Auditions: The Importance of Being Earnest at CCT

November 5, 2017
6:00 pm
November 6, 2017
7:00 pm

Announcing auditions for our 34th season opener, the comedic masterpiece THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, written by Oscar Wilde and directed by Christopher Diehl.

Auditions will be held on Sunday, November 5 @ 6 pm and Monday, November 6 @ 7 pm at the Seventh Street Theatre in Chino (13123 Seventh Street). Callbacks, if needed, will be held on Tuesday, November 7 @ 7 pm and will be by invite only.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. All roles available. And while the play’s characters were originally (and are usually still) portrayed by caucasian actors, ALL ethnicities will be considered for this production. British accents, however, are a MUST. There is no pay.

Rehearsals will start on Thursday, November 9 and will generally be held Mondays through Thursdays at 7 pm. A more detailed rehearsal schedule will be posted soon. Performances will be January 12 through February 3, 2018.

Do yourself a favor and watch this episode of “Theater Talk” where they discuss THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST and how to successfully perform Oscar Wilde: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0J9C3tEH0Q. The discussion starts at 3:25.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

Jack Worthing (mid-20’s – early 30’s): The play’s protagonist. Jack Worthing is a seemingly responsible and respectable young man who leads a double life. In Hertfordshire, where he has a country estate, Jack is known as Jack. In London he is known as Ernest. As a baby, Jack was abandoned and found by an old man who adopted him and subsequently made Jack guardian to his granddaughter, Cecily Cardew. Jack is in love with his friend Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen Fairfax.

Algernon Moncrieff (mid-20’s – early 30’s) – Algernon is a charming, idle, decorative bachelor, nephew of Lady Bracknell, cousin of Gwendolen Fairfax, and best friend of Jack Worthing, whom he has known for years as Ernest. Algernon is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral, and given to making delightful paradoxical and epigrammatic pronouncements. He has invented a fictional friend, “Bunbury,” an invalid whose frequent sudden relapses allow Algernon to wriggle out of unpleasant or dull social obligations.

Gwendolen Fairfax (20’s) – Algernon’s cousin and Lady Bracknell’s daughter. Gwendolen is in love with Jack, whom she knows as Ernest. A model and arbiter of high fashion and society, Gwendolen speaks with unassailable authority on matters of taste and morality. She is sophisticated, intellectual, cosmopolitan, and utterly pretentious. Gwendolen is fixated on the name Ernest and says she will not marry a man without that name.

Cecily Cardew (20’s) – Jack’s ward, the granddaughter of the old gentlemen who found and adopted Jack when Jack was a baby. Cecily is probably the most realistically drawn character in the play. Like Gwendolen, she is obsessed with the name Ernest, but she is even more intrigued by the idea of wickedness. This idea, rather than the virtuous-sounding name, has prompted her to fall in love with Jack’s brother Ernest in her imagination and to invent an elaborate romance and courtship between them.

Lady Bracknell (40’s – 50’s) – Algernon’s snobbish, mercenary, and domineering aunt and Gwendolen’s mother. Lady Bracknell married well, and her primary goal in life is to see her daughter do the same. Like her nephew, Lady Bracknell is given to making hilarious pronouncements, but where Algernon means to be witty, the humor in Lady Bracknell’s speeches is unintentional. She is cunning, narrow-minded, authoritarian, and possibly the most quotable character in the play.

Miss Prism (30’s – 40’s) – Cecily’s governess. Miss Prism is an endless source of pedantic bromides and clichés. She highly approves of Jack’s presumed respectability and harshly criticizes his “unfortunate” brother. Puritan though she is, Miss Prism’s severe pronouncements have a way of going so far over the top that they inspire laughter. Despite her rigidity, Miss Prism seems to have a softer side. Also, she entertains romantic feelings for Dr. Chasuble.

Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. (40’s – 50’s) – The rector on Jack’s estate. Both Jack and Algernon approach Dr. Chasuble to request that they be christened “Ernest.” Dr. Chasuble entertains secret romantic feelings for Miss Prism.

Lane (30’s – 60’s) – Algernon’s manservant. When the play opens, Lane is the only person who knows about Algernon’s practice of “Bunburying.”

Merriman (30’s – 60’s) – The butler at the Manor House, Jack’s estate in the country.

Any questions about the show or audtions not answered here, please email director, Christopher Diehl: chriwillid@hotmail.com.

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