THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

REVIEW: “THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST” AT SHS

Seminole+High+School%27s+production+of+The+Importance+of+Being+Earnest+runs+October+19-21.
Seminole High School's production of The Importance of Being Earnest runs October 19-21.

Seminole High School's production of The Importance of Being Earnest runs October 19-21.

Serra Sowers

Serra Sowers

Seminole High School's production of The Importance of Being Earnest runs October 19-21.

Serra Sowers, Photography Manager

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The lights come up, and a well-dressed maid walks on stage, fixing plates in an elaborate tea setting with an off-tune piano playing in the background. The opening of The Importance of Being Earnest, the Seminole High School Theatre Company’s latest production, is enough to engage the audience and leave them wanting more.

The Importance of Being Earnest, written by Oscar Wilde, follows the story of Jack Worthing, a man who invents a fake brother named Earnest. His friend Algernon Moncreiff also claims to have the name of Earnest, thus causing problems for Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew, the women they are attempting to marry respectively.

The Cast of The Importance of Being Earnest

Jack Worthing                                                       Matthew Lorden

Algernon Moncreiff                                              Max Wadley
Gwendolyn Fairfax                                               Sofia Donato
Cecily Cardew                                                        Madelynn Washburn
Lady Bracknell                                                       Sydney Breedlove
Miss Prism                                                              Jasmine Kesselring
Rev. Canon Chasuble                                           Noah Howard
Lane (Maid)                                                           Kailey King
Merriman (Servant)                                             Dawson Moore
Ensemble                                                                Marvin Bacon, Emma Edwards,
Tatum McBride,Sarah Sanches,
Gilly Shisgal, and Alana Torres

SHSTC’s production of the play was produced by Rebecca Curran, the new head of Thespian Troope 3266, directed by senior Megan Carroll, and stage managed by senior Elizabeth Gopsill and senior Ethan Sims. Although this was Carroll’s first time directing, the show was a complete success.

The play was well executed, with Act 1 comprised of a simple set located in a London flat, and Acts 2 and 3 at Jack Worthing’s country manor. The actors use of the set as entrances and exits created a seamless flow from scene to scene. The furniture used and the topiary in the garden added variety to the scene, and the use of those pieces allowed for natural movement of the actors.

The costumes worn by all of the characters matched the 19th century look and London location precisely. Junior Sofia Donato’s blue dress was elaborate and embroidered, matching Gwendolyn’s city personality, while senior Madelynn Washburn, who played the role of young Cecily, wore a simple pink skirt from the country. The use of props was also well integrated, as when Mr. Worthing and Algernon fought over a cigar tray and muffins when they first came on stage, adding to the overall enjoyment of the scenes.

Sofia Donato and Jasmine Kesselring pose for a picture.

According to House Assistant Allison Cartmill, the original cigar tray prop was stolen on Tuesday during seventh period and has yet to be returned. However, this minor setback did not stop the show from going on. In addition, on Thursday, the House experienced another issue when they arrived to a sharpie-vandalized lobby. Luckily, the House crew was able to clear up the mess, and the lobby looked clean and well-decorated just in time for the Friday show.

The hair and makeup for the show was fantastic as well. Lady Bracknell, for example, had aging added to her face by drawing on wrinkles, making her character seem extremely realistic.

Although the beginning of the show was a bit slow, the actors did a great job setting up the scenes and the relationships of the characters. Sophomore Max Wadley, who played Algernon Moncreiff, did a wonderful job and acted as the common tie between all characters, being serious when needed and humorous at other times.

Secondary lead roles, such as Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism, and Rev. Canon Chasuble, added comic relief and another level of excitement to the show with their likeable and memorable personalities.

The old English accent was effectively used by all actors and was projected well, even though there was a mishap with the microphones. Their movement was natural, yet purposeful, and it made the show entertaining for the entire audience. This was overall an outstanding production.

There is one last chance to see The Importance of Being Earnest at SHS today at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door. Don’t miss this incredible performance!

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