Duarte, Calif – March 5, 2018 – California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV) continues its partnership with the Sierra Madre Playhouse as the school’s Acting Conservatory students head back to the theater for “The Importance of Being Earnest,” their third play of the school year (previously “The Yellow Boat” and “Elephant’s Graveyard”). Together with a cast of students from grades nine through 11, the Victorian-inspired set and costuming takes the audience back to turn of the 19th century. This lighthearted play, written by Oscar Wilde, is a classic satirical dramedy that highlights the humor found in an unlikely, outrageous situation.
Jay Wallace, CSArts-SGV’s School of Theatre Chair, says this play is a staple in theater and a rite of passage for young actors who are mastering the “Comedy of Manners” genre. “This comedic masterpiece has remained an audience favorite for over 120 years because Oscar Wilde’s voice still delights with stinging, hilarious social commentary. Our young artists connect with the material as much as audiences did in 1895, when it debuted as a provocative, mischievous satire unlike anything seen or heard before on the British stage,” says Wallace.
In the performance, students have the opportunity to shine light on an array of societal conventions. “From the dual-life scrapes of the play's privileged young gentlemen to the paternalism faced by the forward-thinking young ladies who are eager to bend the rules of engagement in their favor, every character on our stage represents a unique cultural heritage, interwoven into the fabric of a turn-of-the-century British society that was struggling to keep up with fast-changing times,” says the play’s director, Jer Adrianne Lelliott.
Lelliott is an instructor at CSArts-SGV and is also the artistic director of Coeurage Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Her directing highlights include “The Two Kids That Blow S#!t Up” for Artists at Play (World Premiere, Ovation Recommended), “Blackbird” (Ovation Recommended) at GTC Burbank and “Vieux Carré,” “The Woodsman” and “Andronicus” for Coeurage Theatre Company.
“The Importance of Being Earnest” takes place March 23, 24, 30, 31 at 7:30 p.m., and March 25, 31 at 2 p.m. at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Tickets are available online for $20 at www.sgv.csarts.net/boxoffice. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $22.