Lady Windermere’s Fan


February 11 & 12, 1930


Illini Theatre


The story concerns Lady Windemere, who discovers that her husband may be having an affair with another woman. She confronts her husband but he instead invites the other woman, Mrs. Erlynne, to his wife’s birthday ball. Angered by her husband’s unfaithfulness, Lady Windemere leaves her husband for another lover. After discovering what has transpired, Mrs. Erlynne follows Lady Windemere and attempts to persuade her to return to her husband and in the course of this, Mrs. Erlynne is discovered in a compromising position. It is revealed Mrs. Erlynne is Lady Windemere’s mother, who abandoned her family twenty years before the time of the play is set. Mrs. Erlynne sacrifices herself and her reputation in order to save her daughter’s marriage.

Author: Oscar Wilde

Historian’s Corner

For the ballroom scene in “Lady Windemere’s Fan,” a group of thirty characters had to be clothed in evening dress. Mrs. Julius Griesheim was in charge of the wardrobe. For the first act setting, all of the furniture was genuine Chippendale pieces lent by Mrs. Charles H. Burr. Mrs. Irene Beath was in charge of the stage settings.