SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS AN UPDATED VERSION OF THE SCHOOL FOR LIES, ADAPTED BY DAVID IVES AND DIRECTED BY MICHAEL KAHN
REVISIONS ADDED TO ADDRESS POLITICAL CLIMATE IN WASHINGTON, DC
Washington, D.C. — Tony Award-nominee David Ives and STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn, the team that created the award-winning French “trilogy” of The Liar, The Heir Apparent and The Metromaniacs, will unite once more to present a newly revamped version of Ives’ The School For Lies at the Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW) from May 30–July 2, 2017.
The School for Lies transforms Molière’s 17th-century classic Les Misanthrope into a modern satire crafted in vicious couplets and outrageous gags, creating a baroque comedy of manners brimming with contemporary slang. STC’s production will be the premiere of Ives’s newly updated version of the adaptation. Inspired by recent events and the opportunity to work with Kahn once again, Ives has reworked his play for the first time since it premiered in 2011.
Amid a world of gossip, glamour and scandal the story focuses on Frank, an aristocrat who despises hypocrisy and doesn’t mind telling you so. Frank wreaks havoc in a world of pompous suitors and extravagant ladies, hurling abuse and affection with equal gusto as he competes with a gaggle of admirers for his beloved Celimene, whose attraction to Frank is driven only by her incorrect belief that he is a man of influence.
At a time when accusations of dishonesty and deceit continue to dominate our news agendas, the arrival of The School for Lies in Washington D.C. is timely. But buoyed by Ives’s signature wit, this piercing satire is sure to keep audiences laughing all the way home.
“I consider David Ives to be one of the best modern-day writers—particularly of rhymed verse couplets—and his wit is unequaled,” says Michael Kahn. “David doesn’t just translate old classic plays; he has a talent for bringing them to life and helping audiences rediscover them on a modern stage. It is an honor to return to this collaboration and a joy to be directing his comic imagination once more.”
Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Michael Kahn has directed a wide variety of Shakespearean and classical works for STC, including last season’s The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, as well as The Metromaniacs, a repertory of Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2, Wallenstein, The Government Inspector, Strange Interlude, The Heir Apparent, Old Times, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Liar, Richard II, The Alchemist, Design for Living, The Way of the World, and many more. Having brought international works like Headlong’s 1984, The National Theatre of Scotland’s Dunsinane and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart and Théâtre de l’Atelier’s Les Liaisons Dangereuse to the theatre, Kahn continues to demonstrate the versatility and relevance of STC’s theatre programming with this season’s productions. In 1991, he created the Free For All, which brings an STC production to audiences completely free of charge every year. In addition to leading STC, he is also the founder of the Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University and the former Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard. Since the 1960s, Kahn’s work has been seen by audiences across the country and the world: in New York City, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as at both the American Shakespeare Theatre and the McCarter Theatre where he served as Artistic Director concurrently. In 2003, STC performed his production of The Oedipus Plays at the Athens Festival in Greece, where it received standing ovations and critical acclaim. In the summer of 2006, the Company took Kahn’s production of Love’s Labor’s Lost to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Complete Works Festival” in Stratford-upon-Avon. Kahn was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2013 and has been recognized as an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
The cast of The School for Lies features a wealth of Affiliated Artists, STC veterans and much-beloved D.C. actors. The lead roles of Frank and his love interest Celimene will be played by Gregory Wooddell and Victoria Frings. STC Affiliated Artist Gregory Wooddell’’s previous work for the company include: Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, The Merchant of Venice, Cyrano, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, The Country Wife, Don Carlos, Richard II, The Comedy of Errors. His Broadway credits include The Lyons and Cymbeline and Off-Broadway includes the world premiere of Nicky Silver’s The Lyons at the Vineyard Theatre. His regional credits include Signature Theatre: Cabaret (Helen Hayes winner for Outstanding Ensemble); Philadelphia Theatre Company; Huntington Theatre Company; Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Arena Stage & McCarter Theatre Center. His television credits include; Person of Interest, 30Rock, The Good Wife, Third Watch, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, Days of Our Lives. Victoria Frings credits include New York: Broadway: An Enemy of the People; Off-Broadway: Pearl Theatre: Martin Luther on Trial; Manhattan Theatre Club: Tales from Red Vienna; To-By-For Productions: Mechanics of Love, Stitches, Marie Marie Marlene. Her regional credits include Old Globe: Constellations; Kennedy Center: Richard Nelson’s The Guardsman and Baltimore Center Stage: Pride and Prejudice.
