RUMFORD – Mountain Valley High School students will present “The Importance of Being Earnest” at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 10-11, in Muskie Auditorium.

The well-known play is set in 19th century England where a couple of aristocratic men try to win the love of two proper young ladies through means of harmless deceit.

Jack Worthing, played by Matt Defiore, lives a double life. Living in his country home, he tells his servants and young female ward that he has a scoundrel of a brother named Earnest who lives in London. When he goes to the city and visits his friends, he plays the role of Earnest.

Jack is deeply in love with Gwendolen Fairfax, played by Marie Russell, who falls head over heels for him and his divine name. She is infatuated with the name of Earnest; and Jack soon realizes that to keep her interested, he must continue with his charade of being Earnest.

However, this is not the only dilemma Jack has to deal with. There is also Gwendolen’s stuffy and arrogant mother, Lady Bracknell, played by Eliza Cormier, who refuses to let her daughter marry Jack.

Jack’s mischievous friend Algernon Moncrieff, played by Joey Laurinaitis, decides to sneak up to Jack’s house in the country and visit his pretty ward Cecily Cardew, played by Heather Dubendris. There, Jack pretends to be the brother Earnest he has continually told Cecily about, and she instantly falls in love with him and his name.

Once Cecily and Gwendolen meet, they realize that they are both in love with Earnest Worthing and an upper-class catfight ensues. There is, of course, a great deal of confusion, and both Jack and Algernon have a lot of explaining to do.

Other characters include Lane the butler, played by Stephen Penney and Sokseiha Moeun; the governess Ms. Prism, played by Phoebe Pike and Stacie Oakes; the servant Merriman, played by Jaclyn Pellerin and Kristen Harris; and the Reverend Chasuble, played by Richard Russell.

Tickets to the show are $3 for students and senior citizens, $5 for adults. They will be sold at the door.

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