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Comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest” is Season Opener for Theater-by-the-Grove

The Importance of Being Earnest

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Theater-by-the-Grove, produced by the Department of Theater and Dance, opens this year’s season with a production of the comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest, written by the Irish poet, author, and playwright, Oscar Wilde. Performances are scheduled on the mainstage of Waller Hall, IUP Performing Arts Center, on October 1–3 and 7–10, 2009, at 8:00 p.m., with a matinee on October 4, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.

The original production, considered by some to be the climax of Wilde’s career, premiered in 1895 at the St. James’s Theater in London. The play revolves around the courtships of two society bachelors who invent friends to be used as excuses to avoid their annoying social duties.

The production’s director, Barb Blackledge, is setting the production in the high-society atmosphere of the 1920s instead of the Victorian age, as it is usually done. Blackledge stated what she, the cast, and the crew would like the audience to experience is “a great deal of laughter. In addition, through a lobby display, we will share some of the actual world of the 1920s in England, including the jazz era in music and the ‘Bright Young People’ in its society.”

The Importance of Being Earnest

She added, “It should be great fun for so many students and community members to be able to see a staged version of a play that so many of them have read and studied throughout their education—both in English and Theater.”

Tickets for The Importance of Being Earnest are available at the Hadley Union Building, located on Pratt Drive of the IUP campus, and at the door forty-five minutes before the performance. Tickets are priced at $14 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens and groups of 15 or more, and $8 with a university I-card.

For more information, call The Lively Arts at 724-357-2547. Tickets may be purchased with a credit card by calling the HUB Ticket Office at 724-357-1313. Theater-by-the Grove is produced by the Department of Theater and Dance and College of Fine Arts and is funded, in part, by the Student Cooperative Association.

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