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Lakeridge PRESENTS: 'The Importance of Being Earnest'

Cast says audiences will get a kick out of Wilde's whimsical wit

The Lakeridge High School drama department will present Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday in the school auditorium.

The play is set in 1985 London, and its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make it one of Wilde's most enduringly popular plays. Lakeridge's production features Isaac Lee as Algernon, Lucas Friedman as Jack, Bronté Brecht as Cecily, Juliane DeBruyn as Gwendolen, Nora Cyganiak as Lady Bracknell, Eleanor Williams as Miss Prism, Jack Bordiun as Rev. Chasuble, Jesse Johnson as Lane and James Wells as Merriman.

'The kids have been working so hard on the language,' drama instructor Joe Theissen said. 'They've really worked to get the English dialect and diction down. They have been really hungry for that.

'This is such a phenomenal play. … It's perfect for high schoolers, and it's a timeless comedy.'

It was easy for some actors to pick up the language.

'The dialect wasn't difficult to pick up, but it is quite difficult to maintain,' Lee said. 'There is a certain presence of mind that requires a bit of focus which can sometimes be lost when you have dozens of other things that you must also be thinking about as an actor, such as fixing previous rehearsals' mistakes, memorizing lines, intentions and blocking, or even simple entrances.'

'The diction and dialect weren't very hard for me to pick up,' said Cyganiak. 'I have watched a lot of British films, and I pick up on voices easily. But I did really have to get used to never smiling. Lady Bracknell isn't exactly a bundle of joy.'

The students have enjoyed developing their characters and learning about the Victorian era.

'I love the fact that everyone - although they may be hesitant to admit it - has a bit of Algernon in them,' said Lee. 'Algy brings out the smarmy young fellow in me who cheerfully cares for nothing but himself. I delight in his tasteful tastelessness, so to speak.

'Everyone can relate to each of the characters a small bit, no matter how absurd their mannerisms may be,' he continued. 'and despite the fact that the setting traditionally exists in the late Victorian era, we, the cast, get a kick out of Wilde's whimsical writing.'

Brecht and Cyganiak agreed.

'I certainly enjoy interacting with the other characters onstage,' she said. 'Cecily's first interaction with Gwendolen is a personal favorite.'

'The thing I love most about my character, Lady Bracknell, is that she has such hilariously twisted opinions about everything,' said Cyganiak. 'It's fun to play the sort of villainous old lady that everyone's afraid of.'

Tickets for the production cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Lakeridge students with activity cards will be admitted for $6. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the school bookkeeper or at the door. By BARB RANDALL

Staff Reporter

The Lakeridge High School drama department will present Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday in the school auditorium.

The play is set in 1985 London, and its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make it one of Wilde's most enduringly popular plays. Lakeridge's production features Isaac Lee as Algernon, Lucas Friedman as Jack, Bronté Brecht as Cecily, Juliane DeBruyn as Gwendolen, Nora Cyganiak as Lady Bracknell, Eleanor Williams as Miss Prism, Jack Bordiun as Rev. Chasuble, Jesse Johnson as Lane and James Wells as Merriman.

'The kids have been working so hard on the language,' drama instructor Joe Theissen said. 'They've really worked to get the English dialect and diction down. They have been really hungry for that.

'This is such a phenomenal play. … It's perfect for high schoolers, and it's a timeless comedy.'

It was easy for some actors to pick up the language.

'The dialect wasn't difficult to pick up, but it is quite difficult to maintain,' Lee said. 'There is a certain presence of mind that requires a bit of focus which can sometimes be lost when you have dozens of other things that you must also be thinking about as an actor, such as fixing previous rehearsals' mistakes, memorizing lines, intentions and blocking, or even simple entrances.'

'The diction and dialect weren't very hard for me to pick up,' said Cyganiak. 'I have watched a lot of British films, and I pick up on voices easily. But I did really have to get used to never smiling. Lady Bracknell isn't exactly a bundle of joy.'

The students have enjoyed developing their characters and learning about the Victorian era.

'I love the fact that everyone - although they may be hesitant to admit it - has a bit of Algernon in them,' said Lee. 'Algy brings out the smarmy young fellow in me who cheerfully cares for nothing but himself. I delight in his tasteful tastelessness, so to speak.

'Everyone can relate to each of the characters a small bit, no matter how absurd their mannerisms may be,' he continued. 'and despite the fact that the setting traditionally exists in the late Victorian era, we, the cast, get a kick out of Wilde's whimsical writing.'

Brecht and Cyganiak agreed.

'I certainly enjoy interacting with the other characters onstage,' she said. 'Cecily's first interaction with Gwendolen is a personal favorite.'

'The thing I love most about my character, Lady Bracknell, is that she has such hilariously twisted opinions about everything,' said Cyganiak. 'It's fun to play the sort of villainous old lady that everyone's afraid of.'

Tickets for the production cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Lakeridge students with activity cards will be admitted for $6. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the school bookkeeper or at the door.




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