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The Importance of Being Earnest poster

"Tell a Little Lie for Love"

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The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Shawn Douglass

Featuring Artistic Associates Greg Matthew Anderson, Annabel Armour, Linda Gillum, and David Darlow

Presented November 24, 2010 - January 9, 2011

Ever wish you could take a break from the responsibility of being you? Wilde’s two charming bachelors each enjoy a double life, running away from their societal duties and towards another glass of bubbly. But when they fall truly in love with two proper young ladies, keeping up appearances may be more than they can manage. Who will get to be “Ernest” and who will get stuck being earnest?

The performance runs 2 hours and 20 minutes with two 10 minute intermissions.


Download The Importance of Being Earnest Field Guide >
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View videos and photos from the production >


"Exceedingly funny... smart and solidly amusing seasonal revival of one of the funniest and most comfortingly familiar of the English comedies. [...] The show also features the considerable talents of Greg Matthew Anderson, an effortlessly ethereal actor who is the very epitome of what Wilde intended for Algernon."
– Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"With rapid-fire, precision-tuned direction by Shawn Douglass, who has gathered a cast that seems uniformly born to play Wilde (and it is a special talent, to be sure), this Remy Bumppo production sparkles from the first sardonic glance of a butler to the final 'bon mots' of all involved. And those bon mots and glittering adages come fast and furiously in three acts that glide by effortlessly, and with nearly nonstop, effervescent laughter that is invariably rooted in a mix of psychological insight and total nuttiness. [...] To put it succinctly: 'Go Wilde' this holiday season. You will not regret it."
– Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"Sterling performances are exactly what you get from a well-honed ensemble who can punch home this barbed tomfoolery."
– Lawrence Bommer, Steadstyle Chicago

"Shawn Douglass directs with a keen ear for the glories of this language-driven comic masterpiece."
– Dan Zeff

"Wildely Entertaining! Double entendres are actualized to perfection. With the Wilde-Douglass combination, the cast is making word love for a hysterically pleasurable romp. [...] David Darlow (Lady Bracknell) is outrageously funny! [...] I'm being completely earnest when I say not to miss Remy Bumppo's The Importance of Being Earnest. It'll be one of the best gifts you will receive this season!"
The Fourth Walsh

"A masterful production... What a marvelous, flawless production. It is a sheer delight! [...] This is a must see production that will have you laughing so hard for two and a half hours, your ribs will hurt, but what a great pain it will be! We go to the theater to be entertained and this production is perfect in every way."
Around the Town Chicago

Special Events

August 30: Season Salon (with speaker Bunky Cushing discussing The Importance of Being Earnest)

November 1:
First Rehearsal Reception

December 11: Between the Lines
Todd Bauer, British Drama expert and instructor with The Newberry Library

December 31: Special New Years Eve performance!
Our 7:30PM performance is followed by a champagne toast and desserts with the cast


David Darlow Lady Bracknell
Greg Matthew Anderson Algernon Moncreiff
Annabel Armour Miss Prism
Linda Gillum Gwendolen Fairfax
Paul Hurley John (Jack) Worthing
Kelsey Brennan Cecily Cardew
Ted Hoerl Rev. Canon Chasuble
William J. Watt Merriman/Lane