Penn State Centre Stage to present 'The Importance of Being Earnest' April 12-23

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Centre Stage will present Oscar Wilde’s "The Importance of Being Earnest" April 12-23 in the Pavilion Theatre at University Park. Considered to be Wilde’s most brilliant tour de force, "The Importance of Being Earnest" is celebrated not only for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot, but for its inspired dialogue and artful conversation.

Directed by Penn State School of Theatre faculty member Richard Robichaux, the Centre Stage production will feature an exciting cast comprised of current School of Theatre students and former faculty members.

First performed on Feb. 14, 1895, at the St. James Theatre in London, "The Importance of Being Earnest" is a farcical comedy in which the principal characters maintain fictitious personae to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Following its premiere, reviewers praised the play's humor, and many considered it to be the culmination of Wilde's artistic career to date. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped to make "The Importance of Being Earnest" Wilde's most enduringly popular play.

“'The Importance of Being Earnest' is a hilarious and perfect play about deep issues of identity,” said Robichaux. “More than a century after its premiere, I thought this was a great play to re-visit with a fresh, new direction here at Penn State. I am thrilled with this cast and design team. This production is an exciting new look at an audience favorite. Our community will laugh at the sometimes silly rules of late Victorian England, however, 'The Importance of Being Earnest' also provides a gentle reminder that ‘names’ and ‘labels' are truly not of great importance.”

Preview performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on April 12 and 14. Evening performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and a matinee performance will be held at 2 p.m. April 23. Evenings tickets are $18 and preview/matinee tickets cost $16. Student tickets are $12 with a valid Penn State student ID.

An opening night dinner will be held at the Nittany Lion Inn on April 15. The cost of the dinner is $45. A cash bar will open at 5 p.m. and dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. in the Faculty Staff Club. The cost of the dinner includes transportation to and from the show but does not include a show ticket.

For additional show information, visit www.theatre.psu.edu. Tickets are available at the Penn State Downtown Ticket Center, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX. Student and group sales discounts are available.

Last Updated April 01, 2016