Amelia Community Theatre
By Linda McClane
April 12, 2021
Amelia Community Theatre continues its 40th season with the comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest.” This adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s most popular play will be at 8 p.m. on April 16-17, 22-24, 29-30, May 1, and at 2 p.m. on April 18 and 25 at 207 Cedar Street.
Set in 1890s England, the show satirizes the preoccupation with social position and income, marriage, and the concept of “earnestness” which implied seriousness or sincerity.
Characters Jack and Algernon are two friends who separately engage in what they consider harmless deceptions. Jack uses the name “Jack” at his country home, and “Ernest” as an alter-ego when he stays in London. He tells his country friends that Ernest is his wicked brother.
Whenever Algernon wants to avoid something, he claims that he must visit his invalid friend Bunbury, a fictional man he has created.
Everything changes when Jack falls in love with Gwendolyn and Algernon declares his love for Cecily, because each woman insists that she will only marry a man named Ernest. Algernon pretends to be Jack’s brother Ernest, while Jack contemplates the demise of the imaginary sibling. Jack’s plans are further complicated by Gwendolyn’s mother, Lady Bracknell, who objects to his background of being an abandoned baby, found in a handbag. She says, “You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter to form an alliance with a parcel.”
“The Importance of Being Earnest,” first performed in 1895, continues to be a favorite choice for stage performances. ACT’s cast includes Audrey Antee, Tyla Holloway, Trey Stafford, Joseph Stearman, Peggy Strickland, Ron Thompson, Michael Waskew, and Sue Weiner.
Director Tener Wade says, “This cast brings every moment of the show to life. Each character says the most absurd things with a straight face, which isn’t easy to do.”
Tickets are available for in-person and livestream viewing. ACT has increased the audience seating capacity to 50%, while still following Covid-19 recommendations for distancing and masks. In-person tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students through college; livestreaming tickets are $15 for an individual and $30 for a household. The ACT box office hours are 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Call 904-261-6749 or visit the website at AmeliaCommunityTheatre.org for tickets and more information.