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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Presenting… “The Importance of Being Earnest”

After 20 years, “The Importance of Being Earnest” took the LOHS stage again. (The Grizzly Gazette)

“…It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth.”
The above line is sourced from the fantastic comedy, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, written by Oscar Wilde.

LOHS Alumni Mary Bell-Nagy, and a cast member of the original production, directed the recent production to honor the 20 year celebration. (Mary Bell-Nagy)

Through a spinning tale of deception and jaw-dropping plot twists, The LOHS Drama Department had the absolute pleasure of producing the playful sitcom.
The show was performed on Osos’ stage on February 29 and March 1 and 2, with an added preview performance on February 28.

Throughout the entire rehearsal process and combination of four shows, the cast of “Earnest” had so much fun, it was an experience filled with laughs and beautiful euphoria.
The dramatic comedy is set in the Victorian Era of England in 1895. Two friends, John Worthing, and Algernon Moncrieff, both take on the imagined identity of Ernest Worthing. John, better known as Jack, uses the identity in London when meeting with Algernon, and Algernon, nicknamed Algy, uses the same character when visiting the Manor House of Jack.
At Jack’s Manor House, Algernon meets Cecily and the two fall in love. In London, Gwendolen, the daughter of aristocrat Lady Bracknell and cousin of Algy, and Jack fall in love. By the end of the show, the two couples are engaged to be married.
As expected, the LOHS Drama Department was able to pull off a show-stopping success, enticing audiences with tears of joy and bellies aching with laughter.

Directed by Merry Bell-Nagy, who is a Volunteer and dear friend of Randall Shorts, her wonderful vision and perfect direction crafted the show into a paragon of success. Bell-Nagy comes to direct at LOHS once a year.
During the rehearsal process, I was able to interview the cast on their experiences with the show.

Senior Sara Buck was the Assistant Director for this show, working alongside Mrs. Merry, the director, ready to help the cast. “It’s tedious, but it’s fun,” said Buck, when asked about the rehearsal process for this production. In the past, Buck has performed for the Drama Department and is in Shorts’ Theatre Tech Class.
Senior Xander Shorts played Jack Worthing in the show, and said, “My favorite part of the process is getting to the end. It’s stressful, but it’s fulfilling watching it come together.” Shorts is also in the Theatre Tech Class, and when not performing, he does everything in technical theatre. He runs sound, finds/makes props, and has been on Stage Crew, to name a few of his jobs.

“I’m excited. I’m scared, definitely, but I’m excited to see how it’s [the show] going to play out,” said Sophomore Giuseppe Galioto, when asked how excited he was for the run. He played Algernon Moncrieff, who is one of the leads in the comedy. This is Galioto’s second show with the Drama Department.

LOHS Theatre Tech is renowned for the skills they acquire in class that can be applicable in careers upon graduating. (Scarlet Vandegrift)

“My favorite part is near the end… We can be on the set and watch the story come alive… It makes it feel real,” said Senior Bunni Fortson, who played Gwendolen Fairfax. Fortson is also in Theatre Tech, and when not performing, she enjoys helping with props for the show.
Junior Sara Hall, who played Cecily Cardew, said her favorite part was “messing around when Miss Merry’s not looking.” Her comment is always true for any cast and speaks volumes to the heart-warming environment of the Drama Department. Hall has performed in many productions on the LOHS Stage.

Junior Lauren Washington, who played Lady Bracknell, said, “My favorite part is getting to develop your character when adding traits and beats to your lines. I also really love the costumes.” Washington has performed previously with the Drama Department.

Washington’s love for the costumes is not lost on the rest of the Department, and most costumes for the Drama Department productions are owned by LOHS, but some are provided by Liz Shorts and Lori Briscoe. Every costume is fine-tuned to the era of the show, creating a plausible air of authenticity.

“My favorite part… is getting to express my creativity with other people and collaborate on my acting choices,” said Junior Jenna Qasqas. She played Miss Prism in the show. The best part of theatre for many people is the ability to interact with other theatre lovers and professionals. Building a character is essential to the rehearsal process, which is always fun when working with others.

“It was fun, it was a little bit stressful. All the people here are super nice and welcoming… we have fun, it was just an overall great process,” said Junior Connor Hanson.

The theatre foyer celebrated 20 years of LOHS performing arts, which included the original costumes from the first performance of “The Importance of Being Earnest”.

He played Reverend Canon Chasuble in the production and speaks much candor to the kindness of the Drama Department. No matter how young one is in theatre, everyone can find a welcoming environment in the department.

Freshman Kaitlyn Cox, who played Lane, said, “My favorite part of the process is how the week progresses. The people become more and more invested in their character and the set comes alive.” Cox made her LOHS Debut in this production, starting her high school theatre career of hopefully many other LOHS performances.

Senior Johnny Fisher, who was the Stage Manager, said, “My main job during the show is to communicate cues and to keep the show on track.” He also gave show operations, fixed props during or before the show, and talked to the people running the Light and Sound/Video boards.
Fisher is a part of an amazing creative team, also known as Theatre Tech.

The set, an elegant masterpiece that comprised Alegernon’s City Flat, John’s Garden, and John’s Manor House in the country, was perfect for the story told by the cast.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” was a whimsical and hilarious comedy, toned perfectly to the historical period of the Victorian Era. Once again, the LOHS Drama Department has pulled off a wondrous sensation, bringing Oscar Wilde’s dynamic and priceless characters.

The principal characters–Senior Xander Shorts, Senior Bunni Fortson, Junior Sara Hall, and Sophomore Giuseppe Galioto–grace the stage and set the audience in stitches at the antics of their performance. (The Grizzly Gazette)
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