Audition – Importance of Being Earnest – Summer 2019

Auditions for multi-racial production of comedy “Importance of Being Earnest”outdoors in the parks with Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) is putting together a multi-racial production transporting Oscar Wilde’s wonderfully witty masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, from Victorian London in the 1890s to Seattle in the 1980s. Both time periods saw big changes in politics, women’s rights and fashion.

This will be a one-act version of the play, running under 90 minutes.  Performances will be outdoors in the parks.

Two charming young women—sophisticated Gwendolen from the city and naive Cecily from the country—are in love with Ernest Worthing. Gwendolen thinks Jack is Ernest, and Cecily thinks Algy is Ernest. Each girl swears that she could never love a man who wasn’t named Ernest. But there is no such person as Ernest Worthing. Adding to the complications, Jack wishes to marry Gwendolen, but he must convince her mother, Lady Bracknell, of his respectability. The trouble is Jack started life abandoned in a handbag at a train station. Wilde unwinds this knotty affair into one of the favorite comedies of English literature. Town and country clash in this brilliant and wildly funny story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.

BAT is thrilled to be casting The Importance of Being Earnest. The cast is 4 women and 4 men ranging in age from 18 to 60-plus. BAT is seeking actors of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, gender expressions and physical/mental ability for all roles to create a multi-racial cast. Actors do not have to be the ages indicated, but must be able to convincingly portray them.

There will be 4 to 6 performances outdoors in the parks between approx. July 12 and August 18, 2019. So far, all performances are in south King County Parks in or near Burien, and will be on weekends, either matinees or early evenings. 

Rehearsals begin June 4 at BAT on some weeknights plus some Saturday and Sunday days or evenings, exact times to be determined, until tech week. BAT has free on-site parking and is two blocks from the Burien Transit Center.

The director is Rachel Rene.

$200 stipend provided.

Auditions are at Burien Actors Theatre on Saturday, April 27 from noon to 3 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. Possible additional callbacks Saturday, May 11 as needed.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script with other actors. Sides will be provided in advance. Audition appointments will be in 30-minute slots. Please also bring resume and headshot.

Please make audition appointment:  [email protected], 206-242-5180. Auditions will be held at Burien Actors Theatre, 14501 Fourth Ave S.W., Burien. For directions, go to


Character Descriptions/Requirements:

NOTE: Seeking actors of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, gender expressions and physical/mental ability for all roles. Actors do not have to be the ages indicated but must be able to convincingly portray them. 


Algernon “Algy” Moncrieff:  Male, early to mid-20s. Algernon is a charming, idle, decorative bachelor, nephew of Lady Bracknell, cousin of Gwendolen Fairfax, and best friend of Jack Worthing, whom he has known for years as Ernest. Algernon is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral, and given to making delightful paradoxical and epigrammatic pronouncements. He has invented a fictional friend, “Bunbury,” an invalid whose frequent sudden relapses allow Algernon to wriggle out of unpleasant or dull social obligations.

Merriman/Lane:  Butler/manservant.  This role has already been cast.

John “Jack” Worthing:  Male, around 30. Jack Worthing, is a seemingly responsible and respectable young man who leads a double life. In Hertfordshire, where he has a country estate, Jack is known as Jack. In London he is known as Ernest. As a baby, Jack was discovered in a handbag in the cloakroom of Victoria Station by an old man who adopted him and subsequently made Jack guardian to his granddaughter, Cecily Cardew. Jack is in love with his friend Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen Fairfax. The initials after his name indicate that he is a Justice of the Peace.

Lady Bracknell:  Female, 50s to 60s. Algernon’s snobbish, mercenary, and domineering aunt and Gwendolen’s mother. Lady Bracknell married well, and her primary goal in life is to see her daughter do the same. She has a list of “eligible young men” and a prepared interview she gives to potential suitors. Like her nephew, Lady Bracknell is given to making hilarious pronouncements, but where Algernon means to be witty, the humor in Lady Bracknell’s speeches is unintentional. Lady Bracknell values ignorance, which she sees as “a delicate exotic fruit.” When she gives a dinner party, she prefers her husband to eat downstairs with the servants. She is cunning, narrow-minded, authoritarian, and eminently quotable.

Gwendolen Fairfax:  Female, mid to late 20s. Algernon’s cousin and Lady Bracknell’s daughter. Gwendolen is in love with Jack, whom she knows as Ernest. A model and arbiter of high fashion and society, Gwendolen speaks with unassailable authority on matters of taste and morality. She is sophisticated, intellectual, cosmopolitan, and utterly pretentious.

Cecily Cardew:  Female, late teens. Jack’s ward, the granddaughter of the old gentlemen who found and adopted Jack when Jack was a baby. She has chosen to fall in love with Jack’s brother Ernest in her imagination and to invent an elaborate romance and courtship between them, even though they have never met.

Miss Prism, governess:  Female, 50s to 60s. Cecily’s governess. Miss Prism is an endless source of pedantic bromides and clichés. She highly approves of Jack’s presumed respectability and harshly criticizes his “unfortunate” brother. Despite her rigidity, Miss Prism seems to have a softer side. She also entertains romantic feelings for Dr. Chasuble.

Rev. Canon Chasuble:  Male, 50s to 70s. The rector on Jack’s estate. Dr. Chasuble entertains secret romantic feelings for Miss Prism.

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