Carson Elrod (Shakespeare in the Park's Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well, Broadway's Reckless) makes his STC debut as Crispin, alongside DC royalty Floyd King as Geronte and Nancy Robinette as Madame Argante, with Kelly Hutchinson as Lisette, Clark Middleton as Scruple, Meg Chambers Steedle as Isabelle and Andrew Veenstra as Eraste.
The creative team behind STC's hit 2010 production of Ives' The Liar reunites for the project at STC's intimate 450-seat Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW). Performances under the direction of artistic director Michael Kahn play Sept. 6-Oct. 23.
Here's how STC bills the production: "The Heir Apparent, an adaptation of Jean-François Regnard's 1708 comedic masterpiece, marks the return of Broadway playwright David Ives to STC. Eraste desperately wants to marry Isabelle, but needs to secure an inheritance from his miserly old uncle, Geronte. Geronte doesn't make it easy for Eraste, though, first because he's bequeathed his money to distant relatives — second, and worse, because he plans to marry Isabelle himself. Can Eraste's resourceful servant save the day with his powers of disguise and his quick wit? Love, family and intrigue join to make this a hilarious French farce that shouldn't be missed."
Ives (All in the Timing, Venus in Fur), recent winner of the Helen Hayes Awards' Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play for his version of Pierre Corneille's The Liar, returns to DC for the premiere. Director Kahn said in a statement, "One of the most wonderful experiences I've had at STC was the opportunity to work with David on his adaptation of The Liar, so I asked him to do another adaptation of a French play for the 25th anniversary. David has created a brilliant comedic part in Crispin and he has built up all of the other characters. He's a wonderful writer, immensely inventive, and he is a splendid person to collaborate with in rehearsal."
The Heir Apparent was commissioned through the generous support of The Beech Street Foundation as part of the theatre's ReDiscovery Series. In this series, "the company and the audience investigate exemplary plays of the classical canon that are rarely performed in today's theatre through readings by some of DC's and New York's finest actors. The readings provide audiences with a visual and aural sense of the work, and the combined efforts and responses of artists, scholars and audience illuminate the play's potential and limitations." Works for the ReDiscovery series are chosen by Michael Kahn, who said, "Something this theatre stands for and has committed itself to is the discovery of unknown classic plays from the past. On the 25th anniversary it seemed the appropriate time to do not only that, but also to present a world premiere."
The design team for The Heir Apparent, creating the 18th-century French setting, includes scenic designer Alexander Dodge (The Liar), lighting designer Phillip Rosenberg, costume designer Murell Horton (The Liar, The Alchemist) and composer Adam Wernick (All's Well That Ends Well).
For tickets and information, visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.
Ives' Off-Broadway hit Venus in Fur makes its Broadway debut this fall.