David Ives' THE SCHOOL FOR LIES honors the comedic and linguistic mastery of Moliere's THE MISANTHROPE in a hip, hilarious update that exploits the English language to the maximum. THE SCHOOL FOR LIES features an ensemble cast led by Leo Marks as Frank, Nike Doukas as Celimene, Joel Ripka as Philinte and Robin Abramson, making her PICT (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre) debut as Eliante. Also starring Martin Giles as Oronte, Helena Ruoti as Arsinoe, Ben Blazer as Acaste, James FitzGerald as Clitander, and Matt DeCaro as Dubois/Basque. This ribald comedy opens in preview tonight, November 29th and runs through December 15th.
With a nod to Moliere, THE SCHOOL FOR LIES portrays the life of Frank, a disillusioned curmudgeon who decides to tell the absolute truth at all times, no matter the consequences. As Frank insults nearly everyone he meets - the pompous poet Oronte, the heartsick Philinte, the pandering Clitander - he stays true to his convictions. His resolve begins to waver, however, once he meets beautiful artistocrat Celimene, who is more than a match for his rapier wit. Will Frank continue his commitment to absolute truthfulness, or will love soften his resolve?
Frank is played with rock-star bravado by PICT veteran Leo Marks, who, like many of The School for Lies cast members, spent the summer in Pittsburgh for PICT's Chekhov Celebration. He played Baron Tuzenbach (Three Sisters), and Dr. Lvov (Ivanov), and as Luka in the Funny Chekhov short, "The Bear" he played opposite his wife and current co-star Nike Doukas. Mr. Marks also directed the Funny Chekhov short "Swan Song." Other PICT credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, House and Garden, and Antony and Cleopatra. Mr. Marks has performed to critical acclaim around the country at theaters including Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre, and South Coast Rep. He was a founder of New York's Elevator Repair Service and is a member of LA companies Evidence Room and Antaeus. TV work includes "The New Adventures of Old Christine," "Prison Break," "K-Ville," "Law and Order: SVU," "Law and Order," "Six Feet Under," "NYPD Blue," "The Practice," "Frasier," and "Gilmore Girls."
Nike Doukas returns to PICT, where she last appeared in the this summer's Chekhov Celebration, as Olga in Three Sisters, Anna in Ivanov, and as Popova in Funny Chekhov's "The Bear." Previous PICT credits include House and Garden, the Pinter Festival ("Betrayal" and "Celebration"); Mrs. Cheveley in An Ideal Husband. She is a member of the Antaeus Company, and has an MFA from The American Conservatory Theatre. She is also a regular at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Southern California, most recently in the world
premieres of The Prince of Atlantis and The Happy Ones. Ms. Doukas is the recipient of the 2011 Lunt-Fontanne fellowship and is widely known for her recurring role on "Desperate Housewives."
James FitzGerald (Clitander) rejoins his fellow cast members from Funny Chekhov's "The Bear." He played Nikita in "Swan Song" and Pyotr in Ivanov. Mr. Fitzgerald has numerous credits with PICT as well as Pittsburgh Public Theater, Quantum Theater and Bricolage, and has performed 16 seasons with Chicago Shakespeare Theater as well as many other nationally-acclaimed theatres. James teaches acting at Point Park University.
Martin Giles (Oronte) is in his eleventh season with PICT, most recently as Lebedev in Ivanov and Andrei in Afterplay, both part of PICT's Chekhov Celebration. His turn as Dr. Watson in last season's The Mask of Moriarty helped make that show one of PICT's highest grossing shows ever. Other PICT credits: House and Garden and The Importance of Being Earnest (2011); Beautiful Dreamers (playwright/director, 2010); What the Butler Saw and The History Boys (2009). Mr. Giles teaches acting at Point Park and Carnegie Mellon Universities.