Oscar Wilde's most popular play has been called the funniest in the English language. Algernon and Jack are in love with two delectable young women, both of whom have illogically sworn to marry only men named Ernest. Outrageous frivolity with intricate twists and turns, The Importance of Being Earnest is like Downton Abbey with Oscar Wilde's wit.
Performed in rep with Travesties.
Oscar Wilde (Playwright)
Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin before leaving the country to study at Oxford University in England when he was in his early 20s. His first volume of poetry, "Patience", was published in 1881, followed by a play, "The Duchess of Padua", two years later. He was an instant celebrity, but his works did not find recognition until the publication of "The Happy Prince and Other Tales" in 1888. His other noted work was his only novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1890), which caused controversy as the book attacked the hypocrisy of England. It was later used as incriminating evidence at Wilde's trial, on the basis of its obvious homosexual content. Wilde was a married man with children, but his private life was as a homosexual. He had an affair with a young snobbish aristocrat, named Lord Alfred Douglas. Douglas' father, the Marquess of Queensberry, did not approve of his son's relationship with the distinguished writer, and when he accused Wilde of sodomy, Wilde sued the Marquess in court. However, his case was dismissed when his homosexuality--which at the time was outlawed in England--was exposed. He was sentenced to two years hard labor. On his release from prison, he was a penniless, dejected man and soon died in Paris. He was 46.
Sean Murray (Director)
Mr. Murray co-founded Cygnet Theatre in 2002 along with partner Bill Schmidt. Cygnet Theatre: Assassins, WCYG presents A Christmas Carol, Man of La Mancha, Dirty Blonde, Parade, Little Shop of Horrors, Our Town, Cabaret, The Tragedy of the Commons, The Norman Conquests, Private Lives, Sweeney Todd, It's a Wonderful Life, Noises Off, Bed and Sofa '09, The History Boys, A Christmas Carol, A Little Night Music (SD Critic's Award, Best Director), The Receptionist, The Invention of Love, Bed and Sofa '04 (SD Critic's Award, Best Director, Best Musical Revival), Las Meninas, Escanaba in da Moonlight (SD Critic's Circle, Set Design), The Book of Liz, Pageant, Bug, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, St. Nicholas, The Matchmaker, Desire Under the Elms, Santaland Diaries, Firebugs, Fully Committed, Arcadia, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Little Foxes, My Fair Lady. Elsewhere: North Coast Rep: The Elephant Man (Patté Award, Direction), Man of La Mancha, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties; Diversionary: Never the Sinner, Love! Valour! Compassion!. Education: University of North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA). In 2000, Sean was named one of San Diego Magazine's "50 People to Watch" and in 2005 he was named Producer of the Year by the San Diego Critic's Circle.
Maggie Carney (Miss Prism)
Maggie Carney is tickled pink to join this talented group of people for her second and third show at Cygnet. Local credits include: Divine Sister (Diversionary), Pygmalion (Old Globe), A Christmas Carol (Cygnet Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peter and the Starcatchers (La Jolla Playhouse), Yellow Face (Mo'olelo). Elsewhere: Bill Irwin's Largely/NY, The Tempest (Seattle Rep), A Phoenix Too Frequent, Spite for Spite (Writers' Theatre), Ghetto (Famous Door), Bad Dates (BoarsHead), Bedroom Farce, Into the Woods (Touchstone Theatre), Smash (Bailiwick). She has also appeared with Northlight Theatre, Roadworks Productions, Noble Fool Theatricals, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Poetry Foundation, The Second City, Peninsula Players, Creede Repertory Theatre and the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival.
Manny Fernandes (Lane/Merriman)
Previously at Cygnet Theatre: Assassins, The Tragedy of the Commons, Private Lives, Mauritius, A Christmas Carol, Communicating Doors, Bug, Burn This, Escanaba in da Moonlight. Select San Diego Credits include Same Time, Next Year, Buried Child, Of Mice and Men (Craig Noel Award), Simpatico, The Man Who, Into the Woods, Sailor's Song, and Golden Boy (Craig Noel Award) at New Village Arts (Ensemble Member); Extraordinary Chambers, Mo'olelo; Jeffrey, Boys in the Band, Never the Sinner, Cloud 9, Fifth of July at Diversionary Theatre; Arcadia, Moon Over Buffalo, The Rivals, An American Daughter at North Coast Rep; Death of a Salesman, A Christmas Carol, Cabaret at San Diego Rep. Films include Ozark Savage and 29th and Gay. Manny studied acting at UCSD, and currently serves as Marketing Director for Cygnet Theatre.
