Director Stephen Wrentmore brings one of Oscar Wilde's most beloved comedic plays, The Importance of Being Earnest, to Phoenix's Herberger Theater Center starting Thursday, October 10, as the season's opener. Judging from Tucson audiences' reception, it's sure to be a hysterical show.
Although the Arizona Theatre Company director is a longtime Wilde fan and has directed more than 50 different productions around the world in his career, this is the Cambridge Univeristy grad's first time directing a Wilde play. His production, set in a not-quite realistic Victorian England, features Anneliese van der Pol of That's So Raven fame as Gwendolen Fairfax and Tucson native Mike Lawler as Doctor Chasuble. Wrentmore spoke to Jackalope Ranch about what his version does differently than others, preparing his actors for Wilde's British subtleties, and the importance of theater for everyone.