Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

Crew Introductions: Sylvia Drill and Margie Shinn (Costume Designers)

Wilsonville Theater Company's production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, now on stage at the Frog Pond Grange in Wilsonville, required a costume designer and seamstress with the ability to make period pieces for this 19th century play. This entailed multiple changes for some of the actors, designed to ensure that the 1890's costumes not only fit the era, but the actors as well! Sylvia and Margie's attention to detail was exquisite. Hats, dresses, trousers, coats , vests, shoes, wigs and accessories were magically plucked from thrift shops, trunks, and closets, or made from scratch. The vast array of choices to determine the correct assemble for each actor was, to employ an overused cliché', amazing!
So who are this magicians, the queens of fabric, buttons, snaps, safety pins and of course, Velcro? Sylvia Drill was recommended to WTC by a friend, Linda Thatcher, and turned out to be the catalyst for bringing it all together. Margie Shinn, an accomplished seamstress, assisted in sewing, hemming, snipping and creating ascots and cummerbunds for the men, and carefully insuring that the women's dresses were perfection.

Sylvia Drill was raised in and around San Diego. Her introduction to theater occurred as a crew member for "Music Man" and "Walter Mitty" at Poway High School. (Go Titans!) In college, she focused on costuming, and creating all of the attire for "Rashomon" and "The Old Lady Shows Her Medals," as well as other plays. Some of her other contributions included costumes for "Blythe Spirit", "Dial M For Murder" for the Escondido Players, as well as for the principals in "Once Upon a Mattress" for the Escondido Civic Light Opera. 

Sylvia's friend and associate in WTC's production, Margie Shinn, although not a trained costume designer with a litany of theater work in her bio, brought her love of sewing to this play. She was solely responsible for making sure that 'Canon Chasuble' s (my role) cummerbund did not burst its Velcro and leave me on stage with a long black satin tail.  Thank you Margie for your 'loss control' expertise.  A grandmother of two, she enjoys serving on the Wilsonville High School Booster Club Board, as well as working with New Life Threads, a non-profit organization supporting Rwandan tailors by importing and selling handmade items.

WTC cannot thank these women enough. Without their talent, our production of The Importance of Being Earnest would not have been able to fulfill Oscar Wilde's vision of this charming, hilariously funny 'Trivial comedy for serious minds,' as Wilde described it.

The play continues with performances on October 18 (today), 23rd, 24, and 25th at 7:00 PM at the Frog Pond Grange Hall on Stafford Road in Wilsonville, with a 2:00PM matinee on the 25th. I am told that tickets are still available by clicking on "Tickets" above right on this page. They may also be purchased at the door, cash or credit card.

So, gather up a carload of family and friends, drive over to the Frog Pond Grange and enjoy a delightful evening with Jack, Algernon, Gwendolen, Cecily, Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism, and Lane/Merryman the butler. Oh yeah, and The Reverend Canon Chasuble, of course.

Dave DeHart
Wilsonville Theater Company

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

Cast Introduction:  Clyde List   "Lane" and "Merryman".

Clyde List, a Sherwood, Oregon native and life-long resident, is the proverbial renaissance man. He is an artist, musician, writer, actor, and if that's not enough, he was the former Mayor of Sherwood from 1980 to 1982. His sense of humor came as a surprise to this writer, since Clyde is an unusually quiet man. My first impression was that he is the iconic gentle giant. When asked about his rather short political career, Clyde smiled and said, "In 1980, I won the election in landslide; then in 1982 lost in a landslide!"
An avid historical reenactment actor, Clyde was most recently seen at the 2014 Wilsonville Festival of Arts as "Alphonso Boone", where the cast of the Boones Ferry Players regaled the festival goers with insights into Wilsonville and the building of the Boones Ferry Road.  A video of Clyde's interviews of that event can be found at: He has also performed various roles in connection with Sherwood's historical celebrations.
Clyde's first major role was in "A Ferry Tale" written by June Reynolds, performed in Wilsonville in 2009.

His roles in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest,"  although short on dialogue, are demanding. He plays "Lane," Algernon Moncrieff's pessimistic London townhouse butler in Act One, then in Acts Two and Three he becomes "Merryman" the butler in Jack Worthing's country manor.
At auditions, he told director Kate Laney that he was particularly interested in the dual role since it gave him the opportunity to perform different characters.

