Student dramaturgs Katherine Francisco and CJ Porterfield explain the importance of fashion and style for Victorian dandies like Oscar Wilde in their Talk on the Steps for The Importance of Being Earnest, 8 April 2017, at the McCrary Theatre. They explained how Wilde and other upper-class Englishmen in the late Victorian era cultivated cutting-edge style as a way to physically represent their devotion to Aestheticism–a philosophical and artistic movement focused on beauty and “art for art’s sake.” We see the two central characters of The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, discuss clothes, style, and the importance of wearing a buttonhole flower in Act Two of Wilde’s play.
Student dramaturgs Hannah Dobrogosz and Katherine Francisco teach audiences how to flirt with a fan in their Talk on the Steps for The Importance of Being Earnest, 6 April 2017, at the McCrary Theatre. They first described Victorian courtship rituals and the proper way to behave when on a date in 1895 London, and then outlined the different ways a lady’s fan could be used to flirt with an eligible gentleman. Flirting discreetly while under the watchful gaze of a chaperone was an important part of Victorian courtship: we see Jack Worthing and Gwendolen Fairfax attempt to flirt while watched by Lady Bracknell in Act One of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
Join us this weekend for Talks on the Steps as the Department of Performing Arts presents Oscar Wilde’s celebrated comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Ever wondered how those uptight Victorians went on dates? Do you know if you should curl your pinky finger while drinking tea? Would you like tips on how to mimic Oscar Wilde’s stylish fashions? Find out more from our team of student dramaturgs at our pre-performance Talks on the Steps!
Thursday April 6 at 7:00pm: Dramaturgs Hannah Dobrogosz and Jessica Burchett explain the complicated rules of Victorian dating and courtship etiquette.
Friday April 7 at 7:00pm: Dramaturgs Sophia Diaz and Jessica Burchett teach you how to take tea like a proper Victorian lady.
Saturday April 8 at 7:00pm: Dramaturgs CJ Porterfield and Katherine Francisco describe Oscar Wilde’s fashion and the role of the Dandy in late Victorian culture.
Talks on the Steps take place in the McCrary Theatre lobby and are free and open to the public.
Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is directed by Kirby Wahl. Performances are April 6-7 at 7:30pm and April 9 at 2:00pm. Tickets are $13 or free with Elon ID, available at the Center for the Arts Box Office.