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The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: Oscar Wilde
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 102
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN-10: 0573601909
ISBN-13: 9780573601903
Cast Size: 4 female, 5 male

About the Play:

The Importance of Being Earnest has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues, Male Monologues, Female/Female Scenes, and Male/Male Scenes.

This is the 3-act version. The Importance of Being Earnest is a full-length farce comedy by Oscar Wilde. Two wealthy London bachelors Jack and Algernon have chosen to lead double lives to evade the tedium of polite society. However, when they attempt to win the love of two eligible young ladies who declare they will only love a man called Ernest – chaos begins. Proposals, engagements, arrangements, and laughs abound in Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners.

The Importance of Being Earnest revolves wittily around the most ingenious case of manufactured mistaken identity ever put into a play. Jack Worthing pretends to be Earnest to avoid certain social obligations. But Gwendolen has fallen in love with him as Earnest – and he with her. Quizzed as to his origins by her aunt Lady Bracknell, Jack has to admit to being found in a handbag. After further complications involving Jack's friend Algernon, who is also passing himself off as Earnest, Jack's true origins are revealed. Originally subtitled "A Serious Comedy for Trivial People," this masterpiece is probably one of the most famous and frequently performed comedies in the English language.

The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed in 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London. The last play Oscar Wilde wrote, it is certainly the most celebrated. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 female, 5 male (has been performed with an all-female cast)

About the Playwright:

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was already one of the best known literary figures in Britain when he was persuaded to turn his extraordinary talents to the theatre. Between 1891 and 1895 he produced a sequence of distinctive plays which spearheaded the dramatic renaissance of the 1890s and retain their power today.

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