David Cochran Heath (Chasuble)
Dave has been acting in San Diego for many years at Lamb's Players Theatre. Shows from those years that hold a special place are: To Kill a Mockingbird, Amadeus, The Foreigner, The Nerd, The Rivalry, Thunder at Dawn, The Diviners, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tavern, and A Woman of No Importance. Along with these are the many plays written by Kerry Meads, including My Asparagus is Growing Fine. He is delighted to be a newcomer at Cygnet.
Linda Libby (Lady Bracknell)
At Cygnet: Company, Cabaret, Man of La Mancha, Man From Nebraska and Cygnet's inaugural production of Hedwig & the Angry Inch. Recently Linda played Big & Little Edie in Grey Gardens and directed Chicago: A Speakeasy Cabaret for Ion Theatre. Local credits include: San Diego Repertory, Lambs Players, Mo'olelo, North Coast Repertory, New Village Arts, Write Out Loud, and Starlight. She is proud of her Craig Noel Critics Circle Awards for her work in Gypsy, Request Programme, and Cabaret. A long time member of Actors Equity and a founder of the Actors Alliance, Linda is a teacher at High Tech Middle Media Arts where she formed the Drama program. For Miss Elizabeth.
Brian Mackey (Jack Worthing)
Previously at Cygnet: The Glass Menagerie, The History Boys. Elsewhere: In The Heat of the Night, The Woolgatherer, Bash: Latter-Day Plays, Jack Goes Boating, All in the Timing, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Grapes of Wrath (ion theatre - Resident Artist); In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (San Diego Rep); The Pride, The Little Dog Laughed, As Much As You Can, Corpus Christi (Diversionary - Associate Artist); Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream: The Musical, An Enemy of the People (Intrepid - Company Member); A Christmas Carol ('07, '08, '09), Little Women (North Coast Rep); Night Sky (Mo'olelo); The Heidi Chronicles, Julius Caesar (New Village Arts); Side Man (BANG!); If the Shoe Fits (Coronado Playhouse); The Best Mistake (Playwrights Project). Brian was awarded the 2011 SD Critics Circle Actor of the Year and will next be seen in Cygnet Theatre's A Christmas Carol.
Jordan Miller (Algernon Moncrief)
Jordan is honored to return to Cygnet for the first time since his debut as Volodya in its 2009 remounting of Bed and Sofa (Craig Noel Award). He was most recently seen at Lamb's Players Theater in their highly acclaimed production of Fiddler On The Roof (Sasha). Other notable San Diego credits include several productions at Lyric Opera San Diego including The Gondoliers (Giuseppe), Anything Goes (Billy Crocker) and A Little Night Music (Mr. Lindquist), and The Old Globe's Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (understudy - The Grinch). Favorite regional credits include Oklahoma! (Prather Family of Theaters), Annie Get Your Gun (Performance Riverside), Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale (Casa Mañana Theater), and the world premier of Life In The Park (14th Street Playhouse). Additionally, Jordan has had the pleasure of sailing around the world as the principle singer with Holland America Line's record breaking The Showroom At Sea. Jordan is originally from Huntsville, Texas, and holds a BFA in acting from the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Jacque Wilke (Gwendolen)
Jacque is thrilled to be back on Cygnet's Stage! Local credits include: Mistakes Were Made (Cygnet); The Divine Sister, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Scrooge in Rouge, Next Fall, Fair Use, The New Century, Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins (Diversionary, Associate Artist); Lend Me a Tenor, Mistletoe, Music, and Mayhem, Don't Dress for Dinner (North Coast Repertory); Or, (MOXIE); The Seven Year Itch, The Heidi Chronicles (New Village Arts); Side Man (BANG); The Break-up Breakdown (Circle Circle Dot Dot); He Said, She Said (Laterthanever). She is a member of SAG-AFTRA, and is currently in a national commercial for America's Best Eyeglasses. She has studied with The Groundlings in LA, and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she was the recipient of the Academy's Charles Jelinger Award for Best Actress.
Rachael VanWormer (Cecily)
Cygnet Theatre: Arcadia, The Matchmaker, The Little Foxes, Curse of the Starving Class; ion Theatre: In the Heat of the Night, The Woolgatherer, bash: latterday plays, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, In a Dark Dark House; Intrepid Shakespeare: Oleanna; Diversionary Theatre: Birds of a Feather, Speech & Debate, Corpus Christi, Beautiful Thing; PCPA TheaterFest: The Wizard of Oz, Lifeboat, The Reluctant Dragon; San Diego Rep: boom; Moonlight Stage Productions: The Mousetrap, You Never Can Tell; New Village Arts: Waving Goodbye, Things We Want, Time Flies, Be Aggressive, This Is Our Youth, The Playboy of the Western World, The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Moxie Theatre: Eleemosynary, The Sugar Syndrome, The Listener; North Coast Rep: A Christmas Carol; Playwrights Project: American Idyll, The Best Mistake, Lifted.