Oscar Wilde, the fascinating playwright who has himself become the subject of fascinating plays, is the center of another new work, C. Robert Holloway's Oscar & Speranza, about the relationship between Wilde and his mother.
The two-character play, drawn from correspondence between Wilde and Lady Jane Wilde, will have its world premiere by the professional Trumpet Vine Theatre Company in Arlington, VA, Oct. 26-Nov. 12. This is the first world premiere in the 12-year history of Trumpet Vine. Official opening is Oct. 28.
For four years, Holloway, a lifelong Wilde enthusiast, was granted access to Wilde's letters in Wilde Collection at UCLA. The two-act drama spans 18 years, 1882-1900, beginning with Wilde's lecture tour in the U.S. and ending with his death after public shaming and imprisonment following trials involving charges of gross indecency.
Oscar & Speranza details the attempts of Wilde's mother, who was an author who used the pen name Speranza, to rise above scandals that plagued her all her life, and her lifelong encouragement of her two sons to transcend gossip and infamy.
Trumpet Vine artistic director Keith Waters will play Wilde. Steven Scott Mazzola will direct. Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest, A Woman of No Importance) is himself the subject of a number of plays, including Moises Kaufman's Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and Maxim Mazumdar's Oscar Remembered (at Canada's Stratford Festival this summer), among others.
Playwright Holloway won a Hemingway First Novel Prize for "The Unauthorized Letters of Oscar Wilde." He has been a lighting designer for grand opera and a production designer for movies and TV.
Tickets are $20$22. Trumpet Vine presents Oscar & Speranza at Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, 1611 N. Kent St., in Arlington, VA. For information, call (703) 912 1649.
-- By Kenneth Jones