We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

When plans for its summer production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters fell through at the last minute, the folks at Scena Theatre didn’t panic and try to put the cast’s just-acquired Slavic accents to work in a new Russian play. Instead, they recruited a cast of regular contributors and returned to a light and lively romp they last produced in 2011, ensuring that the show—albeit one entirely different in mood and genre—would go on. As he did four years ago, Scena Artistic Director Robert McNamara helms the company’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, the silly comedy of errors about a marriage proposal gone awry. As a way of paying tribute to the multiple roles Wilde played in his personal life (dedicated family man and father; closeted, teenager-seducing bon vivant) and commenting on the gender fluidity of the play’s characters, male and female actors swap roles, with some men playing assertive women and some women portraying effeminate men. Whether that change takes away from Earnest’s message about male and female relationships is up for debate, but this comedic caper seems much more suited for D.C. in late August than the heavy material that could have been staged in its place. The play runs Aug. 15 to Sept. 13 at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $25–$45. (202) 399-7993. scenatheatre.org.