University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame


First-Years' First Show: The Importance of Being Earnest

Be there at 7:30 p.m. on November 8 to cheer four up-and-coming first-year students when the curtains open on the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Gabe Krut from San Diego, CA, will play Algernon Moncrieff, a wealthy bachelor who, as a dandy, “thinks highly of his taste in fashion.” According to Gabe, his character gets into a “fair bit of mischief.”

While Gabe really loves his character, he’s most excited about being able to just do it, to be part of the production. “I’m only a couple of months in and I’m already in a show. It’s wonderful!”

“I’m really stoked for the costumes and the set. Mark [Seamon, director], the cast, and the crew are so great — rehearsals have been awesome!”

Declan Grogan from Elmhurst, IL, plays Merriman, the butler at the Manor House. Will he play his part as a classic, strict butler character or a sassy, “put-up-with-nothing” type? No matter which way he chooses, he feels The Importance of Being Earnest is still “just as funny” today as it was when first performed over a hundred years ago.

Declan’s an engineering intent, but he was involved with theatre productions for eight years before college. “It was actually in a show over the summer that one of my fellow cast members, Teagan Earley, who’s a sophomore FTT major, convinced me to come to Notre Dame to continue theatre here.”

How did Javier Rivera González, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, get involved in the production? “I saw it in the Scholastic and I did theatre in high school and I wanted to do it in college. So I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to try and audition for that!’ I made a beeline straight for the audition packets,” he says.

He will be playing Dr. Chausuble, a doctor who “gives the impression that he is a lot smarter than he actually is.” Javier adds, “But he is a hardworking guy."

Javier’s favorite part about his experience has been how supportive everyone in the show is. He explains, “The cast is just so nice and helpful. I’ve had some tough times with the show, because I’m Puerto Rican, and my family’s over there. And they were just checking up on me and making sure I’m okay.”

Coming to Notre Dame from McAllen, TX, Stacy Manrique knew she wanted to do theatre production. “I didn’t have much [theatre] experience in high school, but I knew I wanted to double major with FTT.” Stacy went to DPAC Art Attack and met with the director, who then told her to audition.

Stacy’s role in the Importance of Being Earnest is assistant stage manager. What does the assistant stage manager do? “I have to write down the blocking and work all backstage during tech week,” she explains. “Basically any questions that they have, along with assisting the stage manager.”

“I really like how big the show is and how much effort, how much money, they are putting into it,” Stacy says. “I’ve never seen an actual stage being designed. I’m just amazed at how much effort is put into this show.”

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde will play in Patricia George Decio Theatre, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, November 8 through 12. Event and ticket information at