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Photos: Strawdog's "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Oscar Wilde’s Wit and Wisdom Plays Out Against Backdrop of Boystown and Saugatuck June 7 - 30, 2024

Chicago, Illinois (June 6, 2024) – Strawdog Theatre today released production images from their Pride Month modern retelling of Oscar Wilde’s classic THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, running June 7 - 30, 2024 at Rivendell Theatre (5779 N. Ridge Ave.). Tickets are free and open to the public, but require advance reservations at

Photo credit: Jenn Udoni

In this fresh, vibrant adaptation by Dusty Brown and director Elizabeth Swanson, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST explores love, queer identity, acceptance, and the pursuit of happiness. Set against the backdrop of Chicago’s Boystown and the lakes of Saugatuck, Michigan with wit as sharp as skyscrapers and charm as timeless as the prairie wind, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is a delightful celebration of love in all its forms.




Written By: Oscar Wilde

Adapted By: Dusty Brown & Elizabeth Swanson

Directed By: Elizabeth Swanson

Cast: Michael Reyes* (Bracknell), Johnard Washington* (Jack), Jack Seijo (Algernon), Kade Cox (Gwendolen), Andi Muriel (Cecily), Lynne Baker (Miss Prism), Crystal Claros (Dr. Chasuble), and Matt Keeley (Merriman/Lane), with understudies AC Rakotoniaina (Bracknell u/s), Zane Sade (Jack u/s), Nora Sharp (Algernon u/s), Kelcy Taylor (Cecily u/s), Cameron Cai (Gwendolen u/s), Wendy Lee Evans (Miss Prism u/s), Jessica Goforth (Dr. Chasuble u/s), and JJ Sheehan (Merriman/Lane u/s). * denotes Strawdog Ensemble Member. 

Creative Team: Jordan Ratliff (Associate Director), Dakota Allen (Stage Manager), Dusty Brown (Dramaturg, Adapted By), Joel Schleicher (Co-Production Manager), Noah Elman (Co-Production Manager), Manuel Ortiz* (Scenic Designer), Heath Hays* (Sound Designer), Emma Linnae (Lighting Designer), Rain Foiles (Costume Designer), Jyerika Guest (Intimacy Designer), Ellie Levine (Accessibility Director),  Kyle Hamman* (Live Stream Technician), Karissa Murrell-Myers* (Casting Director), and Kamille Dawkins* (Producer). * denotes Strawdog Ensemble Member. 

Dates: June 7 - 30, 2024 (Previews May 30 - June 2, 2024)

Schedule: Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m.

Location: Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago

Run Time: Approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes

Tickets: Free with advance registration; Donations encouraged

Box Office: Visit 

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Images available at our Media Center at this link


Strawdog Theatre Company was ignited in 1988 Chicago by Lawrence Novikoff and Paul Engelhardt as a small ensemble based storefront theatre. Since then, Strawdog has grown to an ensemble of nearly 30 directors, designers, actors and theatre-makers committed to elevating the arena of ensemble-based theatre. Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Saints Grant Commission, and The Puffin Foundation. For more information:

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