The Liar

By David Ives, adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille

Directed By Dámaso Rodríguez

May 26, 2015 – June 21, 2015

Alder Stage

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.
Sound Design by Resident Artist Rodolfo Ortega
NW Premiere

RUNNING TIME: Approximately 2 hours plus one intermission.


Allen Nause +^


Amy Newman +^


Chantal DeGroat +


Vin Shambry +^


Val Landrum +^


John San Nicolas +^


Chris Murray +


+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

± Equity Membership Candidate

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist


Dámaso Rodríguez *


Scenic Designer: Susan Gratch

Costume Designer: Bobby Brewer-Wallin ^

Lighting Designer: Brent J. Sullivan

Composer/Sound Designer: Rodolfo Ortega ^

Props Designer: Natalie Rae Heikkinen

Fight Director: Jonathan Cole *

Production Stage Manager: Carol Ann Wohlmut +^

Actor: Linda Alper +^

Production Assistant: Jessica Evans Irvine

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

* Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist


"The Liar: Dámaso Rodríguez's production at Artists Rep is colorful, enchanting, renewing ..." wrote Carol Wells for The Oregonian. Read the full review here

"...crackling comedy" of The Liar is "a kick in the collective pants," wrote Bob Hicks for Arts Watch. He adds, "...a witty play, in a stylishly good-natured production that’s playful and intimate and a great deal of fun." Read the full review here.

" ... Dámaso Rodriguez brings the real feast ... San Nicolas’ and Murray’s warp-speed elocution and fraternal chemistry. Artists Rep’s The Liar lets us sit back and relish the witty wordplay with a smooth finish of fine acting." - Amy Wolfe, Willamette Week
Read the full review here.

"The Liar is a seriously funny rollercoaster of circumstance that held laughs (not just cheap ones, either: SMART, sophisticated, European laughs! Also fart jokes) and attention for each poetic couplet, which flowed like bearable slam poetry," writes Rebecca Waits for The Portland Mercury. Read the full review here.

Some reactions from our audiences:

  • “Perfect cast for this absurdly hilarious play”
  • “One of the best plays I have ever been to!”
  • This play was over-the-top-fantastic! All actors were superb.”
  • “Hysterical, OMG!”
  • “Perfect ending to a fabulous season!”
  • “Oh my word, it is a fabulous, crazy romp!”

"I laughed so hard that I was sore the next day…Mr. Ives has come up with a play in which the laughs flow freely and joyously." —Wall Street Journal

"If there's anything half as entertaining as THE LIAR onstage hereabouts, I'd be obliged if someone would let me know about it." —Washington City Paper

"Astonishingly fresh, funny, and totally appealing to modern audiences." —Washington Examiner


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 permiere  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 Rodríguez 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 productions include 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 at Artists Rep; Ruth & Augustus Goetz'The Heiress(starring Richard Chamberlain), Lillian Hellman’sThe Little Foxes(starring Kelly McGillis) and Austin Pendleton’sOrson’s Shadow(starring Sharon Lawrence) at the Pasadena Playhouse; the reading of Steven Drukman’sThe Prince of Atlantisfor the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory, Clifford Odets’Paradise Lostat Intiman Theatre; Noel Coward’sBlithe Spirit, Tennessee Williams’The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Eugene O'Neill'sDesire Under the Elms, Bernard Shaw’sThe Doctor’s Dilemmaat A Noise Within. Furious Theatre credits include the Los Angeles premieres of Craig Wright'sGrace, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’sBoomandHunter Gatherers, Bruce Norris’The Pain and the Itch, Yussef El Guindi'sBack of the Throat, Richard Bean’sThe God Botherers, Neil LaBute'sThe Shape of Things, and the world premieres of Alex Jones’Canned Peaches in Syrupand Matt Pelfrey’sAn Impending Rupture of the BellyandNo Good Deed, among others. More information at



A great resource for all but beware of SPOILERS!! Download it here.


Stage and Studio's Dmae Roberts took her show on the road to Artists Rep this week! She talks The Liar with play director and artistic director Dámaso Rodríguez, followed by a wonderful chat with Profile Theatre's artistic director Adriana Baer about their upcoming play "In the Next Room, or the vibrator play." Click here to listen!


Click here to check out the production's playbill.