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Press Releases 2008

CONTACT:  Jana Marcus, Marketing & Communications
(831) 479-5744
jamarcus [at]

March 28, 2008


Aptos, CA— Recent Gail Rich Award winner and Cabrillo theater arts faculty member, Joseph Ribeiro, will direct the spring student production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, running April 18 – May 4 in the Cabrillo Theater.

Set in Victorian England, two young men have set their eyes on two young girls, whose sole desire is to be wed to someone named Ernest.  As neither of the two men is actually named Ernest, it becomes incumbent upon them to be re-christened immediately.  However, the formidable mother of one of the girls has other plans.  Everything comes to a proper and hilarious ending as Wilde's brilliant play pokes fun at the English upper classes with light-hearted satire and dazzling humor.

Featured in the production are:  Angie Christman as Lady Bracknell, Christopher Shelton as Jack Worthing;, Kelly Willis as Gwendolyn Fairfax, Chris Carr as Algernon Moncrieff, Brian Spencer as Dr. Chasuble and Danielle Crook as Cecily Cardew.

Scenic design will be provided by Rydell Award winner Skip Epperson and costumes by Maria Crush. The production has all the makings of a lavish evening of visual splendor with hilarious repartee. For a précis of the show, please see below.

What: “The Importance of Being Earnest”

When: April 18 – May 4, 2008. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM; Sundays at 3:00 PM

Where: Cabrillo Theater, Cabrillo College 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA

Tickets: $15 general, $12 seniors, $10 Students w/activity card.

Tickets: 479-6331 or

Information: 831-479-6299

About Cabrillo College
Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers over 100 academic and career technology programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of proficiency, skills certificates, transfer to 4-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Our mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.


Précis of “The Importance of being Earnest”

Algernon, a young Londoner, pretends to have a friend named Bunbury who lives in the country and is frequently in ill health. Whenever Algernon wants to avoid an unwelcome social obligation, or just get away for the weekend, he makes an ostensible visit to his "sick friend." In this way he can feign piety and dedication, while having the perfect excuse to get out of town, avoiding his responsibilities. He calls this practice "Bunburying."

Algernon's real-life best friend lives in the country but makes frequent visits to London. This friend's name is Ernest Worthing...or so Algernon thinks. But when Ernest leaves his silver cigarette case in Algernon's rooms, Algernon finds an inscription in it: "From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack".

This forces Ernest to disclose that his own visits to the city are also examples of "Bunburying," much to Algernon's delight. In the country, "Ernest" goes by the name of Jack (which he understands to be his real name), and pretends that he has a wastrel brother named Ernest, who lives in London. When honest Jack comes to the city, he assumes the name, and behaviour, of the profligate Ernest. In the country Jack assumes a more serious attitude for the benefit of his young ward, the 18-year old heiress Cecily.

Jack himself wishes to marry Gwendolen, who is Algernon's cousin, but runs into a few problems. First, Gwendolen seems to love him only because she believes his name is Ernest, which she thinks is the most beautiful name in the world. Second, Gwendolen's mother is the terrifying Lady Bracknell. Lady Bracknell is horrified when she learns that Jack was adopted as a baby after being discovered in a handbag at a railway station. In her opinion it is absolutely below the standards of her daughter to "marry into a cloakroom and form an alliance with a parcel", as she puts it.

Meanwhile, Jack's description of Cecily has so appealed to Algernon that he resolves to meet her, in spite of Jack's firm opposition. Algernon decides to visit Jack's house in the country, in the guise of the mysterious brother "Ernest." Thus Algernon-as-Ernest is able to meet Jack's ward, Cecily, who has for some time imagined herself in love with Ernest -- Jack's non-existent, scapegrace brother. As such, Cecily is soon swept off her feet by Algernon. In parallel, however, Jack, having decided to give up his Bunburying, has announced the tragic death of his brother Ernest to Cecily's governess Miss Prism, and Prism's secret admirer the Reverend Chasuble. Thus, by the time the two "brothers" meet, one is dressed in mourning for the other.

New confusion is created by the arrival of Gwendolen, who has fled London and her mother to be with her love. When she and Cecily meet for the first time, each indignantly insists that she is the one engaged to "Ernest". Once Lady Bracknell in turn arrives, in pursuit of her daughter, she and Jack reach stalemate as she still refuses to countenance his marriage to Gwendolen, while he, in retaliation, denies his consent to the marriage of Lady Bracknell's penniless nephew Algernon to his heiress ward Cecily.

The impasse is broken, in deus ex machina fashion, by the reappearance of Miss Prism. As she and Lady Bracknell recognize each other with horror, it is revealed that, when working many years previously as a nursemaid for Lady Bracknell’s sister, Prism had inadvertently lost a baby boy in a handbag. When Jack produces the identical handbag, it becomes clear that he is Lady Bracknell's nephew and Algernon's older brother.


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