Baker cast to perform classic
A pair of alternate identities ends up causing a lot of confusion in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest."
The production, performed by a cast of Baker University students in conjunction with the Kansas Humanities Council, is set to begin this week at Rice Auditorium.
Lori Triplett, guest director and adjunct professor of theater, said the play is a comedy set in Victorian England in 1895.
"Two gentlemen have created fictional identities to escape the duties of life," Triplett said. "Through these fictional identities, they get caught in a whole series of contrivances."
Triplett, who had been a part of more than 100 different shows, written more than 40 plays and is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, said she chose Wilde's play for several reasons.
"This is one of my favorite plays because it's funny," she said. "It allows us to see a glimpse of another time period. It's an entertaining show for both the audience and the actors to participate in."
The play premiers Thursday with a matinee performance at noon and another performance at 7:30 p.m. Other performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Nov. 15-17. Admission is free.
Included with the performances are guest speakers who will discuss different aspects of the play, Triplett said.
Opening night features Felicia Londre, the 2001 Higher Education Theater Teacher of the Year, at 7 p.m.
"She is basically the No. 1 theater professor in the country," Triplett said. "She will be discussing the literary aspects of the play."
After Friday's performance, John Richards, Baker assistant professor of history, will discuss the historical aspects of the play.
The audience will have the opportunity to talk to the actors after the play on Saturday.
After the Nov. 15 production, Susan Emel, Baker associate professor of speech communication and ordained minister, will speak about the religious aspects of the play.
Preston Fambrough, Baker professor of English, will discuss the literary aspects of the play on Nov. 16, and the show's designers will wrap up the series by talking to the audience about the set, props and costumes on Nov. 17.
Triplett said the nine-member student cast has spent a lot of time perfecting "The Importance of Being Earnest."
"They're doing a really good job," she said. "They have a good sense of comic timing. They really have a good grasp of the play."
She said the community should take the opportunity to see a classic play.
"This is recognized as one of the best comedies ever written," she said. "It's a really nice opportunity for the community to see a classic play that's well done."