Office of Public Affairs

(315) 312-2265


Sept. 17, 2003


CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097


OSCAR WILDE COMEDY TO OPEN THEATRE SEASON

    OSWEGO -- The SUNY Oswego theatre department will start its 2003-04 season with the Oscar Wilde comedy "The Importance of Being Earnest," opening at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in Tyler Hall's Waterman Theatre.

    Paul Savas, visiting professor of theatre, will direct this classic play that pokes fun at the absurdities and excesses of the social elite. Savas says he believes the light-hearted comedy "has some of the funniest retorts and silly repartees of wit in the canon of English theatrical literature."

    Setting the play in the 1920s, Savas aims to capture the energy of the period celebrating the end of World War I. Costumes will reflect the freer style of dress where fashionable young people looked for a slim and sporty silhouette. The production will feature scenic and lighting designs by Joseph Rial and costume design by Kathleen Macey.

    The music in the show will also reflect the whimsical spirit of the 1920s with such popular tunes such as "I Wanna Be Loved by You" by Helen Kane (better known as Betty Boop), "Happy Feet" by Paul Whiteman and "Crazy Rhythm" by Whispering Jack Smith.

    Lead cast members include Michael Climek as the crafty and clever Jack who pals around with Algernon (Kevin Keleher), an upper-class bachelor in a city heady on elite socialite parties.

    The story unfolds as Jack (known around the city as Ernest) asks for the hand of Gwendolyn (Sondra Tackett) in marriage from Lady Bracknell (Todd Silverman). Gwendolyn declares her love for "Ernest" in part because his name "seems to inspire absolute confidence." Believing that Jack is an orphan, Lady Bracknell declines the proposal.

    While visiting Jack's country estate, Algernon meets his ward Cecily (Heather Berg) who is being tutored by Miss Prism (Samantha Mason) and shows an immediate romantic interest in Cecily. In continuing the farce, Algernon announces his name to be Ernest as well, and proposes to Cecily, who readily accepts -- in particular because his name is Ernest.

    The story takes a twist as Gwendolyn visits the country estate to work things out with Jack and encounters Cecily, who also believes she is going to marry Ernest.

    Rounding out the cast are Aaron Kicak as Jack's manservant Lane, Ryan Oliver as the butler Merriman and Zach Levin as Reverend Chasuble.

    "The Importance of Being Earnest" will have a preview performance at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, with all seats available for $5. The production will feature 8 p.m. curtain times Oct. 10, 11, 17 and 18 with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee Oct. 19.

    For tickets and reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141. For more information, visit the new Oswego arts Web site at www.oswego.edu/arts.

- END -


Actors in character for 'The Importance of Being Earnest

LOVERS WOO -- Two couples, (from left) Cecily and Algernon (Heather Berg and Kevin Keleher) and Jack and Gwendolyn (Michael Climek and Sondra Tackett), find themselves caught up in misunderstandings when Oscar Wilde's comedy of manners "The Importance of Being Earnest" opens SUNY Oswego's theatre season. The production will feature 8 p.m. curtain times Oct. 10, 11, 17 and 18 with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee Oct. 19. For reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141. For more information, visit the new Oswego arts Web site at www.oswego.edu/arts.




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