Q&A with director Lexie Tombleson

Who: Lexie Tombleson is the director of Ochoco Players Community Theatre’s the Oscar Wilde society comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest,” which runs this weekend only at the Bowman Museum, 246 N. Main St., in Prineville. Tombleson, who was theater director at Crook County High School for 13 years, plays Lady Brocknell in the production, in performance at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is by donation.

Q: What’s the story behind Ochoco Players?

A: When my husband and I moved here in 1986, it was a going concern, and we jumped right in and were in several productions. But all of us were about the same age, with small children. When we did “The Tempest,” all of our children were in it as woodland creatures. That’s how we watched our kids and did plays at the same time (laughs). As our children grew up and started doing athletics and the arts, then we quit doing them to support our kids. Every once in a while we’d say, “You know, we need to start doing plays again.” Finally, about three years ago, Tiina Alas moved to Prineville. … Tiina got together with me, and we reinvigorated or restarted the Ochoco Players.

Q: How long was it dormant?

A: Let’s say 20 years.

Q: How many shows have you done since getting back together?

A: This is our fifth production under the reorganization or the restart.

Q: Can you tell me about “The Importance of Being Earnest”?

A: It’s about two young Victorian bachelors, one of whom wants to marry a young lady he is courting, and the other one is determined he’ll never get married. And the young lady the first bachelor is courting wants to marry a young man named Earnest. Well, it so happens that to some of his friends, he’s known as Earnest, but his real name is John, for reasons that come out in the story. In the meantime, his friend, Algernon, meets a young lady who also wants to marry a young man named Earnest, and she believes, for reasons that are explained in the story, that (Algernon’s) name is Earnest. He has to come clean and tell her that, no, his name is Algernon, and so she’s very put out with him. So the two ladies who thought themselves to be rivals … are now firm allies in their determination not to marry anyone who isn’t named Earnest. In the meantime, the question of John’s parentage is up for grabs. He was found as a baby and adopted, so no one really knows who his parents are … you don’t marry someone whose parentage is not known.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

A: It’s a very fun play. The audience will enjoy it. When I reread it after many years, I was very pleased. … It will be fun to act; it’ll be fun for that audience. It’s a very enjoyable, fast-paced comedy. … We are committed to doing simple things well. Our motto is “Come play with us.” We want to keep it fun. We don’t want people getting stressed out or having their lives completely interrupted by being in a community theater production.

— David Jasper, The Bulletin

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