Dina Thomas as Lisette and Adam LeFevre as Francalou in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of David Ives’s “The Metromaniacs.” (Scott Suchman)

As a football player growing up in upstate New York, Adam LeFevre had a secret to keep from his small-town classmates.

He wrote poetry.

“Every once in a while, I would write a poem for a girl, and then the word would get out,” he said.

But gradually, LeFevre became more comfortable as an athlete aesthete, and learned to write about more than cute coeds.

He would play football at Williams College, but went on to pursue a master’s degree in poetry from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he started hanging out in the theater department. He ended up getting M.F.A. degrees in both poetry and playwriting, and has been living a double life in theater and literary circles ever since.

LeFevre, 64, also has had a successful acting career in theater, television and film, and is now starring as a fictional poet in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “The Metromaniacs,” David Ives’s adaptation of an 18th-century French farce about mistaken identity and love triangles among Paris’s bookish upper class.

But this Sunday, when there’s no matinee, LeFevre will go back to being a real-life poet, offering a free poetry workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. at the theater. (STC will be hosting more than 30 local poets throughout the “Metromaniacs” run.)

“They [writing poetry and acting] are different arts, with odd resonances,” LeFevre said. “They are very complementary, for me.”

LeFevre’s first volume of poetry, “Everything All at Once” came out in 1979, and his second, “A Swindler’s Grace,” is due out this fall.

“There are poems in the book that were written last year, and there are poems that are decades old,” he said. He also has nearly completed a third volume.

LeFevre is excited about the workshop, which he said is aimed at amateur but active poets, who can bring work in progress. He will also offer tips on how to start from scratch using prompts as simple as taking an item out of a drawer or reading a line in the newspaper.

“We’ll talk about what we can write when we can’t write, on the days when the muse is not playing with us,” LeFevre said. “It’s a poet lube job: How to get greased up when you’re not ready to go.”

Ives would likely approve of such innuendo. “Metromaniacs” is entirely in verse, with one character often starting a rhyme and another finishing it. The strategy provides an incentive for audiences to keep listening, and to listen carefully. LeFevre admitted that he encouraged Ives to change a few lines that he felt were too cute, but Ives usually declined. LeFevre, however, is a huge fan, and happy to portray the likable dilettante poet Francalou.

“This is just such a delight for me,” he said. “If you catch the wave of the text the right way, it’s a delicious ride.”

‘One Night in Miami’ selling out

Baltimore may not be known as a boxing town, but a play about Muhammad Ali is on pace to become the best-selling show ever at Charm City’s Center Stage. Kemp Power’s play “One Night in Miami,” which imagines a conversation between the boxer and his friends, including Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, has been extended for a second time, through Feb. 22.

Since Jan. 30, every show in the 541-seat Pearlstone Theatre has sold out, a Center Stage spokeswoman said. If that holds, “Miami” will become the highest-grossing play in the theater’s 52-year history.

Ritzel is a freelance writer.