JOHN WORTHING (JACK) – mid 20s to mid 30s, is carefree, wealthy, respectable and probably the sanest person in the play. He is madly in love with Gwendolen, Algernon’s cousin and the daughter of Lady Bracknell. Jack has created an imaginary evil brother Ernest who “lives” in London. This provides Jack a way to leave the boring country life for the excitement of London.ALGERNON MONTCRIEFF (Algy) –, early 20s to early 30s, is charming, intelligent, ostentatious, talkative, witty, privileged, and flamboyant in everything he does. He is Jack’s friend and falls in love with Jack’s ward Cecily. Algernon has created a Mr. Bunbury, an imaginary ill friend in the country. Bunbury mysteriously gets ill whenever Algernon wants to avoid family social obligations.
GWENDOLEN FAIRFAX – mid 20s to early 30s, is independent, sophisticated, charming, but demanding and shallow. She represents the privileged Victorian woman. The daughter of Lady Bracknell, she is in love with Jack because she thinks his name is Ernest.
CECILY CARDEW – is 17 years old (actress range of 17-22), is Jack’s ward and lives at his country manor house. A seemingly sweet and precocious ingénue, she is convinced she will marry a man named Ernest. When Algernon arrives at the manor house claiming to be Jack’s evil brother Ernest, Cecile is immediately in love with him.
LADY BRACKNELL – early 50s to late 60s, is a force of nature. However, she is a real person and not a cartoon figure. Lady Bracknell is the social anchor of the play and the voice of unquestioned authority on all matters. Lady Bracknell could never imagine being wrong on any topic and; therefore, unknowingly makes hilarious pronouncements. One of the greatest roles in the English theatre.
REV. CHASUBLE – 40s to mid 60s, a stuffy and upright clergyman who is an advocate of the “primitive” church. While he appears rigidly religious, he and Miss Prism flirt throughout Acts II and III.
MISS PRISM – late 30s to early 50s, is Cecily’s studious and rigid governess. She appears to be seriously puritanical but is actually a woman with a mysterious past. She has romantic feelings toward Dr. Chasuble.
LANE – 30s to 50s. He is Algernon’s manservant.
MERRIMAN – 30s to 50s. He is the butler at Jack’s country manor.
NOTE: The character ages are somewhat flexible. Please contact Don LaCasse (email@example.com), the play’s director, if you have questions about any of the characters or your suitability for specific roles.
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