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Thinking Cap Theatre at The Vanguard
Oscar Wilde’sEarnest-poster---web
November 20 – December 13

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

October 28, 2015
LAUDERDALE, FL: Dust off your disco shoes and get ready to have fun with puns. Thinking Cap Theatre will put its own unique spin on one of the theatre’s most beloved classics when it presents Oscar Wilde’s bristling comedy The Importance of Being Earnest at the Vanguard Sanctuary for the Arts from November 20th through December 13th.

Director Nicole Stodard has set the play in December 1978 – in disco-era New York City. The show promises to be punny, prurient, and pointed, informed by both 1970’s pop culture and social issues.

“In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

First performed on February 14th, 1895 at the St James’s Theatre in London – the height of the Victorian era – the farcical comedy, in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae to escape burdensome social obligations, has proven to be one of Wilde’s most popular and enduring pieces. The Importance of Being Earnest was celebrated for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot and its scintillating dialogue. Yet the play also contains a critique of relationship conventions, social mores, and gender roles that still resonate today.

Stodard has assembled an award-winning cast to bring Wilde’s characters to life:
Carbonell Award-winners Karen Stephens and Clay Cartland will be joined by Elizabeth Price, Carey Hart, Noah Levine, Jim Gibbons, Johnnie, Bowls, and Emma Magner.

Nicole Stodard

Nicole Stodard

“For me, Earnest was love at first read,” says Stodard. “Wilde’s wit is, in my opinion, unrivaled. And yet, depending on the staging, the play can sometimes feel dated, so I always knew that I wanted to stage the play closer to our own moment. The class, gender, racial, and sexual politics of the late 1970’s make for a rich and poignant backdrop for revisiting and re-imagining Wilde’s comedy. The 1970’s were an incredibly hedonistic and liberated decade, a drag culture was emerging in downtown NYC, and discos, most notably Studio 54, were the sites of divine apparel, playfulness, and pleasure. However, feminism experienced a splintering, gay marriage was still decades from society’s grasps, AIDS was on its way to becoming an epidemic, and anti-gay and racial violence still occurred routinely—not the least of which was the November 1978 murder of openly gay politician, Harvey Milk.”

Karen Stephens

Karen Stephens

I’m so thrilled to play a role I wouldn’t normally get to play,” says actress Karen Stephens, who will play Lady Bracknell in the production “And the opportunity to bring this character – who is normally played by a male – to life in the retro world that will be created by director, Nicole Stodard is so exciting.”

“I am so excited to FINALLY work with Nicole Stodard and Thinking Cap Theatre, not to mention this stellar cast!” says Clay Cartland, who won the 2014 Carbonell Best Actor, Musical, Award for his work in The Trouble With Doug.

Clay Cartland

Clay Cartland

“Take everything you thought you knew about Oscar Wilde and this show in general,” he continues. “Then imagine Oscar Wilde and Donna Summer conceived a child while watching Saturday Night Fever…and then buy your tickets!

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Tickets for The Importance of Being Earnest are $35 ($20 for students with ID) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling 813-220-1546 or on line at www.thinkingcaptheatre.com.

The Vanguard Sanctuary for the Arts is located at 1501 S. Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, 33301.  There is free street parking surrounding the building and a metered municipal lot just south of The Vanguard on Andrews Ave.

For more information about Thinking Cap Theatre at the Vanguard visit www.thinkingcaptheatre.com. or contact Nicole Stodard at nicole@thinkingcaptheatre.com / 813-220-1546 or Carol Kassie at ckassie@gmail.com /561-445-9244.

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
By Oscar Wilde
November 20 – December 13, 2015
Tickets: $35 ($37.22 with s/c)
For Tickets: 813-220-1546
On Line:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2304016
Performance Schedule:
Friday, November 20, 2015, 8pm (Opening Night)
Saturday, November 21st, 8pm
Sunday, November 22nd, 5pm
Friday, November 27th, 8pm
Saturday, November 28th, 8pm
Sunday, November 29th, 5pm
Thursday, December 3rd, 8pm
Friday, December 4th, 8pm
Saturday, December 5th, 8pm
Sunday, December 6th, 5pm
Thursday, December 10, 8pm
Friday, December 11, 8pm
Saturday, December 12, 8pm
Sunday, December 13, 5pm
Please note – there will be no performance on Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day

The Vanguard
1501 S. Andrews Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
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“How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.”
“Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly.
It is the only way to eat them.”
“I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances.”
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest


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