By GISELLE FLORES
Last weekend kicked off with the debut of Klein Theatre’s production of Oscar Wilde’s play “Lady Windermere’s Fan” at the University of Mary Washington. Many patrons, students, family and friends enthusiastically attended the production during its opening weekend, offering support to the cast, crew and all those who worked hard to make the show come to life.
The play is a four-act comedy full of satire, romance and betrayal surrounding the Victorian protagonist, Lady Windermere, and the discovery of her husband’s alleged unfaithfulness with Mrs. Erlynne. Amidst the humor and scandal, there are keynotes of Wilde’s commentary on the politics, morality and high society of the time period.
The actors played up the time period and brought the viewers back in time as they dived deeper into the plot of the play. Each actor sported time period accurate wigs and costumes, which helped keep the audience engaged during the play. Kevin McKlusky, an associate theatre professor, designed costumes for the play.
“It was nice and the costumes were amazing,” said Alicia Beasley, a junior English major. “I really enjoyed Act III, everyone in the audience was clapping mid-performance – it was definitely a great moment.”
The set went above and beyond the normal measures taken for a typical college-level-theatre set. Between acts, the sets were quickly changed out via a pulley system. The varying sets gave the play more depth and allowed the actors to bring the play to life.
“We upholstered furniture, which was hard but fun. It was a really big set,” said freshman Meg Herriman. “I’ve worked on theatre and theatre production in high school, but nothing this large in scale before.”
Ebony Dixon, a senior theatre and political science double major, as well as the theatre house manager, attended the riveting performance while working to make sure the production went smoothly.
“My favorite part in the play was when Margaret Lewis was playing Mrs. Erlynne,” said Dixon. “At one point, she goes ‘do as I say,’ and then she starts laughing. The whole crowd starts laughing during that scene; it’s really fun.”
The show highlights a wide range of talent and proves to be an excellent conclusion to Klein Theatre’s 2014-2015 season. From the sets, to costumes, to the incredible student acting, it is obvious that “Lady Windermere’s Fan” is a show you do not want to miss.
The play runs from April 16 through 19.