David Ives's THE METROMANIACS Begins Tonight at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Continuing the successful partnership between Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Venus in Fur playwright David Ives, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) presents The Metromaniacs, the third installment in Ives's series of rediscovered French comedy masterpieces.

Following The Heir Apparent (2011) and The Liar (2010), The Metromaniacs applies Ives's brilliant sense of comedic timing to the lost classic La Métromanie by Alexis Piron. The Metromaniacs will play in the company's intimate Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW) from tonight, February 3-March 8, 2015, under the direction of STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn.

"There are perhaps few collaborations that have meant as much to me-or plainly been so much fun-as my work with David Ives," says Michael Kahn. "David's translations have swiftly become the industry standard, produced by theatres across the country, and his ability to unearth and revitalize works that haven't seen the stage in centuries is uncanny. David doesn't just translate these plays. He brings them to life. He makes us realize that history is not just something you read in a book, but something that you can actively shape, rediscover, and reimagine."

Mistaken identity, misplaced ardor and a fight for true love ensues in David Ives's The Metromaniacs, beginning February 3. Would-be poet Damis has fallen for the works of the mysterious Breton poetess, not knowing she is really middle-aged gentleman Francalou. However, Francalou allows Damis to believe the poetess is his own daughter, Lucille, in order to separate her from Dorante, the son of his sworn enemy. Add to the chaos some scheming servants, pseudonyms, disguises, and poetic wooing reminiscent of Cyrano and there is much to untangle before love-plots are resolved and a happy ending found in this French farce.

POETS ARE PRESENT

Poets are Present is a poetry residency in conjunction with The Metromaniacs. As part of this unique theatre/poetry exchange, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is proud to host more than 30 D.C.-area poets throughout February and March. Each evening during the Poets are Present residency, a poet will be in residence in our lobby for one hour before curtain. The poets will discuss poetry, write original pieces and share their work. Every audience member will be emailed a sample of the poet's work following the production. Learn more at ShakespeareTheatre.org/Poets-are-Present.

Cast member Adam LeFevere (Francalou)-a published poet himself-will host a two-hour Poetry Writing Workshop on Sunday, February 15, from 1:00 p.m-3:-00 p.m. Adam will lead writing exercises, invite poets to share original work, and give advice and constructive criticism. Adam LeFevre is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop who has published a volume of poetry, Everything All At Once, with Wesleyan University Press, and another, A Swindler's Grace, forthcoming in October 2015 from New Issues Press. This event will be FREE and open to participants of all ages and skill level, but space reservations are required, and can be made online at ShakespeareTheatre.org/Poets-are-Present.

The Metromaniacs begins previews on Tuesday, February 3; celebrates Opening Night on Monday, February 9; and runs through Sunday, March 8. To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.

Shakespeare Theatre Company's ReDiscovery Series investigates exemplary plays of the classical canon that are rarely performed in today's theatre through readings by some of D.C.'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.

THE METROMANIACS CAST:

Adam LeFevre makes his STC debut as Francalou. His Broadway credits include The Devil's Disciple, Summer and Smoke, the U.S. premiere of Our Country's Good, Footloose, the Musical, Mamma Mia, the 2009 revival of Guys and Dolls, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. His Off-Broadway credits include the premiere of Horton Foote's The Old Friends at Signature Theater; the Womens's Project's The Most Deserving and How the World Began; Primary Stages' Him; Roundabout Theatre Company's The Marriage of Bette and Boo at the Laura Pels Theater; Flea Theater's Mr. Landing Takes a Fall. LeFevre is a real-life metromaniac, having published a volume of poetry: Everything All At Once with Wesleyan University Press and A Swindler's Grace forthcoming in October 2015 from New Issues Press.

Playing would-be poet Damis, Christian Conn returns to STCafter a turn in Ives's first adaptation The Liar as Dorante. His other STC credits include Tom Aimwell in The Beaux' Stratagem and Dumaine in Love's Labour's Lost (Free For All, Carter-Barron), and he appeared at Studio Theater in David Ives's Venus in Fur. He has appeared on Broadway in Desire Under the Elms, and Off-Broadway in 59e59 Theatres' Tiny Dynamite; The Acting Company's Pudd'nhead Wilson and Taming of the Shrew; and Manhattan Theatre Ensemble's The Idiot.

Amelia Pedlow returns to STC to play Lucille, who is infatuated with poetry. Her STC credits include Hermia in 2012's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Jessica in 2011's The Merchant of Venice both directed by Ethan McSweeny. Her New York credits include David Ives's The Heir Apparent at Classic Stage Company and Pearl Theatre Company's You Never Can Tell.

Anthony Roach returns to STC as Dorante after his turn as Algernon Moncrieff in last season's The Importance of Being Earnest. His other STC credits include the mainstage and Free For All productions of All's Well That Ends Well, Mrs.Warren's Profession, David Ives's The Liar and The Imaginary Invalid. He is a company member of TACT and performed in You Can't Take it With You, Separate Tables, French Without Tears in their Salon Series.

The cast of The Metromaniacs also includes Michael Goldstrom as Mondor, Peter Kybart as Baliveau, Dina Thomas as Lisette, and Danny Cackley and Ross Destiche as Servants.

THE DIRECTOR:

Shakespeare Theatre Company's Artistic Director Michael Kahn has directed a wide variety of Shakespearean and classical works for STC, including last season's repertory of Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2, as well as 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 The National Theatre of Scotland's 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 ADAPTER:

David Ives's previous adaptation for Shakespeare Theatre Company include Regnard's The Heir Apparent and Corneille's The Liar (winner, the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play from the Helen Hayes Awards). He is the author All in the Timing and several dozen other one-acts; the smash Broadway hit Venus In Fur (the play and the Roman Polanski film); Ancient History; and New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza. His other adaptations include The School for Lies, adapted from Moliere's The Misanthrope and Is He Dead?, adapted from Mark Twain. He has translated Feydeau's classic farce A Flea in Her Ear as well as Yasmina Reza's drama A Spanish Play. He is also the author of three young adult novels, Monsieur Eek, Scrib and Voss. DavidIves is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and a former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting.

THE METRMANIACS DESIGNERS:

The design team for The Metromaniacs brings a host of familiar faces back to STC. Scenic Designer James Noone (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Lighting Designer Mark McCullough (Wallenstein, Coriolanus), Costume Designer Murell Horton (Wallenstein, The Government Inspector), Sound Designer Matt Tierney (The Winter's Tale) and Composer Adam Wernick (Measure for Measure) come together to create the 18th-century French setting.

THE METRMANIACS ARTISTIC TEAM:

For this production, Kahn is assisted by Period Movement Consultant Frank Ventura, Casting Director Laura Stanczyk, CSA, Resident Casting Director Carter C. Wooddell, Voice and Text Coach Ellen O'Brien, Literary Manager Drew Lichtenberg, Assistant Director Craig Baldwin, Production Stage Manager Bret Torbeck, Assistant Stage Manager Elizabeth Clewley, and Production Assistant Maria Tejada.

*Artists and dates are subject to change.

ABOUT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY - Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation's leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Managing Director Chris Jennings, STC's innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation's premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company's artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights' language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC's most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation's capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library's Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.




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