The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE presents humorous play over being sincere

By Linah Mohammad/se news editor

Theatre Southeast is producing a comedy for serious people, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. 

The production will run April 22-25 in the Roberson Theatre (ESEC 1401).

A satirical comedy set in Victorian England, the production depicts the lifestyles of different classes during that period of time.

SE students do a table reading of their scripts. The Importance of Being Earnest depicts how some people put on false personas to get out of various social obligations. Photo by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
SE students do a table reading of their scripts. The Importance of Being Earnest depicts how some people put on false personas to get out of various social obligations.
Photo by Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

“The play will be set in Victorian times, but it’s set to where everybody can laugh at it. You don’t have to have British humor to laugh at it — it will be funny for everybody,” said Lukas Shayne, who plays Algernon Moncrieff. “I love my role. I play a funny guy, and it’s just real fun to be somebody I’m not.”

Director Paul Fiorella said Theatre Southeast was taking more freedoms with the characters’ postures and their styles of expression throughout the play because of the complex diction.

They are also giving the women in the play more strength because women today are more capable, Fiorella said. It needed to be closer to how women are today rather than how they were back in the 1800s.

In the play, Wilde was satirizing the formality of the era, Fiorella said.

“They had very rigid behaviors and expectations,” he said. “Everyone had to behave by certain guidelines.”

One of the major themes in this play is the public displays of affection and the way they are different in modern-day U.S. in comparison to Victorian England.

“If you are allowing your fiancé in the play to kiss you, it wouldn’t be on the lips. It might be on the cheek, just simply because it was a little too forward to have such brash affection before you’re married, and certainly not where anyone could see you,” Fiorella said. “It’s these things that our audience, I think, would find funny because the women who are now engaged are allowing their fiancés to kiss them and they have granted permission ‘Yes! Yes, you may.’”

Dallas Reid, who is playing Jack Worthing, said his favorite part of this production is the characters’ engagements.

“Nobody is ever being sincere, and everybody is trying to get what they want without worrying about anybody else,” he said. “It is a lot of fun playing such a selfish person.”

Gustavo Leon Moreno, who is playing two butlers’ roles, said having a double role is interesting.

“The bright side is that there isn’t a lot of lines to learn,” he said. “But having to change roles every day was a bit challenging.”

Shelby Christopher, who is playing Gwendolen Fairfax, said this is different from anything she has done before.

“It’s funny, there’s accents, everyone in here is really, really shallow. It’s really great!” she said. “[Fiorella] says that I need to walk like I am on a tight rope with one foot in front of the other, so that it slows me down and straightens my back. And I always have to have my right hand up so I look like I am better than everybody else because that’s what I think, and it has to come across that way.”

Because of Oscar Wilde’s witty dialogue, Fiorella is not placing any high significance on the set. He said the play should entertain even if it was only spoken.

“Reading this play gives you a lot of enjoyment in seeing the humor,” he said. “Everything will simply point out they are not being earnest and they are not being sincere — what they say is kind of ironic!”

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