The Chatham Players will hold auditions for Oscar Wilde’s brilliantly clever comedic masterpiece, “The Importance of Being Earnest” on Monday, February 11th at 7:30 pm. at The Chatham Playhouse: 23 North Passaic Ave. and on Wednesday, February 13th at 7:30 pm at Stanley Congregational Church - 94 Fairmount Ave, Chatham. Production dates are May 3 thru May 18, 2019 with rehearsals to begin early-March. Tom Frascatore directs.
Set in late 19th century, “The Importance of Being Earnest” captures the importance of truth and honesty in a comical way. The pretentiousness of upper-class Victorian society forces John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff to create fictitious lives as alter ego personalities to avoid social repercussions of their less attractive lifestyles. However, their clever tricks start to become increasingly difficult to keep up with when they insist on proposing and becoming married to the women they love. Twists and turns reveal more than one surprise that emphasize the importance of being earnest. Oscar Wilde's brilliant comedy captures with wit and charm the absurdity and delight of the Victorian "age of surfaces" (as Lady Bracknell calls it,) while capturing the struggle of four passionate lovers trying to conform to expectations and, in the most roundabout and delightfully funny way possible, love who they wish and live how they want.
Auditions will consist of cold readings. Director Frascatore asks that all audition sides be read with a British accent.
- John “Jack” Worthing, J.P., aka Ernest, (25-35) a wealthy young gentleman who takes life seriously. Friend and counterpart to Algernon, whose behavior he sometimes deplores. Guardian to Cecily guardian and is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax.
- Algernon Moncrieff, (25-35) brilliant witty and blithely selfish nephew of Lady Bracknell. Cousin of Gwendolen Fairfax. Jack’s best friend and opposite. A bit of dandy and very frank about his joy in being self-indulgent. Falls in love with Cecily Cardew.
- Gwendolen Fairfax, (25-30) Algernon’s young, aristocratic frank cousin and Lady Bracknell’s daughter. In love with John/Jack/Ernest and determined to marry him against all obstacles. She is charming but has inherited her mother’s steel.
- Lady Bracknell , (50 +) a frightening force of nature. Domineering, cunning, mercenary and snobbish. Gwendolen’s mother, and means to see her daughter well-married. Formidable and used to having her own way in all things. She is the ultimate representation of the Victorian society this play is meant to lampoon.
- Cecily Cardew, (18-25) Jack’s naive sheltered ward. Given to romantic fantasies and intrigued by the wickedness of Jack’s brother (whom he made up and used as an excuse for his absences many times). A simpler, more innocent country contrast to Gwendolen’s sophisticated city girl, but in her own way, formidable.
- Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. (Doctor of Divinity), (50 +) a pleasant, somewhat bumbling and shy rector who lives on John/Jack’s country estate and has a crush on Miss Prism.
- Miss Prism, (50 +) Cecily’s pedantic governess. In love with Rev. Chasuble and constantly caught between her passion and the puritanical mores of the time.
- Merriman/Lane, (40+) one wonderful character actor will play both roles, very possible as twin brothers. (Merriman - the butler at Jack’s country estate. Lane - Algernon’s manservant in London.)
The Chatham Players have an open call casting policy. ALL roles are open, none are precast, and everyone is encouraged to audition. Any questions, please call Gus Ibranyi at (201)-563-0362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For directions or additional information, please visit www.chathamplayers.org