic elements that make [up] this play, what interests me the most is what’s going on underneath … the humanity in the play is something we’ll bring out without losing any of the comedy,” Stewart said to the production’s cast. UW Drama also produced <em>Earnest</em> back in 2006 with Anne-Marie Donovan as director. Being a period piece, costume designer Sharon E. Secord told the cast, “Yes, there will be petty coats and bum pads too.” The set has been carefully thought out with artwork from the period, rose bushes, chaise lounges, and other ornate pieces. “What I always look for in a first reading is clarity… I’m not expecting a full-blown performance … take pressure off yourself,” Arnott said. Rehearsals are just getting underway and the production will not hit the stage until November in Modern Languages’ Theater of the Arts. Opening night is Nov. 13. Tickets are $13 for students.