VALLEJO — Bay Area Stage Productions has gone Wilde again.
Four years ago, the Vallejo-based theater company tackled Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost.”
As 2013 draws to a close, the company is bringing “The Importance of Being Earnest” to the Fetterly Playhouse for the Arts.
The plot centers on two young men who create exciting alter egos to escape their unwanted social obligations in 1895 London. They pursue their love interests with impunity until their falsehoods finally come to light.
“I love the show,” said Jeff Lowe, of Bay Area Stage. “I love Oscar Wilde.”
Lowe is directing the show.
Peter Warden is handling the role of Algernon Moncrieff, the play’s secondary hero. It’s his first show with Bay Area Stage Productions. The show is complex and funny with all the lies being told, he said.
“The audience can follow along and can see all the crazy absurdities,” Warden said.
The Marin County resident has done scenes from the show in a college class.
Warden has little in common with his character.
“He’s the opposite of me,” he said. “He’s confident, I’m a little more timid, but it’s fun to step into the shoes of someone like that.”
Tara Dresbauch, also in her first Bay Area Stage show, is happy to be working with a script again.
“You can hardly get me to admit it, I don’t believe I’ve been part of a theatrical production since high school,” she said.
Improvisation has been a major part of her acting life as she is part of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. She’s part of the Fezziwig crew and encourages fairgoers to dance.
Dresbauch plays Cecily Cardew, who claims she’s engaged to Moncrieff. She also plays the housemaid during the Friday and Saturday shows and Cardew on Sunday. Playing the two is interesting, but not too tough, she said.
“It’s a different costume, hair and body language,” she said of the housemaid role. It’s also fewer lines. The housemaid has none.
A fan of witty comedy, and in particular British humor, Dresbauch knew she wanted a role in the show. She is excited to play Cardew, although she said the character bears little resemblance to her.
“I understand some of the burden she had growing up in a country with strict moral characters,” Dresbauch said.
Creating a concrete romance in her mind, as her character does, is something Dresbauch doesn’t think she could do.
Chad Clevenger plays Earnest.
“The whole play is full of contradictions,” he said. “It’s a good escape and reality check. It has a lot of power to it.”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.