Here’s a fascinating theatrical event for the summer…an interesting hybrid production that combines two great plays: the classic Victorian comedy The Importance of Being Earnest by notorious gay playwright Oscar Wilde and the far more recent Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moisés Kaufman which explores the tribulations that Wilde faced as a gay man in an era where being gay was a criminal act.
Wilde was the toast of London if not the world after his huge literary successes that included other major plays like Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband and his scandalously queer novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. But, his career, reputation and life were all ruined by court cases that outed him to the public as a gay man in 1895. After a stint in jail, Wilde fled to France where he died in 1900 at the age of 46. For decades after, Wilde’s name was a synomyn for a scandalous life and specifically, a queer one.
The Williams Project, one of Seattle’s best theater companies, was intrigued by the idea of creating a theatrical piece that combines all the different sides of Wilde’s life. Champagne + Sodomy: The Art and Crime of Oscar Wilde is their way to take the audience from “the decadent drawing room to the reactionary courtroom with a champagne flute still in your hand” over the course of a performance.
But, it’s a short run for this immersive experience which takes place in Georgetown at the Base: Experimental Arts Space (where the Williams Project has produced other productions). It opens Friday, July 28th and will only play 8 performances over two weekends! Check out more info down below and at their website: https://www.thewilliamsproject.org/champagne-sodomy
You should also note that some performances require the wearing a mask! Check their website for specifics!
Champagne + Sodomy
A Theatrical Event Featuring
Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde
by Moisés Kaufman
The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Ryan Guzzo Purcell
July 28-August 5, 2023
Base: Experimental Arts + Space
6520 5th Ave S #122, Seattle, WA 98108
At Champagne + Sodomy: The Art and Crime of Oscar Wilde, a new immersive theatrical event, you’ll be thrust from the decadent drawing room to the reactionary courtroom with a champagne flute still in your hand. Pairing Wilde’s beloved comedy The Importance of Being Earnest with his persecution by the state as told in Moisés Kaufman’s docu-play Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Williams Project presents an evening-length, genre-defying performance exploring how our culture is obsessed with queer art but terrified of the queers that make it.