Ives Adapts Corneille's The Liar for DC World Premiere, Opening April 12

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12 Apr 2010

<i>The Liar</i> star Christian Conn
The Liar star Christian Conn
Scott Suchman
American playwright David Ives' new version of Pierre Corneille's 17th-century comedy, The Liar, opens April 12 in a world-premiere production by Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Ives is calling the new script a "translaptation."

A what? He explains it as "a translation with a heavy dose of adaptation." Ives said, "One must think as a playwright, not as a translator. One must ask: what is the play underneath the words, what is going on beneath speeches rather than on their surface, who are these characters and what drives them, and finally what is this play actually all about?"

Read the earlier PlayBlog item about The Liar.

Christian Conn, Adam Green, Erin Partin, Miriam Silverman, Tony Roach, Aubrey Deeker, Colleen Delany and David Sabin are featured in the staging, which began April 6 under the direction of STC artistic director Michael Kahn.

Performances play the Lansburgh Theatre through May 23.



Ives' script of The Liar was published by Plays in Print, an imprint of Smith and Kraus Publishers, Inc. The Liar script is the first script to be published as part of the STC ReDiscovery Series, for which the Company finds and produces works that are rarely performed in today's theatres.

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The French farce is newly imagined by Ives, the playwright whose works include All in the Times, New Jerusalem, Polish Joke and the recent Off-Broadway hit, Venus in Fur. He also adapted Mark Twain's Is He Dead? and has streamlined many vintage musicals into playable concert versions for the Encores! series.

The Liar is billed this way: When he arrives in Paris, pathological liar Dorante (played by Conn) tells outlandish tales that amaze and convince all who hear them, "but for each problem his clever lying solves, it creates two new ones," according to STC. "Will he manage to keep his stories straight, his dupes none the wiser and somehow still get the girl?"

The Liar features Green as Cliton, Partin as Clarice, Silverman as Lurcrece, Roach as Alcippe, Deeker as Philiste, Delany as Isabelle/Sabine and Sabin as Geronte.

The creative team includes set designer Alexander Dodge, costume designer Murell Horton, composer Adam Wernick, sound designer Martin Desjardins, lighting designer Jeff Croiter, text coaching Ellen O'Brien, stage manager M. William Shiner and assistant stage manager Elizabeth Clewley.

For tickets and information, call (202) 547-1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.