The Importance of Being Earnest 2014

Play posterWritten by Oscar Wilde

Directed by: Stewart Arnott

Performances: November 13-15, 2014

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building

Whenever Jack Worthing slips away to London from his Hertfordshire estate he says he is going to see his (fictitious) wayward brother “Ernest”. Once there he keeps his privacy by calling himself Ernest - luckily so, as his beloved Gwendolen declares she could only love a man with that name! Her cousin Algernon is the one person who knows Jack's secret and one day he travels down to the estate, announcing himself to Jack's attractive ward Cecily as bad brother Ernest. Cecily is much taken with him and with his name, so on Jack's return home and Gwendolen's unexpected arrival it becomes clear there are both too many and too few Ernests earnestly courting. Getting in the way of potential happiness for all is Gwendolen's mother and Algernon's aunt, the formidable Lady Bracknell.

This wonderfully absurd farce is still considered one of the truly great comedies in the English language almost 120 years after its debut in London.  Oscar Wilde's masterpiece, which he called “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”, is a subversive and cockeyed mirror held up to English society in the late Victorian era that still manages to reflect back on us in the 21st century.  The need we have to propagate fantasies about ourselves, sometimes private and sometimes public, the ways we can be suppressed by family and societal expectations and morality, no matter how “free” we think we are, the lengths we'll go to gain our heart's desires – we have no trouble recognizing our modern selves in his mirror. We delight in the incomparably witty manner with which Wilde plays out these themes, and yet ultimately we care about his characters' hearts and their happiness.  Because beneath the at times blindingly brilliant surface of his creation lies Wilde's true affection for the people who inhabit his mad little world.

See the news item about director Stewart Arnott.


Jack Worthing - Alan Shonfield

Algernon Moncrieff - Brendan Stehouwer

Gwendolen Fairfax - Kelly Hornung

Cecily Cardew - Emma Mann

Lady Bracknell - Rebecca Birrell

Miss Prism (Governess) - Samantha Mercury

Dr. Chasuble - Ryan Robinson-Hatton

Mrs. Merriman - (Housekeeper) Meghan Landers

Lane (Manservent) - Sam Beuerle

Footman - David Cho

Creative team:

Director - Stewart Arnott

Set/Prop Designer - William Chesney

Associate Set Designer - Madeline Samms

Costume Designer - Sharon E. Secord

Lighting Designer - Paul J. Cegys

Sound Designer - Gill Lesperance

Dialect Coach - Heather Hill

Dramaturg - Rachel Wyatt

Dramaturg Supervisor - Toby Malone

Production team:

Production Manager - Janelle Rainville

Technical Director - Gill Lesperance

Asst. Production Manager - Kelly Conlan

Stage Manager - Kelsey Sewell

Asst. Stage Managers - Clare Flood, Zac Gungl, Stefan Radic

Head of Paint & Carpentry - Alice Wang

Head of Paint & Props - Martina Commisso

Head of Wardrobe - Mark Haasnoot

Head of Hair & Makeup - Meghan Landers

Head of Lighting - Cameron Jolliffe

Head of Sound - Bob Stan

Head of Publicity - Carleigh MacDonald

Production Students:

Celena Alcock

Alyssa Almeida

Jaimie Bain

Tyler Collins

Anastasia Critikos

Kailey Dudek

Zach Haime

Nivan Hamed

Abbi Longmire

Sidney McMahon

Samantha Mercury

Alexandra Porter

Kandi Prosser

Alan Shonfield

Cameron Smith

Brendan Stehouwer

Karolina Szymczyk

Sandy Thi

Chelsea Vanoverbeke


Jessica Blondin

Chris Clifford

Michael Davenport

Madonna Decker

Lia Espinal


Denis Joffre

KW Symphony

Valerie Lariviere

Jane Macleod

Anne May

Keith McGowan

Ryan Robinson-Hatton

Ryerson University, Alex Gilbert

Shaw Festival, Tanya Apositsolidis, Janet Ellis

Charlene Shumm

Cameron Streicher

 Theatre Aquarius, Michelle Vanderheyden

University of Guelph

University of Waterloo Music Department

Wilfrid Laurier University

Young People’s Theatre, Barb Martin