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Going Wilde with Oscar and an ‘Earnest’ A2 troupe

Brass Tacks Ensemble photo
Isaac Ellis
Brass Tacks Ensemble
The cast of Brass Tacks Ensemble’s 'The Importance of Being Earnest.'";

How do you keep a 120 year old play fresh? That’s the aim of the Brass Tacks Ensemble of Ann Arbor this weekend at the Kerrytown Concert House. We speak with the troupe’s artistic director about their upcoming production of Oscar Wilde’s classic “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

A classic Oscar Wilde play is coming to the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor this weekend, but it has an interesting inversion. The artistic director of the Brass Tacks Ensemble speaks with Current State’s Jamie Paisley about what he did for Wilde’s play “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

The production was cast gender-blind, with the lead male roles of Jack and Algernon portrayed by women. The infamous lines of Lady Bracknell are delivered by a man. However, for Brass Tacks artistic director James Ingagiola, this gender-bending casting was not a political decision and not a commentary on Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment on the grounds of homosexuality. Instead, it came about when Ingagiola was auditioning the performers.

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