Satire takes center stage

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 19:00
AFAA production opens Friday
From left, Victoria Peck, Talya Jensen and Michael Newsham act out a scene from “The Importance of Being Earnest” on Friday, Feb. 22. The show opens Friday, March 1 at AFAA in Eagle River.

No matter how many times he reads “The Importance of Being Earnest,” James Jensen never tires of it.

“I’ve always loved this play,” he said.

Now, Jensen is sharing his fondness of Oscar Wilde’s famous comedy with the Chugiak-Eagle River community.

The first of six shows opens Friday, March 1 at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy.

It’s a show Jensen has wanted to direct for some time.

“I’ve always wanted to do it,” he said. “I’ll probably do it again, I love it that much.”

The show, which contains outright humor and more subtle satire, is flat out hilarious, Jensen said.

“It’s so funny,” he said.

His cast often can’t hide their emotions during rehearsal, Jensen said.

“They’re laughing their butts off,” he said. “Sometimes we have to stop.”

Though written in the late 1800s, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is relatable today, Jensen said, most notably its theme of people worrying about the opinions of others.

“This takes that to the extreme and makes fun of it,” he said.

The show is also a good way to introduce Jensen’s young cast to Wilde, he said. Aside from Jensen and Victoria Peck, the other six cast members are students.

The production opens Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. with two shows the following day at 2 p.m. and 7. It continues Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. with two performances Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m. and 7.

Tickets are $15 at the door or $14 in advance. Children 12 and younger, seniors and military cost $12.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the AFAA box office at 694-8909.


Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected].

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