Claire Saunders, Mitchell Winter and Rebecca Brooksher in “The Importance of Being Earnest” at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre.

STOCKBRIDGE — “Treat all trivial things seriously and all serious things with studied triviality,” Irish playwright Oscar Wilde said just before the London debut of his 1895 comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest.” No surprise then that he subtitled his play “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.”

George Jean Nathan Award-winning drama critic John Lahr considers “Earnest” “the most perfect of modern comedies.”

For director David Auburn, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is the perfect tonic for these coming-out-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic times.

“We talked a bit about what we wanted to do coming out of this past year,” Auburn said, referring to preseason conversations with Berkshire Theatre Group CEO and artistic director Kate Maguire. “We wanted to do something about joyfulness. We were taken by the idea of bringing people back into the theater for delight and joy.”

Auburn’s production begins performances Friday, June 18, at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge where it is scheduled to run through July 10. Press openings are June 23 and 24.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” revolves around two men, Jack Worthing and his friend, Algernon Moncrieff, and the extraordinary lengths they go to — each pretending to be someone he is not — in their respective pursuits of two engaging young women, Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. Among the obstacles they must get round is Gwendolen’s mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell

Wilde’s witty, epigrammatic satire paints a society in which deception and truth are at constant odds. Just about anything goes.

“‘Earnest’ is set in a world that has its own rules,” said Auburn, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (“Proof,” 2001), screenwriter, and director whose BTG credits include “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” The Petrified Forest,” “Anna Christie,” “Period of Adjustment” and “A Delicate Balance.”

In addition, said Claire Saunders, who plays Cecily, “we don’t usually see theater that is innately nostalgic. I think that because the play is based on the relationships among these people, it still maintains its relevance.”

“The social commentary in the play is still funny,” said Rebecca Brooksher, who plays Gwendolen. ‘We can consider what that commentary means (within the period of the play) and what it means now.”

“Part of what allows this play to play across time has to do with power dynamics, the shifts in the power dynamics among the characters,” Saunders said.

“Ostensibly,’ said Shawn Fagan, who is playing Algernon, “(according to society) the men have the power. And yet, Jack and Algernon’s power is undermined. Jack is a foundling; Algernon is broke.”

“All these characters are so hungry for things,” Brooksher said. “(Wilde makes) you engage with characters who are so hungry.”

“They all have that side,” Saunders added.

In so many ways, this production is a homecoming for Auburn and members of his cast. For one thing, he has directed Brooksher, Fagan and Saunders in previous productions at BTG. He also has in his cast three familiar BTG veterans — David Adkins, whom Auburn directed in “The Petrified Forest;” Corinna May in the pivotal role of Miss Prism; and Harriet Harris, whom Auburn directed in “The Skin of Our Teeth,” as the intimidating Lady Bracknell.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” also is a homecoming in a broader sense. For all the members of the fully vaccinated cast, crew and designers, this production marks a return to the theater — live theater in front of a live audience — and it’s indoors, too. The original idea was to mount this production in a large tent near the Fitzpatrick Main Stage on the eastern end of BTG’s Berkshire Theatre Festival campus. However, the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and by Actors Equity Association, the national union of professional stage actors and stage managers made it possible to move the production indoors to the Unicorn.

“They’ve been rehearsing there. All the COVID numbers are good. It’s a perfectly good theater so why not use it,” Maguire said.

For Auburn, the move means “we can do what we want onstage.”

“It’s nice to step back and look at (the choices we can make) as actors as we ease into acceptable comfort levels of being with each other,” Fagan said.

The hope among Fagan and his co-cast members is that audiences will leave the Unicorn “physically pained from laughing so hard,” he said.

“While laughing,” Saunders added,” we hope audiences will (maintain) critical judgement.”