Importance of Being Earnest, The (2010) Production Files

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Identifier: EARNEST2010
Inclusive Dates: 2010 - 2011
Production Files documenting the 2010 production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest at the American Airlines Theatre. The show had previously been presented at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where it was met with much critical acclaim. Directed by Brian Bedford (who also starred in the production), with set and costume design by Desmond Heeley, lighting design by Duane Schuler, sound design by Drew Levy, original music by Berthold Carriére, and hair and wig design by Paul Huntley.

As mentioned before, the production starred director Brian Bedford as Lady Bracknell, with Paxton Whitehead as Reverend Canon Chasuble (later played by Brian Murray), Paul O'Brien as Lane, Santino Fontana as Algernon Moncrieff, David Furr as John Worthing, Sara Topham as Gwendolen Fairfax (later played by Jessie Austrian), Charlotte Parry as Cecily Cardew, Dana Ivey as Miss Prism (later played by Jayne Houdyshell), Tim MacDonald as Merriman, and Amanda Leigh Cobb as Servant. Sean Arbuckle, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Colin McPhillamy, Paul O'Brien and Sandra Shipley acted as understudies.

2011 Awards and Nominations:
Tony Award, Best Revival of a Play (nominee)
Tony Award, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Brian Bedford (nominee)
Tony Award, Best Costume Design of a Play, Desmond Heeley (winner)
Drama Desk, Outstanding Revival of a Play (nominee)
Drama Desk, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Brian Bedford (winner)
Drama Desk, Outstanding Costume Design, Desmond Heeley (winner)
The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed at the St. James Theatre in London in February 1895.  It is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play. [Wikipedia]
Production Files span three Hollinger boxes consisting of 19 folders (including 4 folders with information from the Stratford production), two Playbills (one signed by the cast), a handful of marketing flyers, and cds with digital media and sound files on them.

Digital holdings on the Archive 1 server include the following folders:
Costume Photographs (Archive-produced jpegs of the costume pieces held in the collection)
Education (Upstage study guide and transcript of a lecture)
Marketing Audience Services (On sale ticket and extension memos in pdf format)
Media (B-roll, other video clips of performances and trailers, audio files of an interview with Brian Bedford, photographs from HipTix, Wine Series and other special events)
Opening Night (189 jpeg files)
Playbill (21 jpeg scans)
Press (Archive-scanned selects)
Production Photographs (Captioned selects and all 660 original jpegs)
Props Images (Archive-produced photos of items in the collection, plus rehearsal room and backstage photographs provided by Bobby Dowling; these include some of the only documentation of the furniture set designer Desmond Heeley painted himself and the chandelier constructed entirely of clear plastic utensils.)
Show Art
Stratford Design Renderings (Scans of all design elements in Stratford Rental Box 3)

There are related collections of marketing materials on the Marketing shelves.  Contracts and other confidential documents have been removed to the Contracts cabinets, and access is restricted.
Access Restrictions: Open and available to approved researchers by appointment only. See folder details for specific restrictions.
Preferred Citation: The Importance of Being Earnest 2010, Roundabout Theatre Company Archive
This box contains the following folders:
Artistic Management
Stage Management Bible
Set Design and Props
Lighting Design
Costume Design
Director Notes
Blocking Script
Education and Research
House Seats
Awards and Tony Voters
This box contains the following folders:
Casting Sessions (3 sub folders)
House Reports (2 sub folders)
Performance Logs
Opening Night
This box contains the following folders:
Rental Agreement and Customs Declarations
Drawings and Drafting