TAMPA — LAB Theater Project will once again bring live theater to the Tampa stage by presenting the world premiere of Jerry Slaff’s award-winning play “Lies,” running Nov. 5-22, at 812 E. Henderson Ave., in Ybor City, with in-house and live streaming options.
Performance times are Thursday through Saturday, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 3 p.m. Shows are available both by live stream and limited in-house seating. For the live stream online option, audience members will be emailed a link for home viewing the day of the performance. For the in-house option, only 10 seats will be made available per performance, and house opens 30 minutes before curtain. LAB Theater Project has prepared the theater space firmly adhering to physically distanced guidelines for actors, crew, and audience safety. LAB Theater Project wants patrons to feel safe coming to the theater. Full health and safety procedures may be found at www.labtheaterproject.com/covid-19.
Both in-person and live stream tickets are $28, and are available only by advance purchase, not at the door. To purchase tickets, visit www.labtheaterproject.com.
“Lies,” directed by Pete Clapsis, explores the question whether one lie is enough to question all truths. The cast features Katherine Stenzel and William Statzer.
Fresh out of law school, Benny (Statzer), an inexperienced public defender, is facing the case of his life – trying to win the parole of a notorious German World War II radio propagandist (Stenzel) who has a hard time telling the truth. Or does she? Are her truths all lies, or are her lies really the truth? And what happens when you can no longer tell the two apart? Set in 1950 but as timely as today’s Washington tweets, “Lies” is an allegory about lying in government, and a meditation on what truth actually is.
“Lies. If 2020 could be summed up in one word, Lies would have my vote,” said Clapsis. “Playwright Jerry Slaff’s words spoke to me when I first read the play. Coupled with the mission of LAB and the opportunity to help bring this to life in a completely collaborative atmosphere – albeit a masked, Zoomcentric atmosphere – I was hooked.”
“All of us lie, not just politicians and presidents, every day, and I wanted to investigate the bigger question of how people can lie with seeming impunity, how they can openly tell the most outrageous lies, and think they can get away with it,” explained Slaff. “It’s one thing to write a play, to produce 82 pages of black squiggles on white paper, but it’s a totally different thing to watch such talented people bring them to life,” the playwright added. “I’m very grateful that ‘Lies’ has found a home at LAB Theater, and that through its innovative live streams, my play can find audiences not just in Tampa but across the country and around the world.”
“Lies” was a semifinalist for this year’s O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, and was also the 2019 Grand Prize winner of the 88th annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, selected from over 5.000 entries in nine genres.