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The Heir Apparent

November 29

January 17, 2016

in CST's Courtyard Theater

written by David Ives, adapted from
Le Légataire universel
by Jean-François Regnard
directed by John Rando

Getting to Know David Ives

Celebrated for his immensely playful comedies, New York playwright David Ives situates his aesthetic on the knife’s edge between absurd slapstick and astute substance. His work has received multiple honors, including the MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play, the Hull-Warriner Award, a Prince Prize for Commissioning New Work, and the 2012 Tony nomination for Best Play for Venus in Fur, which, after its acclaimed Broadway run, was made into a  film by Roman Polanski in 2013.

The playwright was first recognized for his one-acts. All in the Timing comprises six short plays on sundry subjects: three chimpanzees attempting to write Hamlet, the death of Leon Trotsky as he attempts to make sense of the mountain climber’s axe in his head, and the mundane act of composer Philip Glass purchasing a loaf of bread. All in the Timing won the Outer Critics Circle Playwriting Award, ran for two years off Broadway, and in the 1995-96 American theater season was (apart from Shakespeare) the most performed play in the country.

His Lives of the Saints consisting of seven short plays began in previews Off-Broadway in February 2015, directed by John Rando.

Ives often translates and/or adapts older works, describing his process as “translaptation”—an attempt to “look for the play underneath the words” and to draw parallels between a play’s historical context and today. Commissioned by CST and produced here in 2006, Ives’s first “translaptation” was A Flea in Her Ear by Georges Feydeau, the nineteenth-century father of French farce, followed by School for Lies from Molière's The Misanthrope in 2012. Now The Heir Apparent, a 2014 Outer Critics Circle Award and 2012 MacArthur Award nominee, evolved from Regnard's Le Legetaire Universel which Ives worked in Washington and New York with director John Rando. Of his sources Ives says, "Voltaire said, 'Whoever doesn’t enjoy Regnard doesn’t deserve to admire Molière.' Now there’s a puff line to put on a theatre marquee."

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