THE LIAR Begins 5/26 at Artists Rep

Artists Repertory Theatre will bring its 2014/15 season to close with The Liar, an adaptation of Pierre Cornielle's 17th Century French comedy from the brilliant mind of David Ives, a playwright best known for hilarious adaptations and plays such as All In The Timing and Venus in Fur.

"My version of the play is what I call a 'translaptation,' i.e., a translation with a heavy dose of adaptation," wrote Ives in the playbill for the 2010 world premiere production at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. "Everything about [this play] spoke to me. The rippling language. The rich simplicity of the premise. The gorgeousness of the set pieces. The seeming insouciance of the treatment alongside the classical rigor of the plotting. The way the play's wide understanding and humanity was nicely seasoned with several large pinches of social satire."

"Our purpose with The Liar is pure, irresistible fun - Ives finds a way to make iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets feel fresh, modern and effortlessly accessible," said Dámaso Rodriguez, Artists Rep's Artistic Director who is directing the play. "We've added to the mix a cast of some the funniest and most charismatic young actors in Portland and a bold, totally irreverent design that's one part Three Musketeers and a little bit Rock 'n' Roll."

From the brilliant, comedic mind of David Ives (All in the Timing, Venus in Fur) comes a hilarious "translaptation" of this 17th Century French romp, replete with wild misassumptions, mistaken identities and tangled truths. Played out in outrageously clever verse, expect lightning-fast pace, anachronistic twists and a hip cast, with plenty of nods to Corneille's neo-classical original.

The Liar is a farcical play by Pierre Corneille that was first performed in 1644. It was based on La Verdad Sospechosa by the Spanish-American playwright Juan Ruíz de Alarcón, which was published in 1634. Davis Ives' adaptation made its world premiere in 2010 at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.

Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606 - October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian, and one of the three great seventeenth-century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. As a young man, he earned the valuable patronage of Cardinal Richelieu, who was trying to promote classical tragedy along formal lines, but later quarrelled with him, especially over his best-known play Le Cid about a medieval Spanish warrior, which was denounced by the newly-formed Académie française for breaching the unities. He continued to write well-received tragedies for nearly 40 years.

David Ives first came to wide notice in the theatre with his one-act plays, of which he has written over three dozen both for theatre and the radio. The greater part of them are collected in the anthologies All In The Timing (originally an evening of six one-acts that won of the Outer Critics Circle Playwriting Award), Time Flies, and The Other Woman and Other Short Plays. He has been included in the Best Short Plays series seven times to date. His full-length plays include Venus In Fur; The Liar (adapted from Corneille's comedy, and winner of the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play); The Heir Apparent (adapted from J-F. Regnard's comedy); New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza (winner of the Hull-Warriner Award); The School for Lies (adapted from Molière's The Misanthrope); Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain); Irving Berlin's White Christmas; Ancient History; Don Juan in Chicago; The Land of Cockaigne; and Polish Joke. He has translated Feydeau's A Flea In Her Ear (winner of a Joseph Jefferson Award) as well as Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play, wrote the libretto of an opera (The Secret Garden, with music by Greg Pliska, which premiered at the Pennsylvania Opera Theatre in 1991), and has adapted 32 shows for New York's celebrated Encores! series of American musicals in concert. He is also the author of three young-adult novels: Monsieur Eek, Scrib, and Voss. A former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting and a graduate of Yale School of Drama, he lives in New York City. He is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Dámaso Rodriguez is in his second year as Artistic Director of Artists Rep. He is a Co-Founder of the Los Angeles-based Furious Theatre Company, where he served as Co-Artistic Director from 2001-2012. From 2007-2010 he served as Associate Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse. His directing credits include work at Artists Rep, the Pasadena Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Laguna Playhouse, A Noise Within, The Theatre@Boston Court, Naked Angels and Furious Theatre. Dámaso is a recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, the Back Stage Garland Award, the NAACP Theatre Award, and the Pasadena Arts Council's Gold Crown Award, and his productions have been nominated for multiple LA Weekly Theatre Awards and LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards. In 2012, he was honored by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation as a Finalist for the Zelda Fichandler Award. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Recent directorial credits at Artists Rep include Nina Raine's Tribes, Exiles by Carlos Lácamara, the U.S. Premiere of Dawn King's Foxfinder, and the West Coast premieres of Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal and Jeffrey Hatcher's Ten Chimneys. Other credits include Ruth & Augustus Goetz' The Heiress (starring Richard Chamberlain), Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes (starring Kelly McGillis) and Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow (starring Sharon Lawrence) at the Pasadena Playhouse; the reading of Steven Drukman's The Prince of Atlantis for the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory, Clifford Odets' Paradise Lost at Intiman Theatre; Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, Tennessee Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms, Bernard Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma at A Noise Within. Furious Theatre credits include the Los Angeles premieres of Craig Wright'sGrace, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Boom and Hunter Gatherers, Bruce Norris' The Pain and the Itch, Yussef El Guindi's Back of the Throat, Richard Bean's The God Botherers, Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things, and the world premieres of Alex Jones' Canned Peaches in Syrup and Matt Pelfrey's An Impending Rupture of the Belly and No Good Deed, among others. More information at

Chris Murray* - Dorante

Allen Nause^* - Geronte

John San Nicolas^* - Cliton

Amy Newman^* - Clarice

Chantal DeGroat* - Lucrece

Gilberto Martin del Campo^+ - Alcippe

Vin Shambry^* - Philiste

Val Landrum^* - Isabelle/Sabine

Dámaso Rodriguez - Director
Susan Gratch - Scenic Designer
Bobby Brewer Wallin - Costume Designer
Brent J. Sullivan - Lighting Designer
Rodolfo Ortega^ - Composer/ Sound Designer
Natalie Rae Heikkinen - Props Designer

Jonathan Cole - Fight Director
Carol Ann Wohlmut* - Production Stage Manager
Linda Alper^* - Assistant Director
Jessica Evans Irvine - Production Assistant
Board Op - Dave Petersen

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers
+ Equity Membership Candidate
^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

Watch a promo for the show below!

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