“The Importance of Being Earnest” is a Memorable Performance

“The Importance of Being Earnest” was a change for the KHS Drama Club; rather than the modern act of “subText” performed last year, or the well known “Little Women,” “The Importance of Being Earnest” is a work relatively unknown by students, and also set in the Victorian Age. It was performed November 15 through 17 and directed by David Springstead and Student Director Doriana Torres.


Within the director’s notes, Director David Springstead spoke of wanting a “classic piece but not Shakespeare,” pointing out the importance of listening to the dialogue, as it shapes the comedy. And while watching this, the dialogue was a focal point, as many of the jokes slide through conversations and help to build the comedic deception that the plot is based upon. 


“The Importance of Being Earnest” was well performed, with no stumbles on dialogue, and conversation and exclamations flowing fluently and naturally. Returning actors shifted smoothly into their roles, and comfortability on the stage lent itself to a memorable performance. 


There were also new faces on stage, as the Drama Club had many of its actors graduate, but the club experienced an outpouring of students coming forward to fill their places. 


Sydney Haulenbeek
Algernon Moncrieff, played by Chavito Allen, as he tells Lady Bracknell, played by Sarah “Liz” Bailey, seated on the left, of his engagement to Cecily Cardew, in red, played by Natasha Santana. Gwendolyn Fairfax, played by Brianna Jones, accompanies the conversation.

“We have a lot of new coming theater kids, so we mainly have a whole new generation of theater kids,” said Sarah “Liz” Bailey, junior and president of the Drama Club. “It’s really cool because we only have four or five current seniors, so it’s interesting because we’re now getting to start all new traditions and with our new sponsor, Mr. Springstead, getting to start training a whole new group of kids to bring on the club.”


The antique role Bailey played, Lady Bracknell, was new for her despite her involvement in drama productions throughout her high school years.


“I thought it was really bold, and I was really excited about it because it was something I hadn’t gotten to portray before, being that she was so aggressive towards others, and being that she was so out there,” Bailey said. “I was really excited for that.”


Both she and Chavito Allen, who played Algernon Moncrieff, felt that the time period also played into memorizing lines. 


“It was hard because it was set in the Victorian Era, and a lot of the slang that they have is very different from what we have right now,” said Allen. “Especially [the] different phrases, [and] how different people would react to those phrases… I know there’s a part where I say “Dear me” to Gwendolyn. That basically means “You look good today.” And then you have to go on with the whole dialogue … when you say someone looks good do you mean they’re smart? Is it in an intimate way? Is it an “Oh, well, she looks very nice today?” Or is it a family-to-family “Oh, you look very nice?” All those things determine how I will say the line. And that really applied to all of the lines.”


I don’t believe in leads. I believe in a whole bunch of characters on a stage. They all have a part to play.”

— Chavito Allen

Despite the extra effort, both actors were pleased with their roles and the challenges that came along with them. 


“…Any role is every role, down to the tech, down to the sub-characters… we all play a part,” said Allen, who played a pivotal character in the production. “I don’t believe in leads. I believe in a whole bunch of characters on a stage. They all have a part to play.”


For the Drama Club, what productions to come are still a question, but Bailey believes they’ll continue working on expanding their horizons.   


“I think we’re going to work on doing different things based on who is involved in theater,” said Bailey, “so we can work on different strengths, and work on challenging people as actors so that they can progress and become better as actors.”