Catch a performance of the much-loved Oscar Wilde play The Importance of Being Earnest at Traverse City’s Old Town Playhouse throughout September. The farcical comedy is one of Wilde’s most enduring plays. Director Kerr Anderson shares more.

You have 10 seconds in an elevator—how would you describe the show?

Two bachelors create an alter ego named Earnest to escape their tiresome lives. Pretending to be Earnest, they each attempt to win the hearts of two women who claim they can only love men called Earnest. The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories but then the women meet… (you’ll have to come to the show!)

What is your favorite part of the script?

I don’t know that I have a favorite part. I grew up in Britain, so essentially, I grew up knowing and loving this play. For a younger audience, it’s just a romantic comedy. People getting caught in innocent lies, falling in and out of love, with a happy, surprise resolution. For adults, it’s a very funny play with fabulous characters based on the outrageous social rules in Victorian England. I suppose my favorite part is the writing. Oscar Wilde had a wicked wit and this is often described as his funniest play and ranked amongst some of the best comedies ever written.

Why should non-Brits be excited?

This is just a fun show. If you’re not a regular theatergoer, it’s a great way to experience the excitement and interaction of live theater rather than a movie or TV. If you’re a regular at the theater, this is an opportunity to see a classic comedy done the way Wilde wrote it. It’s the opening of our new eight-show season at Old Town Playhouse, which has something for everyone; a Christmas musical (Elf), a thoughtful play or two and finishing up with the fantastic musical Chicago.

Tickets are available online at or call 800.836.0717.

Show details: 

Performances of this witty play are September 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and September 15 and 22 at 2 p.m. Prices are $28 for adults and $15 for youth under 18 (plus ticket fees). For groups of eight or more, or if using a Two-on-the-Town card, please contact the Box Office at 231.947.2210. The Old Town Playhouse is located at 148 East Eighth Street in Traverse City.

Old Town Playhouse Celebrates 60th Anniversary This Season

Old Town Playhouse invites you to help celebrate the opening of the season’s first production, Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. There will be fun spirit in the building all day, Friday, September 13. The festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and will include the following:

  • The Cracked Breakfast Truck in the Playhouse parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Tea from Light of Day Organics served in the Schmuckal Theatre, in the lower level, where you can meet and have tea with Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • Art display, also in the Schmuckal Theatre, with floral and garden paintings by local artists.
  • Ticket sales at the Box Office starting at 9 a.m., with tickets available for all of this season’s MainStage and Studio Theatre productions, as well as the next Young Company play and October Special Events.
  • Information tables where you can learn more about the Young Company, Aged to Perfection and volunteer opportunities at the Playhouse.
  • Door prize drawing for theatre tickets.

Photo(s) by David Ragusa