At the dress rehearsal for â€œThe Importance of Being Earnestâ€ Tuesday night, theatre professor and director Eric Prince could be heard discussing everything from lighting to the logistics of cake.
â€œBackstage, I want you all using (British) accents,â€ he told the cast. â€œIâ€™m going to give you all an English tongue twister to practice, and I want you all to sing â€˜Happy Birthday.â€™â€
â€œThe Importance of Being Earnestâ€ will play at the University Theatre at the University Center for the Arts tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $8 for students and $9 for youth under 17.
Everyone expects the cast to be in character, but the crew will be, too.
â€œWe have au vista scene changes, which means we donâ€™t have a curtain, and the set is changed in front of the audience, so our crew is dressed in costume,â€ said Cory Seymour, the producing technical director. â€œOur scene shifts are interesting to watch.â€
The crew doesnâ€™t mind this departure from the norm.
On the contrary, sound board operator and theatre major Ashley Longhill said, â€œMy favorite part is wearing costumes.â€
But a costume doesnâ€™t make a character.
History and theatre major Seth Klusmire, who plays Algernon Moncrieff, said, â€œItâ€™s been a challenge keeping up a Victorian physique, a Victorian presentation. We need to sit up straight, stand up straight, with our shoulders back.â€
â€œBasically, what we were told was to always look like weâ€™re posing. Even if weâ€™re just sitting or donâ€™t have anything in our hands, we need to hold ourselves like itâ€™s a pose.â€
â€œItâ€™s really improved my posture,â€ he added.
Oscar Wildeâ€™s tale of two men whose double lives get them into trouble while trying to woo the women they love is a well-known one, but that doesnâ€™t mean the characters can only be interpreted one way.
â€œI was originally going to play (Algernon) as very gay, very flamboyant,â€ said Klusmire, â€œBut we have a man in drag (Tim Garrity, theatre major) playing Lady Bracknell, so I thought that would be a bit much.â€
Garrity said, â€œIn the end, I want Lady Bracknell to be the most pompous snob.â€
According to Klusmire, â€œ(The best part) is the comedy. Itâ€™s very funny. Obviously we had to work hard at getting into character and putting this play together, but we donâ€™t even have to try to make it funny because itâ€™s so well-written.â€
Collegian writer Emily Kribs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: â€œThe Importance of Being Earnestâ€
Where: The University Theatre at the University Center for the Arts
When: Tonight, Saturday, April 14, 19, 20, 21 and 22, starting at 7:30 p.m. each night
Cost: $18 for adults, $8 for students and $9 for youth under 17