Audition Information

Silver Spring Stage is holding auditions for The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, directed by Bill Hurlbut and produced by Lennie Magida. Auditions will be held at Silver Spring Stage (10145 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20901) on Sunday, March 10, 2019, 7:00-10:00 pm, and Monday, March 11, 2019, 7:00-10:00 pm. Callbacks will be on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 7:30-10:00 pm. Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to attend.

To make the best use of everyone’s time, we ask that you sign up for a 30-minute audition slot HERE.

Actors who attend auditions but have not signed up for a time will be seen as time permits. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Please be prepared to list conflicts through June 8, 2019. This is a community theatre production; no stipends are offered. Performance dates: May 17 – June 8, 2019, with 10 performances total: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays May 26 and June 2 at 2 pm.

Synopsis:

Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff are best of friends. Jack has created a fictitious and rather wicked brother named “Ernest,” who gives Jack an excuse to visit London and to behave in ways he wouldn’t otherwise while there. Algernon has similarly created an imaginary friend “Bunbury,” who provides him with an excuse to escape the city and unpleasant visitors and obligations.

During a visit from Jack, Algernon’s interest is piqued when he learns that his friend has a young and attractive ward, Cecily Cardew. Jack, meanwhile, is in love with Algernon’s cousin Gwendolen Fairfax, who is in love with Jack — in his disguise as “Ernest”). They wish to be married, but when Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen’s formidable mother and protector, learns that Jack started life as a foundling in a handbag at Victoria Station, she insists that he produce at least one parent to marry her niece.

Jack returns to his country home and his ward Cecily and her governess Miss Prism only to find that Algernon, now calling himself Ernest, has come to visit. Algernon’s curiosity about Cecily quickly blossoms into full-blown love. Cecily, for her part, has always been secretly in love with Jack’s brother Ernest – based only on what she’s heard about this actually fictitious person. Miss Prism is easily distracted from her lessons with Cecily by the arrival of Rev. Chasuble, for whom she has warm feelings.

Chaos erupts at the country house when Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen arrive. Gwendolen and Cecily argue over who has the greater claim to Ernest. Miss Prism, it turns out, is the absent-minded nurse who twenty years ago misplaced Lady Bracknell’s baby nephew in Victoria Station. That child was Ernest, now Jack, and is Algernon’s elder brother. As in any well-made play, there is a happy ending for all the couples.

Roles (4 women, 4 men)

Jack Worthing (late 20s-early 30s).  A responsible and respectable young gentleman of means who lives in the country. When he visits the city, he uses the name Earnest, his wicked and otherwise fictitious brother. He is the very sort of person one would choose to be ward to his young cousin Cecily. He is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax.

Algernon Moncrieff (late 20s). A charming and flamboyant young gentleman who lives in London. He is witty, selfish, and amoral, but thoroughly lovable. He is the nephew of Lady Bracknell and is in love with Cecily Cardew. He uses his imaginary invalid friend Bunbury to get out of unpleasant engagements and onerous tasks.

Rev. Canon Chausable (50s). Minister to Jack’s parish in the country. He is romantically inclined toward Miss Prism, but his modesty and thin veneer of pastoral decorum are in constant battle with his feelings for her.

Lane/Merriman (30s-60s). Lane is Algernon’s butler and valet; Merriman is Jack’s servant. Both are the epitome of the English servant class.

Lady Bracknell (50s). Gwendolen’s mother is domineering, judgmental, and a social snob. She is the central representative and enforcer of what is considered “proper.” She expects Gwendolen to marry well and do all the right things to ensure her social success. She is unintentionally funny and values ignorance. She is cunning, narrow-minded, and authoritarian. NOTE: Though it is sometimes done, we will not consider male actors for this character.

Gwendolen Fairfax (early-mid 20s). A young lady of social standing – and all the pretense that goes with it. She aspires to all good things in life, knows a great deal about them (fashion and social obligation alike), and has limited tolerance for those who do not. She is a London sophisticate of considerable intelligence and is in love with Ernest (Jack’s alter ego).

Cecily Cardew (late teens-early 20s). The 18-year old cousin and ward of Jack Worthing is an  “excessively pretty” country girl, unsophisticated and innocent. Nonetheless, she is fascinated with wickedness (particularly in Jack’s brother Ernest) and not in the least earnest; she is guileless, frivolous, and impatient. She “has got a capital appetite, goes long walks, and pays no attention at all to her lessons,” according to Jack.

Miss Laetitia Prism (50s). Cecily’s governess is, by outward appearance, a puritanical pedant who is so blind to her own folly that she, like Lady Bracknell, is unintentionally funny. She has a romantic side that found expression in a novel she once wrote and emerges now in her attraction to Rev. Chasuble.

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