Wilde Thing: ABC Players Bring Classic Comedy To Stuart's Stage

Updated Wed, May 7, 2014 1:51 pm
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Morristowne Photography
James Euto and Heidi Wilhelm star in the ABC Players production of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
The ABC Players discuss "The Importance of Being Earnest"

The ABC Players will bring Oscar Wilde’s most famous comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, to the Stuart’s Opera House stage May 8–11.

Sponsored by the Rocky Outdoor Gear Store, The Importance of Being Earnest is the story of two friends, Jack and Algernon, who both use the same pseudonym (“Ernest”) for their on-the-sly activities.

Jack loves Gwendolyn, Algernon's cousin; Algernon loves Cecily, Jack's ward. Both ladies think they are engaged to a man named "Ernest." The play offers one laugh after another before all of the complications are finally sorted out.

The Importance of Being Earnest cast is under the direction of Karen M. Chan with assistance from Cecilia Rinaldi. The cast includes James Euto as John Worthing, Leslie Heskett as Algernon Moncrieff, Gordon Pettey as Rev. Chasuble, Alexa Ross as Lady Bracknell, Heidi Wilhelm as Gwendolen Fairfax, Lizzie Potter as Cecily Cardew, and Celeste Parsons as Miss Prism.

Joe Balding, well-known to local theater-goers, plays both Merriman, the butler, and Lane, the manservant. Ken Bowald is stage-managing.

Providing support to the production are Norman Cohn (casting director); Sandra Russell (production designer); Dayton Willison (costume designer); Lee Anne Willison (costume assistant); Dharma Pook (makeup artist);  Courtney Burton, Courtney Heller, Linda Pook (makeup assistants); Carol Ault (light designer); Kermit Polan (lighting assistant); Rita Preston (light board operator); Jeff Swart (sound board operator); Ardelle Donohue (props manager); Laura Parrotti (dialect advisor); Ruth Borovicka (line coach); Monika Bennett of Raphael's (Mr. Euto's hair artist); Hannah Sickles, Hannah Sims-Howard and Kate Wilhelm (stage crew).

The Sunday, May 11 matinee performance will be a special one. The recipients of the Steve Haskins Memorial Scholarship, Sandra E. Russell and India Mitchell, will receive their awards, courtesy of sponsors Cycle Path Bicycles Of Athens and the Berean Community Players.

Show times are Thursday, May 8 through Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m. Sunday's matinee performance will be held at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door ($10 in advance) or $7 for students.

For tickets, visit www.stuartsoperahouse.org, call 740-753-1924 or purchase them at the door. For more information on the ABC Players, visit www.abcplayers.org or find the ABC Players on Facebook.

Slideshow: "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Morristowne Photography

Celeste Parsons as Miss Prism and Gordon Pettey as Dr. Chausable (listen to dialogue at the beginning of Studio B interview on this page)

Morristowne Photography

Gwendolyn (Heidi Wilhelm) inspects Cecily (Lizzie Potter) during their first meeting in the ABC Players' production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Morristowne Photography

Cecily (Lizzie Potter) and Gwendolyn (Heidi Wilhelm) resist the blandishments of Algernon (Leslie Heskett) and Jack (James Euto) in the ABC Players' production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Morristowne Photography

A mysterious handbag holds the secret that will solve problems for two sets of lovers in the ABC Players' production of The Importance of Being Earnest. L-R: Lizzy Potter, Leslie Heskett, Celeste Parsons (seated), Heidi Wilhelm, James Euto (kneeling), Joe Balding, Gordon Pettey and Alexa Ross (seated)