(Sarasota, FL) — Florida Studio Theatre’s Mainstage season continues with renowned playwright Joe DiPietro’s production of Clever Little Lies. Running from December 14 to March 4, this comedy of sex, love, and family secrets makes its REGIONAL PREMIERE in the Keating Theatre. Subscriptions for all four mainstage shows can be purchased for as little as $59 online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.
A mother always knows when something is wrong. Billy is distracted, under pressure and off his game. After he confesses a transgression to his father, Billy must contend with his mother’s persistent meddling. Secrets are exposed and clever little lies are crafted in this hilarious and shattering family affair.
Clever Little Lies is the fourth production from Joe DiPietro that has graced the FST stage. Directing this comedy of marriage, mothers, and meddling is FST Associate Director Kate Alexander, whose recent directing credits include Alabama Story and The God of Isaac. No stranger to his style of storytelling, this is Alexander’s third time directing a DiPietro play. Alexander was at the helm of FST’s production of Over the River and Through the Woods and the previous production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
Alexander comments on this next exploration of DiPietro’s work stating, “We all lie. We tell white lies, little fibs, or little omissions. If we really looked at our day, we would see a cascade of slight variations on the truth; all done to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. It is over this revelation that DiPietro presents his story, an ancient story. Coming back to the work of DiPietro is sheer joy. He is effervescent with the language of our times and very accessible to actors and audiences alike. Audiences feel and ‘know’ him for he has his ear on the way we think and feel. From the brightness of the American wit, he then can turn a corner and touch the pulse and depth of the very way we feel. The subtleties and yearnings in a marriage, a young couples secret fears; he tells them all with love. This is the call of the sirens, but told in fresh and modern way.”
Cast in this funny family drama is returning FST company member Rita Rehn. Having previously performed in DiPietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods, Rehn was also recently seen in FST’s production of The Roommate. Rehn comments on her approach to the character of Alice, the mother that knows all. “I love Joe DiPietro. This is a playwright with a keen feel for what is so very humorous right in front of our faces. He also loves people and you can feel the heart in his plays and you fall in love with his characters. It’s a fast and amusing look at new love, old love and being a parent. Alice and Bill the older married couple are smart, lively, sexy and fun. Who doesn’t like playing that? It’s an evening that flies and makes one wonder, ‘What would you do?’”
Making their FST debuts are fellow cast members Allyson Jean Malandra, Jon Shaver, and
Christopher M. Smith. Malandra’s previous credits include Dry Land, Chicago, and Othello. Shaver has recently been seen on stage in All the Way, The God of Carnage, and Who Killed Woody Allen? Smith’s previous credits include Tennis in Nablus, Eurydice, and Other Desert Cities.
Taking on the role of Billy, Christopher M. Smith speaks to the task of portraying such a conflicted character. “I was drawn to the quick, dynamic rhythm of the piece. The drastic ups and downs that Billy experiences within minutes of each other are a fun challenge to play. As I look at the play more closely in my prep, I’m interested in the pressure one feels to be perfect, whether it is self-imposed, or imposed on the self by others, and the problems that pressure causes. Billy feels he has lived his whole life for everyone else’s expectations and now I think he is rebelling against that; or at least questioning it.”
Malandra also comments, “It’s a very poignant piece that is making some really bold statements about love, marriage, and our society. I love that this play is a fast paced comedy without a moment to breathe, while still showing the uncertainty that plagues modern marriage. I find it especially funny that the pacing of this show is so spot-on for the hustle and bustle of the ‘forever stressed out America’ of today. Aristotle and the Ancient Greeks got it right. Comedy is the best way to ‘hold a mirror up to society to reflect its follies and vices, in the hope that they will, as a result, be mended.’
Clever Little Lies opens on December 14, 2016 in the Gompertz Theatre. Enjoy this smart, silly satire complete with Skiffle band, clumsy servants, crazy criminals, and more. Subscriptions for all four shows can be purchased for as little as $59, online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
About Florida Studio Theatre
Known as Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Artist Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company then acquired the former Woman’s Club building, becoming the first permanent venue. Shortly after Producing Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins arrived, the building was purchased and renamed The Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian style Goldstein Cabaret, the John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne’s Lab Theatre.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.