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The Importance Of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde

Director: John Tranchitella

Producer: Shannon Quinn & Jared Alexander

The Importance Of Being Earnest is a celebrated and classic comedy of manners in which two flippant young men, in order to impress their respected beloveds, pretend that their names are "Ernest," which both young ladies believe confers magical qualities on the possessor. It was first performed for the public on February 14, 1895 at the St. James' Theatre in London, and is regarded by many critics and scholars as being the wittiest play in the English language. (Summary from Wikipedia.org)

Audition Dates

Saturday, July 19: 11AM - 4PM

Sunday, July 20: 5PM - 9PM

Rehearsal Dates

Rehearsals begin Monday, August 4 at 7pm in the Gallery. Most rehearsals will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, with occasional Saturday or Sunday rehearsals as needed, especially as we near Tech Week.

The Tech Week and Dress Rehearsal Period will begin on Sunday, September 21. Attendance is mandatory for all actors/crew during that week.

Audition Notes

  • No appointment is required unless you plan to arrive more than 1 hour after the audition start time.
  • If you would like to audition but are unable to attend the auditions, please contact the director prior to the audtion date to schedule an alternative audition appointment.


Monday, July 21: 7PM - 10PM

Audition Requirements

  • Monologue: 30-60 seconds memorized, in the style of the show. Be prepared to do a cold read from the script.
  • Special Talents: British Accent Required
  • Read Script: Can be found here . Please read the entire script prior to auditions!
  • Age: Actors must be at least 10 years old and have parent permission to be involved in this production (if under 18)
  • Resume: List of past shows and theater training. Nice to have, not required.
  • Calendar: List of potential conflicts. Availability will affect casting decisions - rehearsal attendance is very important!
  • Headshot: Nice to have, but not required.

Cast of Characters

John (Jack/Ernest) Worthing, J.P. The play's protagonist. Jack Worthing is a seemingly responsible and respectable young man who leads a double life. In Hertfordshire, where he has a country estate, Jack is known as Jack. In London he is known as Ernest. As a baby, Jack was discovered in a handbag in the cloakroom of Victoria Station by an old man who adopted him and subsequently made Jack guardian to his granddaughter, Cecily Cardew. Jack is in love with his friend Algernon's cousin, Gwendolyn Fairfax. The initials after his name indicate that he is a Justice of the Peace.

Algernon Moncrieff The play's secondary hero. Algernon is a charming, idle, decorative bachelor, nephew of Lady Bracknell, cousin of Gwendolyn Fairfax, and best friend of Jack Worthing, whom he has known for years as Ernest. Algernon is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral, and given to making delightful paradoxical and epigrammatic pronouncements. He has invented a fictional friend, "Bun bury,” an invalid whose frequent sudden relapses allow Algernon to wriggle out of unpleasant or dull social obligations.

Gwendolyn Fairfax Algernon's cousin and Lady Bracknell's daughter. Gwendolyn is in love with Jack, whom she knows as Ernest. A model and arbiter of high fashion and society, Gwendolyn speaks with unassailable authority on matters of taste and morality. She is sophisticated, intellectual, cosmopolitan, and utterly pretentious. Gwendolyn is fixated on the name Ernest and says she will not marry a man without that name.

Cecily Cardew Jack's ward, the granddaughter of the old gentlemen who found and adopted Jack when Jack was a baby. Cecily is probably the most realistically drawn character in the play. Like Gwendolyn, she is obsessed with the name Ernest, but she is even more intrigued by the idea of wickedness. This idea, rather than the virtuous-sounding name, has prompted her to fall in love with Jack's brother Ernest in her imagination and to invent an elaborate romance and courtship between them.

Lady Bracknell Algernon's snobbish, mercenary, and domineering aunt and Gwendolyn's mother. Lady Bracknell married well, and her primary goal in life is to see her daughter do the same. She has a list of "eligible young men” and a prepared interview she gives to potential suitors. Like her nephew, Lady Bracknell is given to making hilarious pronouncements, but where Algernon means to be witty, the humor in Lady Bracknell's speeches is unintentional. Through the figure of Lady Bracknell, Wilde manages to satirize the hypocrisy and stupidity of the British aristocracy. Lady Bracknell values ignorance, which she sees as "a delicate exotic fruit.” When she gives a dinner party, she prefers her husband to eat downstairs with the servants. She is cunning, narrow-minded, authoritarian, and possibly the most quotable character in the play.

Miss Prism Cecily's governess. Miss Prism is an endless source of pedantic bromides and clichés. She highly approves of Jack's presumed respectability and harshly criticizes his "unfortunate” brother. Puritan though she is, Miss Prism's severe pronouncements have a way of going so far over the top that they inspire laughter. Despite her rigidity, Miss Prism seems to have a softer side. She speaks of having once written a novel whose manuscript was "lost” or "abandoned.” Also, she entertains romantic feelings for Dr. Chasuble.

Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D. The rector on Jack's estate. Both Jack and Algernon approach Dr. Chasuble to request that they be christened "Ernest.” Dr. Chasuble entertains secret romantic feelings for Miss Prism. The initials after his name stand for "Doctor of Divinity.”

Lane Algernon's manservant. When the play opens, Lane is the only person who knows about Algernon's practice of "Bunburying.” Lane appears only in Act I.

Merriman The butler at the Manor House, Jack's estate in the country. Merriman appears only in Acts II and III.

Additional Information

Pay? No

Equity? No


Pacifica Spindrift Players
1050 Crespi Dr., Pacifica, CA

Performance Dates

Performances September 26October 19, 2014

  • Fridays: 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17 at 8pm
  • Saturdays: 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18 at 8pm
  • Sundays: 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19 at 2pm
  • MANDATORY Brush Up Rehearsal: Thursday, October 2

Contact Info

Email auditions@pacificaspindriftplayers.org for more information.