Nathan Wetter on The Importance of Being Involved

Wetter is the Assistant Director and Dramaturg for Insight Theatre Company's production of "The Importance of Being Ernest."

Nathan Wetter checked in with us to give us a detailed description as to how he is spending his summer, staying rooted in theater:

In The Importance of Being Earnest with Insight Theatre Company, I am acting as the assistant director and dramaturg. As assistant director, I have been working directly alongside director Ed Reggi. Ed has had enough faith in me to have allowed me to give acting notes of my own during rehearsals (with his approval, each time). Consequently, I’ve been able to directly influence the way the show is being played, and have exercised my own creative license in a very involved way, which feels like a rare and special opportunity for an assistant director.. The process has been extremely rewarding and has been giving me newfound directorial experience.

As dramaturg, I’ve been able to compile research of my own to aid actors and designers with contextualizing the show in the Victorian period, and to help shed light on how we might interpret this play today. The show explores the consequences of avoiding social responsibility. Jack and Algernon, the leading men, create false personas called “bunburys,” which are defined as “imaginary person(s) used as a fictitious excuse for visiting a place or avoiding obligations.” They essentially use these identities in order to lead double lives, which gets each of them into trouble. Through the backdrop of Victorian morality, a social phenomenon which was strongly pervasive at the time when the play debuted in London, Jack and Algernon’s “bunburying” reads as an escape from the incredibly staunch (and sometimes absurd) social and political circumstances of the period. Today, the play reverberates as a warning for the dangers of avoiding social and political responsibility (particularly in our current political climate), but also serves as a reminder to not neglect the little things. They are, as Wilde maintains, also incredibly important.

The show runs from Thursday, July 12th-Sunday July 22nd at the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows are at 8pm. Sunday performances are at 2pm.

Tickets can be purchased via MetroTix