The play by Oscar Wilde is set in London as the curtain opens on the flat of wealthy Algernon Moncrieff in the fashionable West End. While Algernon plays the piano, his servant is arranging cucumber sandwiches for the impending arrival of Algernon's aunt Lady Bracknell and her daughter Gwendolen. 

Jack Worthing, a friend of Moncrieff's and known to him as Ernest, arrives first. Jack announces that he plans to propose marriage to Gwendolen. Algernon claims that he will not consent to their marriage until Jack explains why he is known as Ernest and why he has a cigarette case with a questionable inscription from a mysterious lady.

“The play is a satire of ‘sophisticated society’ and the idea that it is better to look good than to be good,” said Burrell. “It is set at the height of the Victorian era with extravagant costumes, elaborate language and décor. Two of the characters are caught in a lie and have to work around their lie.” 

The cast is Zach Judge of Lafayette as Worthing, Austin Babin of Gonzales as Moncrieff, David Brumfield of Prairieville as Lady Bracknell, Taylor Morgan of Geismar as Gwendolyn Fairfax, Sarah Roberts of Chattanooga, Tenn., as Cecily Cardew, Sharla Mills of Forney, Texas, as Miss Prism, Aaron Wood of Arlington, Texas, as Rev. Canon Chausuble, Will Sawyer of Fulshear, Texas, as Lane and Nina Breeland of Ruston as Mary. 

According to Burrell, several of the cast members who are normally in musicals are branching out in this play. 

“It’s a strong cast and some of them stretching out a bit,” said Burrell. 

Allan Powers of Dallas is the stage manager, Dana Hart of Baton Rouge is the stage manager, Nick Lena of Alexandria is the lighting designer. John Wells of Natchitoches is sound designer and Aaron Schindehette of Natchitoches is the technical designer. Jessie Parr is the costume designer and Burrell is set designer. 

Tickets are $15 and $12 for senior citizens and non-Northwestern State students. NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts are admitted free with a current student I.D.

For more information on Northwestern Theatre and Dance’s 2011-12 season, call (318) 357-4483 or go to theatre.nsula.edu.