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MSU Theatre Arts Program performs "The Importance of Being Earnest"

The Dept. of Global Languages and Theatre Arts presents "The Importance of Being Earnest" November 4th through the 7th.
Murray State University Global Languages and Theatre Arts
The Dept. of Global Languages and Theatre Arts presents "The Importance of Being Earnest" November 4th through the 7th.

The Murray State Department of Global Languages and Theatre Arts presents The Importance of Being Earnest November 4th through the 7th. Associate professor of theatre and the play's director, Daryl Phillipy, speaks to Tracy Ross about the upcoming performances.

From the MSU Events Calendar:

"In one of Wilde's most renowned comedies, we follow two bachelors as they get caught in the creation of alter egos, both Earnest, in an attempt to escape their mundane lives.

The pair struggle to keep up with their own deceptions as they try to win the hearts of two women, creating a tangled tale of disguise and misadventure."

Phillipy says he chose this play for several reasons, one of which is that it is "a play that, for me, brings great joy because it is extremely trivial and frivolous and silly and ridiculous and downright funny."

The Importance of Being Earnest also speaks to greater societal structures. "[Oscar Wilde's] ability to skewer the social classes of which he was a part and enjoyed the privileges, but he also realized there were some rather skewed moral values within society. I think that's always a dialogue that we have within society about the changing, the progressiveness of culture, and whether it should change or not change."

Wilde wrote the play in the Victorian Era, but Phillipy says this production has taken a mod twist. "We decided to place it right in the middle of the 1960s in England—having a young generation that's trying to break the bounds of the class system on some level."

"It is a rather talky play," Phillipy continues. "It focuses the audience member into really listening to what the actors are saying because it's extremely funny social commentary a lot of the time. There's a lot of physical gags in here—verbal sparring, sight gags, and physical things."

"You're going to have a great time. It's a beautiful play. The costumes are going to be groovy. The whole production is rather groovy. I think you'll come away with a big smile on your face and, hopefully, that feeling that live theatre is back in Murray, Kentucky, baby," Phillipy laughs.

The MSU Theatre Arts program presents The Importance of Being Earnest on Thursday, November 4th, through Saturday, November 6th, at 7:30 pm and on Sunday, November 7th, at 2:30 pm. All performances are in the Robert E. Johnson Theatre attached to the Price Doyle Fine Arts Building on Murray State's main campus.

To reserve tickets, call 270-809-4421 or go to

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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