Nov 19 - 22 2020
Austin Shakespeare presents The Importance of Bein...

Austin Shakespeare presents The Importance of Bein...

Presented by Austin Shakespeare and City of Austin Cultural Arts Division at Online/Virtual Space

Austin Shakespeare will bring Oscar Wilde’s hilarious comedy The Importance of Being Earnest to online audiences at 7:30 p.m. on four evenings, Nov. 19 to 22. Suggested minimum donations of $10 for adults and $5 for children, will be accepted at

“Even today, we find that Oscar Wilde is the master of wit. From the first moments of the play to the final revelation, his characters make me smile. Earnest is his masterpiece of comic situations,” said Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella. “And having Fran Dorn return to Austin Shakespeare as Lady Bracknell brings a whole level of joy to our experience.

Set in the late 19th century, The Importance of Being Earnest skewers social manners with hilarious satire through the story of two friends, Jack and Algernon, who are both courting young women under false identities. The story ranges from Jack’s country estate to Algernon’s London townhouse, with Algernon’s formidable aunt, Lady Bracknell embodying the staid traditions of the British upper class and delivering some of the play’s most oft-quoted quips.

The diverse professional cast in this play, subtitled “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,” features some of Austin’s finest actors. Equity actor Franchelle Stewart Dorn, as the indomitable Lady Bracknell, has appeared with Austin Shakespeare as Medea and Cleopatra; Dorn spent much of her career as a leading player in the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington D.C. Joining Dorn will be her daughter, professional actress Amani, who was raised in Austin. Filming in Atlanta, Amani will portray Lady Bracknell’s daughter Gwendolen Fairfax in what will be her first play with her mother. Previously seen in Austin Shakespeare productions including As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Odyssey, Matthew Graham Wagner will portray Jack Worthing. Tamil Periasamy will join online from Atlanta to play Jack’s charming friend Algernon Moncrieff; Periasamy enchanted Austin Shakespeare audiences in Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink at the Long Center’s Rollins Theatre. Austin Shakespeare alumni Toby Minor will play Merriman, the butler; Michelle Jackson will portray Miss Prism and Robert Deike is Rev. Chasuble. New to the company is University of Texas at Austin senior and frequent film actor, Khali Sykes, as the clever country girl, Cecily Cardew.

Costumes, designed by Aaron Kubacak, will be set in the Edwardian period in frilly and frothy colors including delightful hats. Lowell Bartholomee will return to Austin Shakespeare’s online set design with elegant virtual backgrounds from the striped wallpaper of Algernon’s townhouse to the flowered gardens of the house in the country.

Admission Info

Suggested minimum donations of $10 for adults and $5 for children, will be accepted at


Dates & Times

2020/11/19 - 2020/11/22

Location Info

Online/Virtual Space