STC Affiliated Artists Veanne Cox, Tom Story and Cameron Folmar will also join the cast. Veanne Cox will return to STC as Arsinoé after her celebrated roles in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Twelfth Night. Tom Story, most recently seen at STC in The Winter’s Tale and The Taming of the Shrew, will play Oronte. Cameron Folmar (Measure for Measure, An Ideal Husband, and more) will play the role of Clitander. Rounding out the company are: Liam Craig (Acaste) whose credits for STC include The Tempest, The Government Inspector and The Servant of Two Masters. His Broadway credits include Boeing Boeing and Off-Broadway, Theatre for a New Audience: The Servant of Two Masters, The Killer; Vineyard Theatre: The Internationalist; The New Group: Aunt Dan and Lemon; The Public Theater: Two Noble Kinsmen; Roundabout Theatre Company: Juno and the Paycock. His regional credits include roles at Denver Center; Weston Playhouse Theatre Company; Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Intiman Theatre. His film and television credits include The Royal Tenenbaums; Boston Legal and Law & Order. Michael Glenn’s (Dubois/Basque) regional credits include roles at Arena Stage; Round House Theatre; Woolly Mammoth; Folger Theatre; Theater Signature Theatre; Olney Theatre Center; Studio Theatre; Constellation Theatre and Kennedy Center. Dorea Schmidt (Eliante) will make her debut for Shakespeare Theatre Company has appeared around D.C. and received a Helen Hayes Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Collective Rage at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.Finally, Cody Nickell returns to STC as Philinte. Select D.C. credits include STC’s 2008 Romeo and Juliet; The Taming of the Shrew, Arcadia, The School for Scandal, and Macbeth at Folger Theatre; as well as Stupid F***ing Bird and Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
Michael Kahn has drafted a team of celebrated, award-winning designers with a rich history of collaboration and work on David Ives’s plays.
Alexander Dodge (Scenic Designer) worked on The Heir Apparent and The Liar for the Company. Broadway credits include: Anastasia, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominations), Present Laughter (Tony Award Nomination), Old Acquaintance, Butley and Hedda Gabler.
Costume Designer Murell Horton returns following his work on The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound (2017 Helen Hayes nomination), The Metromaniacs, The Heir Apparent and The Liar (Helen Hayes nomination). Regional credits include Guthrie Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Madison Repertory Theatre and Indiana Repertory Theatre.
Lighting Designer Mark McCullough worked with Kahn on his productions of The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, and The Metromaniacs, as well as productions of Coriolanus, Wallenstein, Design for Living, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Edward II, Tamburlaine, Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Hamlet, Henry V, Richard II.
Sound Designer Christopher Baine returns following his work on The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, The Heir Apparent, and Julius Caesar (Free For All). His regional credits include Imagination Stage: When She Had Wings, The BFG (Helen Hayes nomination 2015); Olney Theatre Center: Colossal (Helen Hayes award winner 2015); Theater Alliance: Wonderful World of Dissocia (Helen Hayes award winner 2015); Marin Theatre Company: Fetch Clay, Make Man; Woolly Mammoth: Detroit, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Helen Hayes nomination 2013), A Bright New Boise (Helen Hayes award winner 2015), Gruesome Playground Injuries; Studio Theatre: Water by the Spoonful, Red Speedo, Dirt; Folger Theatre: Romeo and Juliet (Helen Hayes nomination 2014) and The Taming of the Shrew (Helen Hayes nomination 2013) .
Composer Adam Wernick has written music at STC for The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, The Metromaniacs, Measure for Measure, The Government Inspector, The Heir Apparent, All’s Well That Ends Well (Mainstage and Free For All), The Liar, The Alchemist, The Way of the World, Hamlet (Mainstage and Free For All), Love’s Labours Lost (Mainstage and at RSC) and many more. New York credits include: Red Bull Theater: ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore and The Joyce Theater: 1984. Regional credits include: The Guthrie Theater, Denver Center Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Santa Cruz Shakespeare and Great Lakes Theater. Recipient and eight-time Helen Hayes Award nominee.
Assistant Director Craig Baldwin worked on The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound and The Metromaniacs with Kahn. His other STC credits include The Tempest (2016 Free For All), The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, The Tempest. New York credits include : 59E59: C.O.A.L. (Confessions of a Liar); New York International Fringe Festival: Magic Kingdom and The More Loving One (FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award: Best Overall Production/Play).
Resident Production Stage Manager Joseph Smelser’s credits for STC include King Charles III, The Secret Garden, The Taming of the Shrew, The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound (also at Guthrie Theater), Kiss Me, Kate, Tartuffe, Man of La Mancha, The Tempest (Mainstage, 2016 Free For All), A Winter’s Tale (2014 Free For All), Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (in rep), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Measure for Measure, Wallenstein and Coriolanus (in rep), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mainstage, 2015 Free For All), The Government Inspector and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Regional credits include: Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Rounding out the artistic team are: Assistant Stage Manager Jessica Skelton; Casting Director Laura Stanczyk, CSA; Resident Casting Director Carter C. Wooddell; Literary Manager and Dramaturg Drew Litchenberg; and Head of Voice and Text Lisa Beley.
ABOUT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY
Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation’s leading premier classical theatre company. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible to audiences in and around the nation’s capital.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative productions inspire dialogue that connects classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced in order to preserve and promote classic theatre—ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes—for all audiences.
A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free for All. For the past 25 years the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.
Located in downtown Washington, D.C., STC performs in two theatres, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. In addition to STC productions appearing year-round, these spaces also accommodate presentations from outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. The Company has been a fixture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood since 1992.