Carson High actors present ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ |

Carson High actors present ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

Sam Bauman, Diversions editor

Carson City theatergoers have a chance this weekend to see one of the wittiest farces ever written in English, Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

The Carson Performing Arts will open its 2003-04 season with the play, directed by Jason Macy at the Carson High School Black Box Theatre, 1111 N. Saliman Road.

Wilde wrote “The Importance of Being Earnest” in 1895, combining farce with high comedy. It’s a mishmash of mistaken identity, love and jibes at social mores as well as the importance of such trivial things as names given by society. It is the near-perfect example of farce, an improbable plot that includes a satire of customs.

As the title suggests, it hinges on the name of Ernest, which is what Algernon Moncrieff’s friend Jack Worthing is known as in London. Jack says he has come to London to propose to Gwendolen Fairfax, Algernon’s cousin. Algernon refuses to give his consent until Jack/Ernest can explain why the name “Cicely” is engraved in Jack’s cigarette case.

Such is the importance of names in this play.

If you think that name play is a bit silly, wait until things really get complicated.

“Earnest” is widely regarded as Wilde’s finest play. From 1895 on, his career descended amid a spectacular trial.

“The majority of the period costumes have been hand-sewn and are beautiful,” director Macy said.

The play takes place near the end of the previous century so costumes play a major role.

“This comedy of manners and mistaken identities has been a fun and challenging production to direct,” Macy said. “The comedy is on many levels, and it has been challenging working with the cast to achieve the high-level of comedy this play offers.”

Bringing the play to life are Carson Cessna as Algernon, Justin Menesinni as Worthing, Luci-Ann Zuend as Gwendolyn Fairfax, Jessica Badger as Cecily Cardew, Jenae Wilkens as Miss Prism, Brandon Hudson as Canon Chazubel, Matt Hogan as Lane and Joey Wachtveitl as Merriman.

Show times are Friday, Saturday and Oct. 24-25 at 7:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 23.

Tickets are $4 for children, student-body cards and CHS staff; $5 for seniors and students; and $6 general admission. Call 887-0438 for reservations and tickets.