Theatre UCF is producing two comedies this summer to be performed on the University’s Main Stage. Oscar Wilde’s classic “The Importance of Being Earnest” opens June 25 and the musical “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” by John R. Powers, James Quinn, and Alaric Jans opens on June 26. The two shows run through July 19.
“The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,” is a quick-witted satire on Victorian manners. Jack and Algernon, two bachelor friends, court two young ladies by leading double lives, under the watchful eye of an intimidating and opinionated Lady Bracknell.
“Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” is directed by Earl D. Weaver, who is also the artistic director for Theatre UCF. The musical chronicles a group of elementary school kids as they progress through Catholic school, and eventually meet up at their 10-year reunion.
“Black Patent Leather Shoes is a charming musical about children growing up Catholic and learning how to deal with the many stages of adolescence and the world around them. It is a good complement to [The Importance of Being] Earnest because most of our student actors this summer are performing in both shows,” said Weaver.
“These two plays require actors to maneuver through two plays that deal differently with language, time periods, clothing, and cultural/historical contexts. It allows the students a chance to tackle a “period play” and a “contemporary musical” at the same time. It also helps support the department’s mission to expose our performing arts students to different genres of theatre during their time at UCF.”
Performing the two shows in repertory is an important experience for theatre students to have, because many theatres operate in the fashion, particularly during the summer.
Theatre student David Klein is one of the students who was cast in both shows. He performs the role of Lane, the butler, in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and has the lead role of Eddie Ryan in the musical.
“The hardest thing about being in both shows is the amount of hours we work. We are in rehearsals for about 11 hours a day so it can get a bit tiresome when we get towards the end, especially since both of these shows are high energy,” Klein said.
“I really enjoy the company of everyone involved with the shows. We’ve become a close group of friends in a few short weeks and that makes the long days worth it.”
Patrons should be aware of a few changes, starting with the June performances. In response to feedback from patrons, showtime for summer evening performances will be 7 p.m.. Start times will revert back to 8 p.m. in August, once the regular academic calendar resumes.
Also starting this summer, Theatre UCF is instituting a new ticket price of $10 for UCF faculty and staff, the same price as student tickets, and which is available by presenting a current and valid UCF ID during regular box office hours. No discounts are offered at the door. The faculty and staff discounted price will continue through the 2015-16 season.
The Importance of Being Earnest will return to the stage Aug. 27-30 to welcome students, faculty, and community members back to campus.
Productions at a glance:
The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Mark Routhier
June 25, 27, July 10, 16, 18 at 7 p.m.
Aug. 27, 28, 29 at 8 p.m.
July 12, Aug. 30 at 2 p.m.
A delightful romp of mistaken identities, witty banter, and larger-than-life characters!
While Gwendolyn and Cecily both fall in love with a man named Ernest, Jack and Algernon learn the importance of being earnest.
$20 standard, $10 UCF ID
Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?
Book by John R. Powers; Music and Lyrics by James Quinn and Alaric Jans
Based on a novel by John R. Powers
Directed by Earl D. Weaver
June 26, July 9, 11, 17 at 7 p.m.
June 28, July 19 at 2 p.m.
A musical for anyone who ever survived middle school
Focusing on eight children during their Catholic elementary and high school education in the 1950s, this musical captures the funniest aspects of youthful growing pains and the trying moments of adolescence.
$20 standard, $10 UCF ID
For more information about Theatre UCF, visit http://theatre.ucf.edu.