Comedy of Manners & The Importance of Being Earnest

Type: Lesson

Topic(s): Acting Skills & Techniques, Theatre History & Dramaturgy

Audience: High School

Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate

Suggested Time Frame:

3 days

Keywords: comedy of manners comedy acting oscar wilde scene work improvisation improv scenes 


Students will research comedy of manners, farce, and Victorian comedy. Students will compare and contrast three different plays considered comedy of manners to derive the meaning of comedy of manners. Students will prepare and perform a short scene from The Importance of Being Earnest in the style of Comedy of Manners.

Essential Question
How does comedy of manners relate to our world in the 21st century? Are certain situations universally funny?
Learning Objectives
  • Use research skills to analyze three plays within a similar style
  • Apply a style of acting to read a short scene
  • Evaluate their own application of a style of acting
Related Lessons
National Arts Anchor Standards
  • Refine and complete artistic work.
  • Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
  • Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
  • Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
  • Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, & historical context.