A Farce by OSCAR WILDE - Directed by BUTCH PELFREY
.Sunday, November 23 3:00PM
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Mrs. Cheveley - 32 – 42 - One of the play's wittiest and most well dressed characters, Mrs. Cheveley is the vicious and opportunistic villainess, a disciple of the deceased Baron Arnheim who values wealth and power above all. She stands as foil to the virtuous and earnest Lady Chiltern, being cast throughout the play as a sort of monstrous femme fatale. Notably, Mrs. Cheveley is continuously imagined as the product of "horrid combinations" that evoke her duplicity.
Sir Robert Chiltern - 33 – 43 - Sir Robert is the play's "tragic" hero, a government official who owes his success and fortune to secret scandal. Sir Robert is a "personality of mark" with a manner of impeccable distinction. He suffers from certain divided loyalties, as well. Extremely ambitious, Sir Robert remains tied, even at present, to his mentor Baron Arnheim's gospels of wealth and power, gospels that emphasize the domination of others over all else. On the other hand, love has driven him to hide his past in the desperate hope of remaining the ideal husband to his wife. Conscious of what his success has cost him, Sir Robert suffers from a decidedly nervous and harried temperament
Lord Goring - 32 – 36 - Of impeccable dress and inimitable wit, Lord Goring is the play's thirty-something dandified philosopher. Irreverent, wry, and dangerously clever, Goring "plays with the world" and in doing so rejects ideals of duty, respectability, and responsibility. He functions as a figure for modern art of living and the aestheticist creed, particularly in his encounters with his stuffy father, Lord Caversham. Expounding a philosophy of love and forgiveness, Goring also figures as savior and helpmate to the Chilterns, teaching Lady Chiltern in particular of the dangers in idealizing one's husband.
Lady Gertrude Chiltern - 32 – 42 - A woman of grave Greek beauty and twenty-seven years of age, Lady Chiltern embodies the Victorian new woman: upright, virtuous, educated, politically engaged, and active in her husband's career. She is the play's sentimental heroine, a sort of moral absolutist who worships her ideal husband and cannot brook the revelation of his secret past.
Mabel Chiltern - 24 – 32 - An exemplar of English prettiness, Mabel, Sir Robert's younger sister, embodies a "fascinating tyranny of youth" and "astonishing courage of innocence." Pert and clever, Mabel flirtatiously matches Lord Goring's wit throughout the play and their somewhat unconventional union serves as a foil to the other marriages and would-be engagements that compose the plot.
Lord Caversham - 50 – 70 - Father to Lord Goring, Lord Caversham, described as a "fine Whig type," is a stuffy, serious, and respectable gentleman who is firmly opposed to the excesses of his dandified son. Continually he urges his son to marry and adopt a career, posing Sir Robert as model. Caversham appears as a figure for the old-fashioned against a son who makes and masters the art of modern living.
Vicomte de Nanjac - 28 – 38 - Vicomte de Nanjac, attaché at the French Embassy in London, is a young man famous for his ties and Anglomania. He appears in at Sir Robert's dinner party as a sort of comic figure, his malapropisms and awkward speech posed against the polished repartee of the other guests.
Phipps - 30 – 50 - A "mask with a manner" who serves Lord Goring. Phipps is the ideal butler. Absolutely impassive, he reveals nothing of his intellect or emotions and "represents the dominance of form."
Lady Markby - Age Open - A pleasant and popular woman with "gray hair à la marquise and good lace," Lady Markby is emblematic of an older generation of Society women, bemoaning the effect of politics and the higher education of women on married life. In this sense, she counterpoises the Victorian new woman embodied by Lady Chiltern.
Mrs. Marchmont & Lady Basildon – Age Open - Lady Basildon and Mrs. Marchmont are described as "types of exquisite fragility" with an affection of manner of delicate charm. These women frivolously banter on a number of topics; notable ones include the dreariness of politics, being serious, and education.
Mr. Montford – Age Open - A "perfectly groomed" young dandy and secretary to Sir Robert.
Mason - 30 – 40 - Butler to Sir Robert Chiltern
James – Age Open - Lord Goring's footman.
Harold – Age Open - Sir Robert's footman.
The Countess of Basildon – Age Open - a friend of the Chilterns'
Mr. Barford – Age Open
Lady Jane Barford – Age Open
Duchess of Maryborough – Age Open
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