First day of ‘School’

Mark Taper Forum plays host to thriller

Being cast in “The School of Night” sent the actors scurrying to the library and Google, confessed Gregory Wooddell, who plays Christopher Marlowe in the American preem of Peter Whelan‘s political thriller set in 1590s London, which opened Sunday at the Mark Taper Forum.

“I did a lot of reading of Marlowe’s plays and the history of the period, and researched alchemy,” Wooddell said at the after-party in the ballroom at nearby Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Wooddell was amazed at the commonalities of the Elizabethan era and today — “the potential of humanity and our tendency to get in our own way.”

Tymberlee Chanel, who portrays an Italian actress of Moorish descent, did “lots of Googling” but couldn’t find anything about black Italians in the 16th century.

“But that’s the beauty of it,” Chanel enthused. “My character was the only one who is fictional,” so when it came to her backstory, “I made it up!”

Also staying after “School” were director Bill Alexander, Joan Collins, Lawrence Pressman and Hamish Linklater.