The Santa Cruz Shoestring Players are gearing up for their upcoming production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” at CPAC, set to debut this Thursday. Marcy Miller, the director and board president of Santa Cruz Shoestring Players, provides insights into the selection of the play and the exciting challenges involved in bringing this classic to the stage.
Director’s Choice: A Break from Musicals
Marcy Miller shares her decision to take a break from the usual musical productions and opt for “The Importance of Being Earnest.” The classic nature of the play, with its rich roles and well-crafted storyline, presented an irresistible challenge in staging a Victorian comedy for a contemporary audience.
Rehearsal Focus: Exploring Character Development
One of the highlights of rehearsing this play has been the luxury of dedicating all rehearsals to character development. Unlike musicals that require splitting schedules, the cast has delved into building characters, exploring subtleties in the text, and creating meaningful stage “pictures.” Miller emphasizes the joy of crafting a beautiful production through an in-depth actor’s process.
Challenges of a 125-Year-Old Script
Working with a script from the 1890s, Miller acknowledges the benefits of the play being in the public domain, allowing the theater company to produce it royalty-free. However, adapting to the nuances lost on modern audiences posed a challenge. Miller made strategic cuts to the script while maintaining fidelity to Oscar Wilde’s original work, ensuring the audience is carried along on this theatrical journey.
Cast Dynamics: Embracing Daunting Dialogue and Iconic Lines
The director expresses pride in the cast’s commitment to delivering challenging dialogue, iconic lines, and embracing the demands of the play. Actors not only navigate British accents and unfamiliar costumes but also engage in on-stage eating and drinking. Miller commends the cast for becoming master storytellers, bringing a fresh perspective to well-known characters.
Acknowledging the Production Team
Miller recognizes the indispensable support of the production team, highlighting the contributions of Marie Valade, the stage manager, and Bonnie Vadnais, the props manager. Behind-the-scenes talents like Regina Ford, Francine Muse, Bill Voorhees, Ray Hebert, and Wendy Drenning have played crucial roles in creating the visual and aesthetic elements that enhance the overall theatrical experience.
Production Highlights: A Tapestry of Victorian Beauty
The collaborative efforts of the production team shine through in the set designed by Bill Voorhees, Ray Hebert, and scenic artist Wendy Drenning. The set not only captures the beauty of the Victorian era but also reflects the fanciful triviality of the story, creating a backdrop that allows the actors to establish boundaries and color their world.
In conclusion, the upcoming production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” promises to be a visually stunning and emotionally engaging experience, blending classic elements with a contemporary twist. The dedication of the cast and production team ensures a memorable performance that transcends the challenges of time and brings Oscar Wilde’s timeless work to life on the stage.