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Thursday, 03 March 2011 10:56

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST to be Filmed for Cinema Screenings in June 2011

Roundabout Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works and BY Experience

Announce the high-definition filming of

Roundabout Theatre Company’s acclaimed Broadway production of

Oscar Wilde’s famous comedy


Directed by and starring Brian Bedford

For cinema screenings in June 2011

“The great actor Brian Bedford is brilliant in this funny and effervescent production.  It’s one of the great performances of the season; to miss it would most definitely look like carelessness.”New York Times



Roundabout Theatre Company’s (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) critically acclaimed Broadway production of Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford, will be filmed live with multiple high definition cameras during public performances on March 11 and 12, 2011 at the American Airlines Theatre (227 West 42nd St.). 

The Importance of Being Earnest: Live in HD is being captured live in high-definition from the Broadway stage for limited screenings in movie theaters and performing arts centers across the U.S. and internationally on Thursday, June 2, 2011 and varying dates through June 30.

Roundabout Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works and BY Experience are thrilled to collaborate on this exciting theatrical project for movie audiences in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to be able to experience the best of Broadway.

A full list of participating cinemas, exhibition dates and ticket prices will be announced soon.  For more information on The Importance of Being Earnest: Live in HDplease go to

Todd Haimes, Roundabout Artistic Director: “All of us at Roundabout are delighted to be the first American

not-for-profit theatre company to tackle a transmission to movie theaters.  It is a great thrill to be able to bring Brian Bedford’s amazing production to audiences around the world.  We are happy to work with Susan Loewenberg of L.A. Theatre Works -- whose work I have always admired -- and Julie and Robert Borchard-Young of BY Experience who are experts in HD capture and distribution.  I’m thankful to have Susan & BY Experience partnering with us, to ensure that the show is captured and shared with movie audiences in the highest quality possible.”

Susan Loewenberg, L.A. Theatre Works:  “I am in awe of Todd Haimes and Roundabout.  In his time as Artistic Director, he has built the theater to be one of the premier non-profit theatre companies in the United States.  If you look at our catalogue of recorded plays, our selection closely mirrors Roundabout’s production history. And we recently recorded their hit productions of The Glass Menagerie and Speech & Debate.  So I have to believe that the theatre gods are blessing this union and I’m thrilled to proceed with Earnest.”

Julie Borchard-Young, BY Experience:  “The Roundabout Theatre Company's staging of The Importance of Being Earnest is the right play, at the right time, with the right company behind it to be filmed for cinema screens.  The great casting and critical raves make this Earnest production a "must-see"; yet theater lovers can't always travel to New York to catch an engagement.  Cinema audiences who otherwise might miss out will really appreciate the opportunity to see Earnest captured live from the Broadway stage -- just as the show is performed to a live audience -- exhibited in their neighborhood movie theater.”

The Importance of Being Earnest is a glorious comedy of mistaken identity, which ridicules codes of propriety and etiquette.  Dashing men-about-town John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff pursue fair ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew.   Matters are complicated by the imaginary characters invented by both men to cover their on-the-sly activities – not to mention the disapproval of Gwendolen’s mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell.

Due to demand, the critically acclaimed Broadway engagement of The Importance of Being Earnest was recently extended 17-weeks through Sunday, July 3rd, 2011. 

The Importance of Being Earnest cast also features Dana Ivey as “Miss Prism,” Paxton Whitehead as “Rev. Canon Chasuble,” Santino Fontana as “Algernon Moncrieff,” David Furr as “John Worthing,” Tim MacDonald as “Merriman,” Paul O’Brien as “Lane,” Charlotte Parry as “Cecily Cardew,” and Sara Topham as “Gwendolen Fairfax.”  The design team includes Desmond Heeley (Sets & Costumes), Duane Schuler (Lights) and Drew Levy (Sound).

Elysa Gardner of USA Today says “Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of Wilde’s most famous play is delightful! Bedford proves a perfect fit for Earnest's juiciest character”.  Charles Isherwood of the New York Times says: “The great actor Brian Bedford is brilliant in this funny and effervescent production.  It’s one of the great performances of the season; to miss it would most definitely look like carelessness.”  Scott Brown of NY Magazine says Earnest is “Funny as hell!” And Charles Spencer of the London Telegraph exclaims: “Brian Bedford’s production is the finest ‘Importance’ I have ever seen.”

