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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Dartmouth Players closes its season with Wilde’s classic farce

Dartmouth Players presents The Importance of Being Earnest from June 14-30.

Dartmouth Players closes out its 2023-2024 season with Oscar Wilde’s classic farce, The Importance of Being Earnest.

It’s a great way to end the season because it’s lighthearted and enjoyable for everyone, even those who might not be familiar with the play. – Joanne Arbuthnott

Skillfully mocking the hypocrisy and artificiality of the Victorian upper class and exposing the absurdity of taking oneself too seriously, particularly regarding social status and reputation, it is a play director Joanne Arbuthnott returns to for the third time.

“I love the characters, and there isn’t a single weak character among them,” she says. “Everyone has something funny to say or some reflection to offer. It’s also great to have a play with such strong characters for both men and women.”

Acknowledging that it may not be groundbreaking or earth-shattering by today’s standards, Arbuthnott enjoys the juxtaposition of Wilde’s characters. “It looks at the difference between serious people who think too much of everything and others who are a little more laissez-faire,” she says. “And then Wilde puts them together to see how they interact.”

Despite being written in 1895, Arbuthnott believes The Importance of Being Earnest still has something to say to modern audiences. “People haven’t changed that much,” she says. “We still have those who take themselves too seriously, bend the truth, and judge others. Society’s rules and conventions may have evolved, but the core human experience is the same.”

Arbuthnott says the community theatre group’s choice of The Importance of Being Earnest as its season finale was deliberate. “It’s accessible,” she says. “It’s a great way to end the season because it’s lighthearted and enjoyable for everyone, even those who might not be familiar with the play.”

When asked why audiences should come to see the play, Arbuthnott sees no negatives. “Firstly, because it’s a fantastic play,” she says. “Secondly, the cast is incredibly talented and dedicated. And lastly, there’s nothing quite like the magic of live theatre. It’s an enriching experience you can discuss and share with friends. This show is everything a theatrical experience should be.”

Dartmouth Players presents The Importance of Being Earnest at St. James United Church Hall (183 Portland St, Dartmouth) from June 14-30. Visit dartmouthplayers.ns.ca for tickets and information.

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