Photo Flash: First Look at Villanova's THE SCHOOL FOR LIES

Villanova Theatre presents The School for Lies, written byDavid Ives, guest directed by Kathryn MacMillan, and on stage February 11-23, 2014. High-brow humor meets low-brow laughter in this "beguilingly silly" (The New York Times) re-write of Molière's celebrated comedy. Sumptuous, smart and sexy, Villanova's production marks the regional premiere of The School for Lies. Check out just-released promotional photos below!

What do a dreadful poet, penniless Frenchman, and saucy siren have in common? They all speak in hilarious rhyming couplets in David Ives' deliciously off-color tribute to Molière's The Misanthrope. It's 1666 and the brightest, cattiest salon in Paris belongs to Celimene, a beautiful young widow so known for her satiric tongue she's being sued for it. Surrounded by shallow suitors (whom she leads on long enough to live off of), Celimene has managed to evade love since her adoring husband died. But she meets her misanthropic match when a sardonic stranger appears on the scene, turning her witty world upside down and matching her barb for barb.

Villanova brings this glittering play to life with the help of an award-winning team of designers: Thom Weaver (Scenic Design), Janus Stefanowicz (Costume Design), Jerold Forsyth (Lighting Design), John Stovicek (Sound Design), Matt Tallman (Verse Coach), and Sarah Totora (Dramaturg). This design team has married tradition with modernity, combining classic baroque elements with bold contemporary effects. Stefanowicz's costumes will showcase traditional elements like corsets and bustles, but will feature modern textures and colorful patterns. Stefanowicz's costumes will pop against Weaver's stark black-and-white set with fresh graphic embellishments. This traditional-meets-modern aesthetic will also be reflected in John Stovicek's sound design, which will feature classical parlor music "mashed up" with electronic influences.

MacMillan directs a cast of nine in this tour-de-force ensemble piece. The cast includes second-year graduate students Victoria Rose Bonito (Celimene), Peter Andrew Danzig* (Clitander) and Seth Thomas Schmitt-Hall (Frank); first-year graduate students John Baxter (Dubois/Basque), Mitchell Bloom (Philinte), Julia George-Carlson (Arsinoe), and Meghan Winch (Eliante); undergraduate student Brendan Farrell (Acaste); and Chris Monaco (Oronte), an undergraduate who joins Villanova Theatre from Temple University.

The School for Lies takes the stage at Villanova Theatre from February 11-23, 2014. Villanova Theatre is located on the Villanova University campus in Vasey Hall (at Lancaster & Ithan Aves.). Performances will be held Tuesdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets run $21-$25, with discounts available for seniors, students, M.A. in Theatre alumni, and groups. Tickets may be purchased at the Villanova Theatre Box Office (M-S, 12-5 p.m.) in person, by phone: (610) 519-7474, or online at

Photos by: Kimberly Reilly

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