COD College Theater presents Oscar Wilde’s”A Woman of No Importance at the MAC

Pictured L-R:  Rebekah Szilagyi, Carter McCoy, Alex Price

College of DuPage (COD) College Theater presents Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance,” directed by COD Professor of Theater, Amelia Barrett at the McAninch Arts Center’s Studio Theatre, Oct. 6-23. “A Woman of No Importance” premiered in 1893 in London’s Haymarket Theatre. As with many of Wilde’s plays, it satirizes English upper class society and features many witty, memorable and highly quotable lines, such as “Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed;” and “Nothing succeeds like excess.” Please note: This play contains adult language and themes.Gerald Arbuthnot has a bright future. He is in love with American heiress Hester Wosley, and has a new job possibility as secretary to the newest diplomat Lord Illingworth, an attractive single man desired by many women. The ladies of society gather at Lady Hunstanton’s country party house, discussing the important matters of the day: marriage, affairs and divorce. Gerald’s mother arrives and over a 24-hour period, everyone’s world is rocked by her scandalous secret that has the potential to turn her son’s promising future on its head. Blending comedy with melodrama, Wilde delivers a witty and piercing look at society’s values and gender bias in 1894.

Says Barrett, “I find this play fascinating. At the heart of the play is the social convention that betrayed women are ‘women of no importance,’ while the men who have acted upon them are welcomed and even encouraged. Unfortunately these hypocritical rules of the Victorian Era continue to exist in our society today.  But in the world of this play, the women ultimately are offered more power than the men.

Pictured L-R:  Rebekah Szilagyi, Carter McCoy, Alex Price

Pictured L-R: Rebekah Szilagyi, Carter McCoy, Alex Price

The cast for “A Woman of No Importance” includes Bensenville’s Tim Bode (Mr. Kelvil, M.P), Lombard’s Jacobs Coats (Sir John Pontefract), Winfield’s Claire Collins (Miss Hester Worsley), Naperville’s Jacqueline Davis, Glen Ellyn’s Carina Martinez-Rios (Lady Hunstanton), Carol Stream’s James Martuzzo (The Ven. Archdeacon Daubeny, D.D.), Naperville’s Carter McCoy (Gerald Arbuthnot), Chicago’s Dimitris Michelis (Lord Alfred Rufford), Carpenterville’s Katie Nicanor (Alice/Maid), Skokie’s Kyle Opalk (Lord Illingworth), Westmont’s Alex Price (Mrs. Arbuthnot),Wooddale’s Brandon Smith (Farquhar/Butler), John Belushi/Second City Memorial Theater Scholarship Recipient and Naperville’s own Rebekah Szilagyi (Mrs. Allonby) and the U.K.’s Georgina (Dani) Zvanich (Lady Caroline Pontefract).

The design team for “A Woman of No Importance” includes Glen Ellyn’s Amelia Barrett (director), and Jon Gantt (scenic design), Addison’s Kimberly Morris (costume and makeup design) and Aurora’s Michael W. Moon (light and properties design). Stage manager is Lemont’s Phoebe Newton, John Belushi Stage Manager Scholarship recipient.

Amelia Barrett (director) is Professor of Theater at College of DuPage. Barrett has directed COD College Theater productions of “Mustache Tales,” “The Skriker,” “The Troll Booth,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” “Recent Tragic Events,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dark Play,” “Dracula,” “Of Mice and Men,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Lucky Stiff,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Alabama Rain,” “As You Like It,” “Godspell,” “The Philadelphia Story” and “Heartland,” among others.  As Associate Artistic Director, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE), the professional Equity theater company in residence at the McAninch Arts Center she has directed multiple productions. As an actor, Barrett has appeared with regional companies including Idaho Repertory Theatre, internationally at the Edinburgh Festival and in Chicago area venues including BTE, where she is also a member of the acting ensemble, and City Lit. Barrett is a member of Actors’ Equity Association as well as the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting from the University of Texas at Austin and a Graduate Certificate in Laban Movement Analysis from Columbia College, Chicago.
Oscar Wilde (1854 -1900) was a successful poet, journalist and playwright. His first successful play, “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” opened in February 1892, followed by the extremely popular comedies including “A Woman of No Importance” (1893), “An Ideal Husband” (1895), and “The Importance of Being Earnest” (1895). In 1891, Wilde began an ill-fated affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. When Douglas’ disapproving father insulted Wilde, Wilde sued for defamation of character. Douglas’ father’s counter suit for “depravity” resulted in Wilde’s conviction and a two-year jail sentence. After serving his sentence, Wilde emerged from jail bankrupt and spiritually broken. He died of cerebral meningitis Nov. 30, 1900.

Offering an Associate in Arts degree, the COD College Theater Department offers a variety of courses including Acting I and II, Acting for the Camera, Audition, Dance Theatre I and II, Directing, Improvisation, Stage Combat – Armed and Unarmed, Stagecraft, Stage Management, Stage Movement, Stage Make-up, Technical Production, Theater Appreciation and Voice Over Acting. Support is made possible by a generous gift from the College of DuPage Foundation’s Dr. Donald and Helen (Gum) Westlake Fund for Student Productions. For more information visit cod.edu/programs/theater.

Tickets

College of DuPage College Theater presents Oscar Wilde’s,” in the Studio Theatre of Glen Ellyn’s McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd. Oct. 6-23. A preview will be held Thursday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m.; opening is Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. Performances are ThursdaySaturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Pre-show discussion with the designers and director will be held: Thursday, Oct. 6 at 6:45 p.m.; and a post-show discussion with the director and actors will take place immediately following the Friday, Oct. 14 performance. Show tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For tickets or more information call 630.942.4000 or visit AtTheMAC.org. Please note: This play uses adult language and themes.

About the MAC

McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355, and houses three performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 186-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), plus the Cleve Carney Art Gallery, classrooms for the college’s academic programming and the Lakeside Pavilion. The MAC, now celebrating its 30th Anniversary, has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.

The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information about the MAC, visit AtTheMAC.org, facebook.com/AtTheMAC or twitter.com/AtTheMAC.

The MAC’s 2016-2017 Season is made possible in part with support by The DuPage Foundation, Hilton  Lisle/Naperville, Brookdale-Glen Ellyn; The JCS Arts & Education Fund of the DuPage Foundation; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Smith Financial Advisors, Inc; SlTlG Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C.; Follett’s College of DuPage Bookstore; Paramount Theatre; WFMT 98.7 FM; WBEZ 91.5 FM; WDCB 90.9 FM and the College of DuPage Foundation.

Established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the surrounding community. For more information about the College of DuPage Foundation, visit foundation.cod.edu or call630.942.2462.

Programs at the MAC are partially supported through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.