The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Michael Mendelson

May 16, 2017 – June 11, 2017

Alder Stage

An all-female, all-star Portland cast leads this production of Oscar Wilde’s magnificent 19th Century comedy of manners and social status. Lovely Gwendolyn and adorable Cecily don’t care who they marry as long as his name is Earnest (so manly and respectable!). Jack and Algernon are utterly smitten and only too happy to ditch their given names to bamboozle their way into the ladies’ hearts. Imperious Lady Bracknell is aghast, agog and practically apoplectic, but her efforts to impose propriety prove useless against Cupid’s earnest truth. High jinx, bon mots and cucumber sandwiches are served.

  • “A trivial comedy for serious people.” - Oscar Wilde
  • A fresh take on an enduring farcical masterpiece 

RUN TIME: Approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes, including an intermission


Sarah Lucht +^


Ayanna Berkshire +^

Algernon Moncrieff

Jamie M. Rea +

Jack Worthing

Linda Alper +^

Lady Bracknell

Kailey Rhodes ±

Gwendolyn Fairfax

Vana O'Brien +^

Miss Prism

Crystal Ann Muñoz +

Cecily Cardew

JoAnn Johnson +^

Rev. Chasuble

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

± Equity Membership Candidate

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist


Michael Mendelson +*^


Oscar Wilde


Scenic Designer: Megan Wilkerson #^

Costume Designer: Bobby Brewer-Wallin ^

Lighting Designer: Kristeen Willis Crosser #

Composer/Sound Designer: Jen Raynak

Dramaturg: Luan Schooler

Dialect Coach: Mary McDonald-Lewis ^

Props Master: Arianne Melton

Stage Manager: Carol Ann Wohlmut +^

Production Assistant: Karen Hill ±

Production Assistant: Megan Moll

Assistant Lighting Designer: Trevor Sargent

Board Operator: Alan Cline

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

* Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

# The scenic, costume, lighting, projection & sound designers are represented by United Scenic Artists

± Equity Membership Candidate

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist


“…unabashed delight…” “…this winning production is a joy in every way.” “…a positively delightful show…” “…superlatively talented women…”
Meg Currell, EDGE Media Network

“I loved this show.” “…pleasure of watching an incredible all-female cast totally rock some really killer hats."
by Krista Garver

“Director Michael Mendelson…given the show a fluid buoyancy, an almost musical flow, that allows the play’s caprices to slide easily forward and carry the audience mostly happily with them.”
Bob Hicks, ArtsWatch

“The play is two hours of rapier wit, small prevarications, heady but exacting language, and cucumber sandwiches..." “…stunning production…”
Judy Nedry
Judy Nedry Reviews

“…fluff and frolic…what the country needs now…a little perspective…so we can get on with our lives!”
by Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews

“…delicately placed layers creating an energetic and vibrant production.”
by Cassie Duncanson, Portland State University Vanguard
FULL REVIEW & INTERVIEW with Jamie M. Rea (Jack)

“The casting doesn’t subvert gender roles so much as draw attention to them.”
Shannon Gormely, Willamette Week

"A daring take on a wilde play." - The New York Times

"THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is the rare work of art that achieves perfection on its own terms." - The New York Times

"Wilde's masterpiece is so legendarily evergreen, it practically performs itself." - Vulture

We believe you will like this show if you enjoyed THE LIAR and BLITHE SPIRIT.


STUDY GUIDE! A great resource for all. Download it here.

Learn about the playwright's life by visiting here and here.

A fascinating comparison between the playwright's life and the tragedy in Orlando can be found here.

Discover a past production of the play's musical adaptation, performed with an all-women cast, here.

Keep tabs on an all-women cast performing the play this upcoming Fall by visiting here.