Get ready for British accents and a whole lot of cucumber sandwiches.

Both items are on the menu in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” the Marathon High School Drama Club’s fall production.

A satire on Victorian society set in 1895, the show follows the exploits of bachelors John “Jack” Worthing (Charles Vaughn) and Algernon “Algy” Moncrieff (Joseph Cabrera) as they each create alter egos named Ernest to escape tiresome social obligations. Their web of comical deception becomes tangled when they attempt to woo Gwendolen Fairfax (Calla Jimenez) and Cecily Cardew (Eleanor Dunn) under the watchful eye of Lady Bracknell (Rylee Seligson). The men realize they may have bitten off more than they can chew when each discovers that his lover is resolved to only love a man named Ernest.

“The show is really funny,” said director Carrollyn Cox. “I’d heard of it, but I’d never seen it until my daughter recommended it to me after seeing the talent we had.”

As an older show set across the Atlantic Ocean, the cast said that the language, humor and accents provided the biggest challenges. “It took us a long time to get into it and get used to it, but you definitely slip into it,” said Vaughn. “It’s very British humor, but it’s very relevant,” added Leo Volchek, who plays Rev. Canon Chasuble. 

In Cox’s opinion, the cast has more than risen to the challenge. “I’ve been very impressed with the kids being able to slip into an accent,” said Cox. “Sometimes it’s a little cockney, sometimes it’s a little Indian, but the biggest challenge now is getting them to slow down and be understood.”

The show represents a changing of the guard, as several of Cox’s long-time backstage stalwarts are due to graduate in 2022. Because of this, she made sure to duplicate several technical positions and train younger members of the club. “We’re doubling up with 11th graders and 9th graders to follow behind, because my two superstar tech guys are both graduating,” she said. “Dante Senmartin has been doing lights and Leo Volchek has been the sound manager since they were in 9th grade.” 

On stage, it’s a similar story. “I have two veteran seniors who can do it by themselves. They don’t require a lot of direction,” said Cox. “But I’ve got three 9th graders who are going to step right up and fill those shoes.” She also noted that Volchek and Raymond Bell will take the stage in “Earnest” for the first time as seniors after years of backstage involvement.

After weekend “lock ins” that saw the cast rehearse the show multiple times in its entirety back to back, the cast and crew are just about ready for the curtain to rise. “It wasn’t a show that we were all jumping for joy to do at first,” said Seligson. “But the best part was seeing how everyone came to love it and worked together to show everyone what we can do.”

If that won’t convince you to buy a ticket, just talk to Cabrera.

“Come see me eat a lot of food.”

“The Importance of Being Earnest” is on stage for one weekend only, with performances on Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., along with a matinee on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door. Seating is limited, and masks are required for all patrons throughout the performance.

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Hailing from Rhode Island, the Ocean State, Alex has always spent as much of his life as possible in and around the water. A dolphin trainer by profession, he still spends most of his free time diving, spearfishing, and JetSkiing. Once it gets too dark for those things, he can usually be found at the Marathon Community Theater, where he spends most nights still trying to figure out what the heck he is doing.