Students to debut Oscar ‘Wilde’ play on Sept. 29

Love triangles, mistaken identities and scandalous Victorian flirtations are the order of the day in the Northern Kentucky University’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” opening Sept. 29 in the Corbett Theatre.

Oscar Wilde’s classic romantic comedy follows two playboy suitors as they try to win the hands of their lady-loves while both using the assumed name “Ernest.” Hilarity ensues as Wilde’s characters dig themselves ever deeper into identity confusion that pokes fun at the prim and proper manners and social mores of Victorian society.

NKU’s production takes this century-old formula and relates it to modern audiences.

“One goal is to brush the dust off of a classic comedy,” director Mike King said. “Previous shows were all about the stuffy manners. We’ve tried to make it more lively and passionate-to make it as physically interesting as the words are.”

A theater department faculty member will also be performing with the cast. Mary Jo Beresford will play the role of Lady Bracknell, a ruthless dowager who is determined to marry off her daughter Gwendolen (Annalyse McCoy) to the right man.

“It’s such a great learning experience being on stage with Mary Jo,” said Roderick Justice, who performs in the role of Algernon, one of the two suitors.

Justice, along with three other theater students, is completing his senior project with the production that runs through Oct. 9.

Justice encouraged students who appreciate comedies to come see the show. “Come laugh with us,” he said. “Come have fun with us.”