The Importance of Being Earnest
Directed by Robert S. Currier
The Importance of Being Earnest has long been a favorite play of ours. It was the inaugural production of the Ukiah Players Theatre (UPT) in 1977, with Bob as Jack and Jarion Monroe as Algy. Coincidentally, I (Lesley) played Cecily in a production that same year at the Landon School; it was my first high school lead, as a freshman, and I beat out Julia Louis-Dreyfoos for the role…of course, at 14, I hated kissing the senior boy who played Algernon! Years later, after Bob and I had met in Ukiah, we planned another UPT production and looked forward to playing opposite each other. However, I got hired to go up to Ashland in the 1987 season, and Bob ended up doing the play without me. So the Marin Shakespeare production was our first working together on the play.
It came together like a dream. The first actor we thought of was George Maguire for Lady Bracknell. Then Darren, Bill, Cat and Alex as the four young lovers seemed pretty obvious to us as well. Jack Powell was a natural for Chasuble, and we wanted Lucas McClure and his guitar-playing skills for Twelfth Night, and knew he’d do a bang up job with the two servants. There were great roles for seven of our favorite core company members.
Then Joan Mankin phoned. We’ve been long-time admirers of Joan’s brilliant stage work. She is a Bay Area treasure: a uniquely quirky and absolutely fabulous actress who I’d watch read the phone book any day of the year. When Joan told us she had a little bit of time in her summer schedule, we were thrilled. When she came and read Miss Prism, we couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role. Joan brought her massive comic creativity to a role everyone kept wishing had more stage time. That’s Joanie – even in a one-woman show, you’d want to see more of her onstage.
To any actor out there wondering if there’s any reason at all to attend an audition when producers have so many people in mind for roles prior to casting, all I can say is we ended up with twelve featured actors (out of a total of 24 this season) brand new to Marin Shakespeare, half of whom we’d never heard of before they walked into our general auditions that January. So do keep auditioning!
Lane – Lucas McClure*
Algernon Moncrieff – Darren Bridgett*
Jack Worthing - William Elsman*
Lady Brackell – George Maguire*
Gwendolen – Cat Thompson*
Cecily Cardew – Alexandra Matthew*
Miss Prism – Joan Mankin*
Reverend Chasuble – Jack Powell*
Merriman – Lucas McClure*
Maids – Sheila Devitt, Emily Parker Hock, Caroline Servat, Morielle Stroethoff
Artistic Director – Robert S. Currier
Producer – Lesley Schisgall Currier
Costume Design – Patricia Polen
Lighting Design – Ellen Brooks
Props Design – Joel and Toni Eis
Set Design – Mark Robinson
Sound Design – Billie Cox
Wigs – Wig Boys
Stage Manager – Allison Ward*
Assistant Stage Manager – Siri Olson
Member of Actor's Equity Association