- Carroll University launched a Summer Repertory Series with a
pair of delightful plays, one by the mysterious playwright who
hides behind the pen name of Jane Martin, and the other by the
famous Oscar Wilde.
in Show Business” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”
are being presented for two more weekends at the Otteson
Theatre on Carroll’s campus. They are both deserving of a
gives us the inside story on the theater business - the
motives of actors and directors, the cost of production, the
reliance on grants or sponsors, the unappreciative audiences,
the caustic critics, the precariousness of trying to make a
living in this business, and on and on it goes. There’s
enough humor to go around, but there are also poignant
moments, especially in the final scene of Chekhov’s “The
Three Sisters” and the monolog at the end as one of the
actors speaks to the audience. Laura Gray, Ami Majeskie and
Carly Sauer are very convincing in their roles as the three
chosen actors. Abbi Hess and Sara Lessmann are also impressive
as they switch from one role to another. All the male roles
are played by women.
Jennifer Dobby directed the shows, and Laura Gray, one of the
actors, is also on staff, but all other production jobs were
handled by students. This show should be offered more often.
It’s a winner.
Importance of Being Earnest” is the second play in this
summer series. Oscar Wilde’s most popular play has been
produced to death, but somehow it continues to attract
contemporary audiences. This comedy is a challenge for amateur
actors because it requires a British accent, subtle wit, good
pacing, and like all comedies of manners, it is more about
talk than action, so that talk better keep us listening.
with his satiric sword takes swipes at marriage, aristocratic
society, hypocrisy and the ineffectiveness of education; also
the pettiness and self-indulgence of many of the characters
who represent the imperfections of
humankind. All of the characters are very distinctive,
even the butlers and the wimpy minister.
in the cast are Gray as the inimitable Lady Bracknell in all
her intimidating splendor, Ryan Albrechtson as the bumbling
but lovable Jack Worthing, and the two enticing ingˇnues,
Gwendolyn and Cecily, spicily rendered by Katelynne Rosera and
Alexis Furseth, respectively. Their sparring scene is
priceless. Taylor Burzynski as the dual butlers also gets his
share of laughs in his cameo roles.
was a bit hard to hear Sam Sherman’s Algernon at times, but
he certainly looked the part. Bryan LaPaz as the Rev. Chasuble
also needs a bit more volume. Aubrey Kolbeck as Miss Prism
took advantage of her embarrassing revelation scene nicely.
in all, it is a worthy production of this timeless classic.
whole effort expended in this repertory series is admirable. I
hope it’s the beginning of a long tradition of quality