Stephens theatre students are taking on a beloved play this week at Okoboji Summer Theatre in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
“The Importance of Being Earnest” debuts on Tuesday, July 23, and continues through Sunday, July 28. The Oscar Wilde classic, which debuted in 1895, is the hilarious tale of mistaken identities. Two charming men, Jack and Algernon, both assume the identity of Earnest—who doesn’t exist—in order to pursue their respective loves, who only want to marry men named Earnest.
Joanne Zipay is making her Okoboji debut as the show’s director. Zipay is founder and artistic director of the Judith Shakespeare Company, a theatre dedicated to expanding the role of women in classical theatre.
“She is an important role model for our students and brings a wealth of knowledge,” said Dan Schultz, artistic director of Okoboji. “She is an incredible resource for all of our students but especially those interested in pursing careers are directors.”
The classic play also features guest actor Patrick Egan, a former actor and instructor at Stephens who last appeared at Okoboji in the late 1970s. John Watkins ’99 is also joining the cast.
Schultz expects an entertaining show for audiences, but one that will also will expose students to a production rich in dialogue and set.
“Earnest is a comedy but features some of the most beautiful, witty and complex language ever put to paper,” he said. “Working on this show exposes the students to one of the greatest plays ever written. It allows them to enhance their approach to period pieces and to learn how to work in gorgeous Victorian costumes.”
Costumes were designed by Cami Huebert, a 2012 Stephens alumna who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design. Huebert is working in the theatre’s Costume Shop after spending the early part of this summer working in the costume shop at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
Okoboji’s 56th season is winding down. Here’s a look at the remaining productions:
Find out more about Okoboji!
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Updated on July 25, 2013