Program, The Importance of Being Earnest, 04/25/1924

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CreatorArden Club of Southern Methodist University
Club Year1923-1924
Playwright Wilde, Oscar;
Play The Importance of Being Earnest;
People Involved Hall, Bryan; Hamilton, Horace; Calhoun, Edwin; Holloway, Tom; Graham, Purcell; Renshaw, Edyth; Maughon, Leta; Russell, Hattie Mae; Overstreet, Hallie;
Organizations Involved Arden Club;

McCord Theatre Museum


The Arden Club


Southern Methodist University



Importance of Being


By Oscar Wilde

Arden Hall—April 25, 1925— 8 p. m.

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John Worthing — Bryan Hall

Algernon Moncrieff — Horace Hamilton

Rev. Canon Chasuble — Edwin Calhoun

Merriman, Butler to Mr. Worthing — Thomas Holloway

Lane, Mr. Moncrieff’s manservant — Purcell Graham

Gwendolyn Fairfax — Edythe Renshaw

Lady Bracknell — Leta Moughon

Cecily Cardew — Hattie Mae Russell

Miss Prism — Hallie Overstreet


Synopsis of Scenes


Act I — Mr. Moncrieff’s Apartment

Act II — The Home of Mr. Worthing, the next day

Act III — The same, later the same day


The Importance of Being Earnest, authored by Irishman Oscar Wilde near the turn of the twentieth century, is widely considered Wilde’s most impactful and best work. Set in the countryside, the play’s protagonists lead double lives, often taking extreme measures to keep their secrets. As such, The Importance of Being Earnest is a described as a play where “the conventional elements of farce are transformed into satiric epigrams—seemingly trivial but mercilessly exposing Victorian hypocrisies” (Oscar). It targets the rigid social strata present in Victorian Britain and its effects on marriage. The irony of Wilde’s central theme persists in both his works and his personal life. He often highlights the “exposure of a secret sin or indiscretion and consequent disgrace [as] a central [theme]” (Oscar). Wilde himself was arrested for accusations of being a sodomite, and was subsequently convicted. After receiving and serving a sentence requiring two years of hard labor, Wilde moved to France, where he produced only one new work, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol [which] reveal[ed] his concern for inhumane prison conditions” (b1). His final work remained consistent with his pattern for highlighting social and structural ineptitudes, but Wilde passed in late 1900 having written very few, but very influential, pieces of literature.

“Oscar Wilde.” Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 20 Dec.

  1.  Accessed 1 Apr. 2019.