By Jesse Munoz
SANTA CLARITA — The COC theatre department will present Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners “The Importance of Being Earnest” Nov. 14-18 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Black Box Theatre.
Poking fun at Victorian manners and commenting on the romantic entanglements of British high society, the play — which is arguably one of Wilde’s finest works — has delighted audiences worldwide since its debut in 1895.
In this lighthearted comedy, the romantic interests of bachelors Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncreiff are played out on stage, as the dashing duo make every effort to pursue the love interests of ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew.
But with the presence of two imaginary characters invented to help cover up the “on-the-sly activities” of the two men, matters soon become complicated.
“This play is one of the most charming comedies ever written, and is the quintessential ‘comedy of manners,’” said Paul Wickline, chair of the COC theatre department and the play’s producer. “We invite you to journey with us back into the Victorian period and spend time with these delightful characters as they take tea, discuss perambulators — better known as baby strollers — and ponder the ‘importance of being earnest.’”
COC theatre instructor and Valencia High School drama director Stephen Whelan will direct the college’s production of this classic play, which features a veteran cast of actors who have each worked with Whelan on past projects.
“This production has been a labor of love for me. I am in awe of this young cast and the way they have meticulously worked on every beat of the material, while ensuring that their English accents sparkle with articulate crispness and Victorian period accuracy,” said Whelan. “Our team of actors, directors and producers has tried to make this production seem as modern today as it was back in 1895.”
Performances of the COC production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” will run at 8 p.m. Nov. 14-17 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/seniors. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis, but may be limited.
For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.CanyonsPAC.com or call (661) 362-5304.