BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.
Muth, already director of bands, has taken on this latest venture and has been working with nine high school student-actors to present Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Ernest” Friday and Saturday in the Fairfield High School Auditorium.
Both performances begin at 7 p.m. Cost is $7 for general admission and $5 for students. Tickets are available by calling 574-831-2184.
“I’ve been in shows and musicals since I was 5 years old, as well as helping out with a play while student teaching at Pike High School,” he said.
The play, Muth said, has many teachable moments.
“Among other things, they learn how to deliver humor with a straight face,” he said. “They learn that comedy isn’t just slap-stick.”
Even with some difficult Victorian language, the story is easy to follow.
“It is very accessible to high school students. They get the sarcasm and the wit,” Muth said. “With a Shakespeare play, you can spend half the time just trying to explain to students what’s going on.”
Muth credits a great support system, including parents, assistant director Patty Sprunger, light and sound coordinator Larry Becker and choir director Ben Kambs for making the play run smoothly.
“About this time I usually feel a tinge of panic,” Muth said. “But not now. Everyone is helping out and doing a fantastic job.”