Manassas Park High School – Lady Windermere’s FanBy Cappies • Mar 9th, 2012 • Category: Cappies
What would you do if your wife thought you were having an affair with her mother, who she doesn’t know is her mother, while one of your friends is in love with your wife? Well, that’s the complicated predicament Lord Windermere finds himself falling into in Manassas Park’s production of Lady Windermere’s Fan.
Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan is a four-act comedy first produced in 1892. Following Wilde’s characteristically witty tone, this satire of Victorian society follows Lady Windermere as she discovers that her husband is having an affair. As she confronts both her husband and the “other woman,” comedic twists and turns follow each of the characters as they learn that not everything is what is seems.
One of the strongest aspects of this production was the control of language by the cast. Many of the performers clearly understood the subtleties of Wilde’s language, and were able to perform it in a way that was clearly understood. Each performer’s true caring about his or her character also created the charm of this show.
As the title role, Shannon Kitchen was able to portray a woman devastated by betrayal. She was committed to each moment of her character’s emotional journey, and was entirely sympathetic. Her excellent accent work also stood out, as her British dialect never once wavered. The love between herself and Lord Windermere, played by Michael Hibbs, was also evident through her pain. Hibbs also had dedication to his role, delivering a passionate monologue at the end of the play exceedingly well.
As The Duchess of Berwick, the woman who casually informs Lady Windermere of her husband’s infidelities, Ebonee Johnson was a standout performer. She embraced her character’s physicality, and each line was delivered in a hilariously prudish manner. Her interactions with her silent daughter, Lady Agatha Carlisle (Briana Carter), also had true chemistry. In her role, Carter was able to use her facial expressions and body language to make up for her character’s lack of lines, and made her feelings towards her mother clear.
Although this show did have some issues with certain technical aspects, the set dressing and lighting were done well. The furniture and decorations were all period and looked at home in the living room of a wealthy couple. The lighting was effective, as no actor was ever in shadow or darkness. The number of costumes made for the show was impressive, and the outfits of almost all of the main characters stood out and made their social status clear.
In Manassas Park’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, the value of love, honestly, and fidelity are all discussed in a bitingly blasé manner – after all, who really knows the truth?
by Amanda Miesner of Chantilly High School
Photos by Harry Starbird
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7735.