Tennessee Repertory Theatre continues its 29th season with Oscar Wilde’s “Trivial Comedy for Serious People” as his classic The Importance of Being Earnest runs Oct. 12-Nov. 2 at TPAC’s Johnson Theater (with preview performances Oct. 10-11).
Earnest loves Gwendolyn. Cecily loves Earnest. What could possibly go wrong? Well, when (to quote from the character of Algernon) “The truth is rarely pure and never simple,” plenty, though one hopes it will all work out in the end. As Miss Prism notes at one point about novels, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”
Double lives and double standards abound in this romp through satirical wisdom when Jack and Algernon, two young men looking for escape from social obligations, pretend to be something that they are not. Things start to go awry when they both practice their deceptions at Cecily’s country house at the same time and the two young ladies fear themselves rivals for the hand of one man. And then there is the formidable Lady Bracknell with which to contend…
Wilde’s 1895 masterpiece features Marin Miller in the role of Cecily and celebrates a unique piece of Tennessee Rep’s history. Miller’s mother Mary Jane Harvill played Cecily in the Southern Stages production of The Importance of Being Earnest in 1984; Southern Stages would become Tennessee Repertory Theatre the next year.
Miller — Tennessee Rep’s first second-generation actress whose late father Myke Mueller was, like her mother, also a well-loved and highly-regarded part of the troupe’s formative years — says, “In my humble opinion, I think this play by Oscar Wilde is one of the absolute funniest plays ever written in the English language, which is why it’s been on my ‘bucket list’ forever. I can think of few prospects more delightful than getting paid to dress-up in frilly frocks and deliver hilarious and brilliantly-written dialogue in a British accent. Life is so good.”
The production also stars Rona Carter as Lady Bracknell, Emily Landham as Gwendolyn, Eric D. Pasto-Crosby as Jack, Jacob York as Algernon, Denice Hicks as Miss Prism, Brian Webb Russell as the Rev. Chasuble and Bobby Wyckoff as Lane/Merriman.
Here are some videos from Tennessee Rep with behind-the-scenes looks at production and costume designs followed by more photographs from the upcoming show, the performance schedule and ticket information:
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Oct. 12 – 26 at TPAC’s Johnson Theater, (Previews: Oct. 10 – 11)
Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:30 pm (PREVIEW)
Friday, Oct. 11, 7:30 pm (PREVIEW)
Saturday, Oct. 12, 7:30 PM
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6:30 PM
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 6:30 PM
Thursday, Oct. 17, 6:30 PM
Friday, Oct. 18, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 6:30 PM
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 6:30 PM
Thursday, Oct. 24, 6:30 PM
Friday, Oct. 25, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Thursday, Oct. 31 at 6:30 PM
Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM
Tickets: Starting at $45 (starting at $11.50 for students with valid ID, some restrictions apply). Tickets for preview performances are $25. Tickets are on sale at the TPAC Box Office (505 Deaderick St.). Tickets are available by phone or internet order at the following: (615) 782-4040 or www.tennesseerep.org.
*Photos by Shane Burkeen courtesy Tennessee Repertory Theatre.