Torrey Theatre takes on “The Importance of Being Earnest”

Honors students present a hilarious rendition of Oscar Wilde’s comedy classic.


Photo by Hannah Clark / THE CHIMES

Kayla Santos, Staff Writer

This story was originally published in print on Nov. 1, 2018.

With midterm season finally coming to an end, Biolans may seek refreshment in order to get some rest amid the busy semester. Luckily, starting on Thursday, Nov. 1, Torrey Theatre’s production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” will provide a space for family and friends to spend an evening in laughter and lightheartedness.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” tells the story of two women with an affinity for the name “Ernest.” The production journeys through an interesting situation in which the two bachelorettes discover that they might be engaged to the same man––named Ernest, of course. As the play unravels, viewers can laugh at the superficiality that the lead female characters exhibit in their motivations for dating their Ernests.


Senior mathematics major Elizabeth Vrinten excitedly chose to direct this particular play due to its witty humor, thoughtful satire and small cast size. Because the play involves a smaller cast, she saw a greater opportunity to work closely with individual cast members to sharpen their skills.

Since mid-September, actors and crew members have rehearsed tirelessly every week to perfect their individual roles. As showtime approaches, they have bumped up their rehearsal time from two hours to five hours a day, not only growing in their roles, but solidifying themselves as a family. Even though the last six weeks have been hectic, the actors and crew members are thrilled to showcase their talents on stage.

“I love how a script just goes from being words on a page to becoming a full-fledged family that people get to watch,” said junior psychology major Samantha Smith who portrays main female lead Gwendolen Fairfax.


If you need a good laugh, clear your schedules to see this play. From a hilariously sassy butler to two men adopting the same pseudonym, the characters draw you in from Act I.   

The cast and crew, especially sophomore English major Natalie Wing, the assistant stage manager for this production, think that now is the perfect time to put on a comedy.

“I think we wanted to have a comedy because there is  just a lot of bad things going on in the world today, and we need to bring light to those around us,” Wing said.


Although the audience can expect comedic relief from this show, they can also dwell on a deeper theme of superficiality. Throughout the play, we can see that the name Ernest is more important to the two main characters than his personality, highlighting the issues of aristocratic politics and upper-order society. Vrinten believes that the underlying message focuses on the shallowness and the facade that can be seen through in vain people. If this play took place in today’s society, Vrinten thinks that it would happen among the Kardashian family.

“I hope that it invites the audience to examine their motivations for why they do things,” Vrinten said.

Smith, along with Vrinten, hopes the play encourages the audience to pursue authenticity. Above all, the entire cast and crew long for the production to be a time of laughter and relaxation among friends and family.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” will be held at the amphitheater behind Hope Hall every day from Nov. 1-4 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the Torrey office in Emerson Hall for $5.

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