Conroe High School Plans a “Wilde” Night of Theater

It’s that time of year when area high schools are gearing up for the 2004 University Interscholastic League One Act Play Competition, and Conroe High School is no exception. This year’s entry is Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and Rebecca Babbitt and Dave Feranchak direct the production.

The Importance of Being Earnest is a delightful comedy of manners about money and mistaken identity. This wickedly funny satire of love, morality, and class among Victorian England’s upper crust, features a delightful mixture of subtlety and slapstick. Jack Worthing is the happy possessor of a grand estate, plenty of wealth, and a sweet young ward, Cecily. At least, that’s when he’s in the country. But when he takes his jaunts down to London, he magically turns himself into Earnest, Jack’s imaginary younger brother. Earnest has won the heart of the beautiful Gwendolyn. His longtime chum, Algernon Moncrieff, has meanwhile undertaken to appropriate the identity of Earnest for himself with the goal of living an extravagant and excessive life in London.

When Jack declares his intent to marry Gwendolyn, he doesn’t count on the fearsome Lady Bracknell, who is firmly determined that her only daughter will marry her social equal. Unhappily for our lovers, this means that Jack’s own parentage comes under scrutiny, and he is very soon found wanting. As for his ward, Cecily, her imagination is full of grand romances and her very own knight in armor — who just happens to turn out to be Algernon-Earnest. Matters become even more complicated when Gwendolyn decides to profess her love and pursue her Jack-Earnest. The resulting mix-ups are fun for all. The cast for this production includes:

John Morin as John Worthing, of the Manor House in Woolton, Hertfordshire
Matt Griffin as Algernon Moncrieff, his friend
Buddy Burkhalter as Rev. Canon Chasuble, rector of Woolton
Kyle Umlang as Merriman, butler to Mr. Worthing
Chris Gillette as Lane, Mr. Moncrieff’s manservant
Ginger Fomby as Gwendolyn Fairfax, Mr. Moncrieff’s cousin
Kristina Belmarez as Lady Bracknell, her mother
Cathy Restivo as Cecily Cardew, Mr. Worthing’s ward
Caitlin Stevens as Miss Prism, her governess
Jessica Foote
is Stage Manager
Matt Depugh is Lighting Designer

There will be two performances: Friday, March 19th at 7:30pm, and Monday, March 29th at 7:30pm at the Conroe High School Auditorium located at the school’s main entrance at 3200 West Davis Street. Seating is not reserved. Tickets are $3 and are available the night of the show.

(The Courier    3.12.04)

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About The People's Critic

David Dow Bentley III, writes columns about the performing arts which are featured in newspapers from the East Coast to the Gulf Coast. A member of the Lambs Club, he is also editor of The Lambs' Script. Mr. Bentley may be contacted via e-mail at ThePeoplesCritic@earthlink.net.
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