Northern State University Theater is getting ready to introduce to Aberdeen audiences to one of the most accomplished liars in all of theater literature.
Northern students will present The Liar at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15-18 the Johnson Fine Arts Center. Northern says the show features David Ives' dizzy adaptation of the Pierre Corneille comedy.
Originally written in 1643, The Liar is one of the few comedies that the classic tragic playwright wrote. Corneille wrote the play in the middle of his successful career, Ives said in publicity material. He's known in English for 'Le Cid,' a tragicomedy, a serious play, but he actually started out writing comedy. He wrote 'The Liar' as a return to what he had begun with. He based it on a Spanish play that's totally forgotten. The way he based his version on a Spanish play, I've based my version on his. I've taken the same freedom.
This curious wedding of 17th-century playwright Pierre Corneille and 21st-century adaptor Ives resulted in a critical and audience success in April 2010 at the Shakespeare Company inWashington, D.C.
For Ives, one of America's better dramatic humorists, translating the fun of Pierre Corneille's 1643 French comedy was an act of respectful reinvention, said DCTheatreScene.com. The result is a scrubbed, vivacious script salted with hints of cheeky self-awareness.
At season's end, the annual Helen Hayes Theatre Awards ofWashington, D.C., selected The Liar as the year's best new play.
The story begins in 1643 Paris. Dorante (played by Seth Honerman of Sioux Falls) is a charming young man newly arrived in the capital, and he has but a single flaw: he cannot tell the truth.
In quick succession he meets Cliton, a manservant who cannot tell a lie (portrayed by Kris Monroe of Pierre), and falls in love with Clarice (Sarah Honerman of Sioux Falls), a charming young woman whom he unfortunately mistakes for her friend Lucrece (Jocelyn Meidinger of Jamestown, N.D.). What our hero regrettably does not know is that Clarice is secretly engaged to his best friend, Alcippe (Kody Kyriss of Menno). Nor is he aware that his father (Jason Honerman of Sioux Falls) is trying to get him married to Clarice, whom he thinks is Lucrece, who actually is in love with him. Throw in Alcippe's faithful friend Philiste (Kevin Nilson of Webster), a pair of twin maids (both played by Jessica Massa of Winner), a series of breathtakingly intricate lies and the play moves with speed towards its zany ending, according to the news release.
NSU Theater's production is directed by director of theater Daniel Yurgaitis and the sets and costumes are designed by assistant professor Joshua John Frachiseur. Aberdeen Community Theatre's Brian T. Schulz will design the lighting and technical director Tina Hanagan will be in charge of sound.
The entire production is stage-managed by Ben Villa of Sioux Falls, with an assist by Kate Jarland of Jamestown.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $11 for seniors and non-NSU students. Seating is in-the-round and tickets are available in the NSU Bookstore from 8 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Only cash or checks are accepted.
There will also be a special student matinee on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. Tickets for that special performance are available only by contacting the theater office at 605-626-2563 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for the matinee are specially priced for students at $8.