R. A. Long High School Class of 1963

Senior Play -- Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest

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In November 1962 the R. A. Long senior class presented Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

Here's the writeup in our local newspaper:

R. A. Long Play Billed Saturday

John McClelland, R. A. Long High School senior, will play the lead role of Earnest in Oscar Wilde's play "The Importance of Being Earnest," to be presented in the R. A. Long auditorium on Saturday at 8 p.m.

This witty satire is an excellent example of the stylized theatre of the gay '90s. In no other play has Oscar Wilde shown a more masterly technique and a finer sensibility to human relationships.

In this play, Wilde pokes fun at the rigid etiquette of the late Victorian era. His characters seem almost mannequin-like in their actions. While men of the upper class lived for pleasure alone, the women were constantly aware of their social position.

The cast of characters include Mike Tobiason who portrays Algernon Moncrieff, a young dandy who is breezy and bouncy in appearances. John McClelland as Jack Worthing represents a gentleman who dresses and acts a little more conservative than Algernon. Linda Gail Fulford will be Lady Bracknell, Algernon’s strong-willed overbearing aunt. Gwendolyn Fairfax, portrayed by Joan Hinshaw, is Lady Bracknell's daughter who is self-confident and very well-possessed.

Carole Rubert is Cecily Cardew, a sweet country girls who is younger than Gwendolyn but is just as self-confident, and is Jack Worthing's ward. Miss Prism, a middle-aged woman and Cecily's governess, will be acted by Linda Sisson. Stan Gerity is the Reverend Canon Chasuble, a proud leisure-loving country rector who is enamored of Miss Prism. Dennis Mansker portrays Lane, a manservant, Algernon's gentleman's "gentleman." George Barker will be Merriman, a butler at Jack Worthington’s country home.

Jack Worthing, who lives in the country, pretends to have a younger brother named Ernest. Jack, using the wild escapades of the fictitious Ernest as his excuse, is able to come to London often.

In London, Jack immediately becomes Ernest Worthing. Algernon Moncrieff pretends to have an invalid friend named Bumbury whose attacks call Algernon to the country whenever there is a dull social function.

Gwendolyn falls in love with Ernest (Jack) in London and agrees to marry him. Meanwhile Cecily agrees to marry Ernest (Algernon).

Who is engaged to Ernest? How the resulting complicated situation ends can best be revealed during the performance of the play.

Source: Longview Daily News, Friday November 16, 1962