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival presented an acclaimed production of The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford, in 2009. 

The Importance of Being Earnest: Live in HD will be filmed and distributed to movie theaters and performing arts centers by New York-based BY Experience.

Executive Producers for cinema are Julie Borchard-Young and Robert Borchard-Young for BY Experience, Susan A. Loewenberg for L.A. Theatre Works, and Harold Wolpert for Roundabout Theatre Company.

Lead funding for this project is provided by the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.


Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at or at the American Airlines Box Office (227 West 42nd Street).  Ticket prices range from $72.00-122.00.

To become a Roundabout subscriber visit or call Roundabout Ticket Services (212)719-1300. 


The Importance of Being Earnestplays Tuesday through Saturday evening at 8:00PM with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00PM.  Beginning March 15th, Tuesday evening performances will begin at 7:00PM.


Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging

writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout's mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; and the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season features Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring and directed by Brian Bedford; Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymorestarring Olympia Dukakis, directed by Michael Wilson; Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster & Joel Grey, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall; David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy, directed by Evan Cabnet;  Dart, Stoller, Butler’s The People in the Picture, starring Donna Murphy, directed by Leonard Foglia; Stone, Meehan & Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday, directed by Doug Hughes.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2011-2012 will feature Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, directed by Graciela Daniele; Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet, directed by Peter DuBois; John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, directed by Sam Gold.


L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) has been recording award-winning audio versions of stage plays, musicals, and novels for nearly three decades. Founded in 1974, LATW, under the leadership of Producing Director, Susan Albert Loewenberg, is a non-profit theatre and media arts organization which marries innovative forms of technology with timeless and compelling stories. LATW's long-running weekly radio show, L.A. Theatre Works, is heard on NPR stations nationwide, and its unprecedented collection of over 400 recordings is available in thousands of libraries, via iTunes, Amazon, in bookstores and direct from Plays are recorded in front of live audiences (The Play's the Thing) with America's top actors as well as in the studio, and the company tours nationally with its radio-style productions. L.A. Theatre Works recordings are made available for secondary education (Alive & Aloud, for middle and high schools) and to under-served communities (Library Access), and now to higher education through its recently launched The Play's the Thing for Higher Education project, a digital database of plays indexed for use in scholarly research and college and university instruction.

Recent recordings include Lucy Prebble’s Enron, starring Steven Weber, Greg Gurman and Amy Pietz, directed by Rosiland Ayres; Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth, starring Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hamilton and Missy Yaeger, directed by Mark Brokaw; Terry Johnson’s  The Graduate starring KathleenTurner and Mathew Rhys, directed by John Rubinstein,Tartuffe starring Brian Bedford, directed by Rosiland Ayres; Arcadia starring Kate Burton, Hamish Linklater and Gregory Itzin ; Jon Robin Baitz’s The Paris Letter, starring Ron Rifkin, Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor and Patricia Wettig, directed by Peter Levin and Lorraine Hansbury’s A Raisin In The Sun starring Judyann Elder, Corey Hawkins and Rutina Wesley, directed by Lou Bellamy.


BY Experience kicked off the digital revolution of live events to movie theaters and other locations globally with David Bowie’s 2003 Reality album launch and since then, nearly 10 million tickets have been sold worldwide for events BY Experience has distributed and/or produced. BY Experience introduced the live in cinema concept to the Metropolitan Opera, and from conception of the Live in HD series in 2006 to the present, has served as the Met’s Worldwide HD Distribution Representative.  In 2009, BY Experience began working with the U.K.’s National Theatre as International (ex-UK) Distribution Representative for National Theatre Live, now in its second season.  BY Experience teamed up with The New York Times on its speaker’s series, TimesTalks LIVE for select cinema events with authors John Irving and Steven King, and the creators of ABC’s hit series Lost (2009 - 2010).   Additionally, BY Experience has produced, distributed, and executive produced several highly successful unique one off events for cinemas, including the public radio shows A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor (February and October 2010) and This American Life – Live! with Ira Glass (April 2008 and May 2009), several high profile concerts including The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax (June 2010), BBC Electric Proms: Robbie Williams (October 2009), David Gilmour: Remember That Night — Live from the Royal Albert Hall (September 2007), and the classic music celebrations BBC Last Night of the Proms (September 2009 and September 2010).  For more information, visit:

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