A Trivial Comedy for Serious People:
School of Theatre's The Importance of Being Earnest
by Abby Cloud & Jia Alonso
On November 1, Florida State University’s School of Theatre debuted its second show of the season, The Importance of Being Earnest. A light-hearted 19th-century comedy, Oscar Wilde’s play works to captivate its audience with scheming protagonists John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff as they navigate their everyday lives through a facade, ultimately having to face the consequences of their mischief.
It took a lot to make Earnest the show audiences are seeing now. Between four hour rehearsals six nights a week, it took a lot of the cast’s and crew’s time—as well as patience—to master the delivery of Wilde’s work and the personalities of the characters. Nick Clark, who played the role of Algernon "Algy" Moncrieff, discussed their rehearsals, the timelessness of Earnest, and his character, Algy.
"When the rehearsals began, our director, Fred Chappell, requested that we be off book for the entirety of the play by the end of the week, allowing us to freely play as early as possible," said Clark. "At the same time, however, our dialect coach, Debra Hale, requested that we master the dialect before we memorize the lines to avoid getting stuck in old habits." This complicated matters, and proved to be quite a struggle to overcome during the rehearsal process...