Category: 2012-13 Season

The Importance of Being Earnest

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Press Release
August 21, 2012

The Belleville Theatre Guild - 256 Pinnacle Street, Belleville
(613) 967-1442

Cast Members: (Left to Right), The Importance of Being Earnest: Mike Wilcox, Timothy Fransky, Mike Leeming

The Importance of Being Earnest

Belleville: The Belleville Theatre Guild’s 61st season opens on October 11th with The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

When director Dave Henderson was asked why he chose this script, he said, “I reread the play at the time we were looking to remount shows for the 60th season, and was reminded how much I liked it. I remember seeing it at Stratford a number of years ago and laughing so hard at some of the lines that my niece, who was sitting beside me, had to shush me”.

The play is Wilde’s most famous and most successful. It is extremely witty, with many of the lines containing subtle, or not-so-subtle, double meanings. The plot is outrageously implausible, but you can’t help but enjoy the way the characters spin it out with their cutting and insightful comments on romance, marriage, society, and manners.

Henderson has chosen Judy Bridle to work beside him as his Stage Manager and Debra Tosh to be his Producer. Auditions were held in June and the cast is fantastic. It includes Timothy Fransky, Mike Leeming, Sonya Zaback, Bill Petch, Jaime-Kristal Lott , Steve Forrester, Moira Nikander-Forrester, Mike Wilcox and Dr. Ian Feltham.

Henderson said, “I also don't mind going for shameless humour and publicity by putting a man in a dress, with Bill Petch in the classic role of Lady Bracknell”. Petch is performing beautifully in his first female role. It is hilarious to watch him.

In non-speaking roles are Nancy Garrod, Jon Lattone and Kodie Trahan-Guay. Watch for them as they deliver fine and intriguing performances as they change the set and props.

Oscar Wilde is a fascinating individual. He depended on society for his fame, but was not shy about pointing out its vanities and hypocrisies because they were his own. Earnest was his greatest success, and yet it proved to be the catalyst for his downfall.

This seemingly frivolous play, which is subtitled A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, has a much darker side. Its critique of Victorian society—though delivered in a velvet glove—is every inch a clunking-iron fist.

Wilde was the subject of a libel trial and was sent to prison for being a homosexual. That caused the play, despite its success, to be closed after just 86 performances. After his release, he published the play from exile in Paris, but he wrote no further comic or dramatic work.

Enjoy a free scene of this comedy of manners at the Guild’s annual Open House on Thursday September 20 which starts at 7 pm. The entire evening is free and it is always a lot of fun. The BTG is again offering our 5 plays for $75 and it will be a great opportunity to catch an entertaining glimpse into what is coming.

Auditions are lined up for the rest of the season, with the next set being on Sunday and Monday September 23rd and 24th for Sea Marks by Gardiner MacKay. Director Knowlton Hunter is looking for two middle aged people, one man and one woman.

Visit the BTG web site at to find more about our upcoming productions. Come to the open house, sign up to help out, get involved, learn a new skill and meet dozens of new friends.

And don’t miss The Importance of Being Earnest, October 11–27. Tickets are $18.00 and we offer thirteen performances including two Sunday matinées. Contact us through or call the box office at 613-967-1442 to order your tickets, or order on-line by clicking the link below.

The Belleville Theatre Guild offers elevator service right in to the theatre, a barrier-free washroom and room in the front row for wheel chairs and other mobility devices. See you at the Pinnacle Playhouse!

The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

Submitted by
Debra Tosh