As an aside, after opening night, last night (October 16), I overheard two audience members discussing the play. One said, "I just loved the butler. He's my favorite." I have to agree with their assessment, Clyde List was perfect in the role(s).
Performances of "The Importance of Being Earnest" continue, tonight (October 17) as well as the 18th, 23rd, 24th, and 25th. All performances are at 7:00PM at the Frog Pond Grange Hall on Stafford Road in Wilsonville. On Saturday, October 25, there will be a matinee at 2:00PM. Tickets are still available online at: or you can buy them at the door, cash or credit card.

I hope to see you there. Psst! By the way, I perform the role of "Canon Chasuble" and perhaps I can upstage Clyde's being "the favorite!"

Dave DeHart

Wilsonville Theater Company



Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest


WTC's production of "The Importance of Being Earnest"  opens tonight October 16, at 7:00PM on Oscar Wilde's birthday. Happy 160th Oscar. I hope you still have the wind to blow out all those candles. At the conclusion of this evening's premier (at the Frog Pond Grange Hall in Wilsonville) the board will be serving a birthday cake in his honor.
If last night's dress rehearsal is any sort of indication, this play is sure to please audiences with its sharp wit, beautiful costumes, and I might add, excellent performances by a cast of veterans. Personally, I am humbled (I know, that's doesn't sound like me) to be a part of this cast and crew. We have sacrificed time with family and spouses over the last four months to bring you a truly professional quality play. Under the direction of Kate Laney, this play stands to be one of the finest produced by WTC. It is just a gut feeling. I see it in the eyes of this cast, in their body language, spot-on delivery, and above all I experience the humor Oscar Wilde meant to be portrayed in his finest work.

So, it all comes down to tonight.  I hope to see you there. If not tonight, then on October 17,18, 23, 24, 25 at 7:00PM and a 2:00PM matinee on Saturday the 25th. Tickets are available on this website at the upper right, and may also be purchased at the door.

A special shout-out to Xerox for their generous sponsoring of this production, and to the Wilsonville City Parks and Recreation Committee for their recent contribution to this fine community theater company.

Break a leg IOBE cast and crew!


Dave DeHart

Wilsonville Theater Company

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest

Meet the Cast: Lindzay Brooke Irving in the lead role of "Gwendolen."

Lindzay, who goes by the nickname "Zay,"  in her private life is an engineer for a local helicopter company, and in her public life an accomplished actress with a lengthy list of theatrical credits. With all of that taking up the majority of her time, she is also a Certified Zumba© fitness instructor, and currently an active member of the Wilsonville Theater Company board?

A trained dancer, vocalist and actress, Lindzay has performed in musicals produced by the Oregon Children's Theatre; The Wilsonville High School Drama Department, and the highly respected Broadway Rose Theatre Company.  Included in that list are: Oklahoma, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, A Fiddler on the Roof, Aida, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and last year, The Little Shop of Horrors.

Lindzay's dramatic roles with the Wilsonville High School Drama Department include: "Helena" in A Midsummer Night's Dream; "Polonius" in Hamlet; "Beatrice" in Much Ado About Nothing, and "Gremio" in Taming of the Shrew. With the Wilsonville Theater Company, she played "Virginia" in The Canterville Ghost, and most recently, "Bev" in Miracle on South Division Street.

As "Gwendolen" in Wilsonville Theater Company's production of The Importance of Being Earnest, Lindzay portrays a pretentious Victorian ingénue. Much to her mother, Lady Bracknell's, displeasure she is set on marrying Jack Worthing, a country gentleman whom she knows as "Ernest."

In a role that requires, beauty, grace and that certain aplomb demanded by Oscar Wilde's intentions, Lindzay Irving is perfectly cast. She carries off the upper-crust demeanor and accent with perfection. Audiences will immediately see what Wilde had in mind when he wrote this play, that he himself described as a "Trivial comedy for serious minds."

The Importance of Being Earnest opens this coming Thursday, October 16 at the Frog Pond Grange on SW Stafford Road, in Wilsonville, curtain at 7:00 PM. Performances continue on the 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th and 25th. A 2:00 PM matinee will be on Saturday the 25th. Tickets are available online at Click on Ticketing. Tickets may be purchased at the door but for cash only.

Come and see what a superb community theater company can do in a 140 year-old grange hall, opening on Oscar Wilde' 160th birthday! Ice cream and cake will be available. Sorry, the cucumber sandwiches and muffins are for the cast only.
Dave DeHart
Wilsonville Theater Company