Gross IndecencyBy Moises Kaufman, with Afterward by Tony Kushner

Directed by: Julie Hartley

Performances: March 26-29, 2003

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern                    Languages Building

Oscar Wilde on Trial...Three Times

UW Drama's final production of the year, Gross Indecency: the Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, opens in the Theatre of the Arts on Wednesday, March 26 and runs to Saturday, March 29.

In April 1895 Oscar Wilde brought a libel suit against the Marquess of Queensbury, the father of his youthful lover, who had publicly maligned him as a sodomite. In doing so, England's reigning man of letters set in motion a series of events that would culminate in his ruin and imprisonment. For within a year the bewildered Wilde himself was on trial for acts of "gross indecency" and -- implicitly -- for a vision of art that outraged Victorian propriety.

In this stunning work of the theatre -- a smash hit Off-Broadway -- Moisés Kaufman turns the trials of Oscar Wilde into a riveting human drama. Expertly interweaving courtroom testimony with excerpts from Wilde's writings and the words of his contemporaries, Gross Indecency unveils its subject in all his genius and human frailty, his age in all its complacency and repression. The result is a play that will be performed for decades to come.

Guest director Julie Hartley and an acting company of UW Drama students explore the historical record at the same time that they reveal one of the first examples of how the media, by imposing itself on current events, succeeds in establishing a cult of celebrity hysteria and personal invasion.