Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest at Two River Theater


Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2017/18 Season with Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Michael Cumpsty. Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, November 11 and continue through Sunday, December 3. The opening night performance is Friday, November 17 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The production sponsors are Monmouth University, US Trust, and VNA Health Group.

The cast of The Importance of Being Earnest includes Randy Danson (Lady Bracknell), Rosa Gilmore (Gwendolen Fairfax), Mahira Kakkar (Miss Prism), Chris Kipiniak (Rev. Canon Chasuble), Sam Lilja (Algernon Moncrieff), Bob Mackasek (Merriman), Federico Rodriguez (John Worthing), Henry Vick (Lane), and Liesel Allen Yeager (Cecily Cardew).

The creative team includes scenic designer Charlie Corcoran, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Yuki Nakase, sound designer Elisheba Ittoop, and wigs designer Leah J. Loukas. The casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Rick Steiger.

“The truth is rarely pure, and almost never simple.” Societal hypocrisies are put on blast, invented identities create confusion, and dazzling bon mots and plot twists keep the audience on their toes in Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners, appearances, lies, and love.

““The Importance of Being Earnest is a deliciously subversive play that brilliantly skewers the pretensions of British Victorian society. Or any ‘society,’ for that matter,” says Artistic Director John Dias. “The play, which premiered in 1895, is considered Wilde’s theatrical masterpiece; it bursts with fabulous wit and humor. And at its heart there’s a story of romantic yearning for love and connection in a world where what’s true—and earnest—is all but forbidden.”

Ticket Information 

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River 

Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve seats, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.

Open Rehearsal

Tuesday, October 24 at 7pm in the Rechnitz Theater 

Audiences are invited to join Two River Theater to watch an open rehearsal in the Rechnitz Theater with director Michael Cumpsty and members of the cast as they work on select scenes from the play. The rehearsal will include a short Q&A session, and will be followed by dessert and coffee in the lobby. To reserve a free ticket, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.


Oscar Wilde 101 with Literary Manager Anika Chapin 

Wednesday, November 8 at 7pm in the Marion Huber Theater 

Some of the wittiest lines and some of the funniest plays ever written in English are the work of Oscar Wilde. Artistic Director Anika Chapin will discuss Oscar Wilde, his work, and his world in this free lecture. To reserve a free ticket, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.


“Please Pass the Manners” Dining Etiquette Class

Monday, November 20 from 7-9pm in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library

Prepare for both The Importance of Being Earnest and the upcoming holiday season by brushing up on your manners. Join Two River for a ‘wilde’ evening that includes a cocktail reception with light fare and an hour-long dining etiquette class given by Tatia Adams Fox, the founder of the New School of Etiquette. Event cost: $25 per person. To purchase a ticket, interested patrons should call732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org.


Nosotros: Spanish-language reading of The Importance of Being Earnest 
Monday, November 27 at 7pm in the Marion Huber Theater

Two River Theater will present a Spanish-language reading of The Importance of Being Earnest, open to both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking audiences. For more information or to reserve a free ticket, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit www.tworivertheater.org


Audience Extras 

Before Play and Lobby Display 

Audiences will learn about Oscar Wilde and The Importance of Being Earnest in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations

Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, November 22 at 1pm; Sunday, November 26 at 3pm; and Wednesday, November 29 at 7pm.



Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, November 29 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, December 2 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.



Saturday, November 11 at 8pm

Sunday, November 12 at 3pm

Wednesday, November 15 at 1 pm and 7pm

Thursday, November 16 at 8pm

Friday, November 17 at 7pm (Opening Night)

Saturday, November 18 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, November 19 at 3pm

Tuesday, November 21 at 10am (student matinee)

Wednesday, November 22 at 1pm and 7pm

Friday, November 24 at 3pm and 8pm

Saturday, November 25 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, November 26 at 3pm

Tuesday, November 28 at 10am (student matinee)

Wednesday, November 29 at 1pm and 7pm

Thursday, November 30 at 10 am (student matinee) and 8pm

Friday, December 1 at 8pm

Saturday, December 2 at 3pm and 8pm

Sunday, December 3 at 3pm



The lead production sponsor for The Importance of Being Earnest is Monmouth University. Production Sponsors also include US Trust and VNA Health Group. Inside Two River is sponsored by The William T. Morris Foundation.

Two River Theater is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Monmouth University, The Shubert Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Riverview Medical Center, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation,  The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at the Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Jorgensen Foundation, US Trust, Wells Fargo, William T. Morris Foundation, Kessler Foundation,  Investors Foundation, The John Ben Snow Foundation, VNA Health Group, Brookdale Community College, and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.