Interviews

The Importance of Being Earnest Director Stephen Wrentmore on Adapting Oscar Wilde

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How did you get into the theater and directing world? I sort of did what I think lots of kids do -- when I saw theatre, I saw actors so I thought that was what I'm going to be, until I realized that I was a terrible actor. At university, I kind of started directing and then I went on to do a masters in directing at a grad school in London and before I even graduated I got my first directing job and I've been doing it ever since.

What other projects have you directed? I usually try do new plays or classics... I usually don't get to do comedies because once you start doing things like MacBeth or Hamlet, those are the plays that you tend to get offered. One of the joys of having a job within a theatre company, you get directing opportunities in a lot of different ways. It's been a real pleasure to get to come and direct a comedy. It's the first time I've done it in a number of years.

Who's your favorite playwright? Howard Barker.

What did you want to focus on in bringing this classic Oscar Wilde play to the stage? I wanted to get the sense of playfulness, I wanted to get the celebration of language and I wanted to make sure that what happens when you experience Oscar Wilde, particularly when I'm working with American actors, is getting the technicalities of the accent.

How has it been received in Tucson so far? The audiences are loving it. There's a huge sense of affection from them... Basically ongoing laughter and standing ovations. We've got huge special effects in the second half that's getting a round of applause every night, which is really reassuring.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch