Why did I choose The Importance of Being Earnest for the play that they’re doing in my novel? Um, because it’s awesome. Fight me.
Honestly, the thinking was that I needed something: a) real, so I wouldn’t have to come up with a whole new story for a fake play, b) old enough to be in the public domain, so I could quote large sections of dialogue and describe the plot in detail without running afoul of copyright, and c) not Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare, but it’s been done to death, and I wanted something lighter.
And then Earnest was the very first thing that popped to mind, and it was perfect. I already had the characters of Andy, Clark, Julia, and Megan planned, and they fit right in. It’s fun, it’s the kind of thing this theatre would do, and a lot of people like it.
It wasn’t until later that I realized it doesn’t have a lot of tech to it, which made it harder to give lots of tech challenges to Emma and her crew, but I figured it out.