MOE & JACK ROUSE and RANDOLPH WADSWORTH present

About

OCT. 19 - NOV. 16, 2019

Directed by WENDY C. GOLDBERG

A critically acclaimed 2018 Broadway play, this fast-paced story explodes with blistering comedy and timely relevance. Facts become blurry when they’re twisted into fiction in the high-stakes world of publishing. Emily Penrose, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high-end magazine, hires a determined millennial fact-checker named Jim Fingal to work on a groundbreaking essay written by the famous author John D’Agata. The deadline is tight, the essay is dense, and everyone must make a good faith effort in telling the story honestly. But the overly eager Jim takes his fact-checking way too far, creating the ultimate showdown of fact versus fiction.


ADVISORY:
The Lifespan of a Fact is suitable for adults and older teenage audiences. Characters lock horns in a debate of fact vs. fiction, and they drop some F-bombs in the process. Their explosive tête-à-têtes feature other mature themes, including discussions of suicide.

RUNNING TIME: The Lifespan of a Fact runs approximately 85 minutes, with no intermission.


Promotional photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

 

 

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Director's Notes by Wendy C. Goldberg

Sep 27, 2019, 10:06 AM by Natalie Hulla
Playhouse Associate Artist Wendy C. Goldberg shares her artistic perspective of the Broadway comedy The Lifespan of a Fact.

Playhouse Associate Artist Wendy C. Goldberg returns to direct The Lifespan of a Fact — a fast-paced story that explodes with blistering comedy and timely relevance. Emily Penrose, a demanding editor-in-chief, hires a determined millennial fact-checker named Jim Fingal to work on a groundbreaking essay written by the famous author John D'Agata. But the overly eager Jim takes his fact-checking way too far, creating the ultimate showdown of fact versus fiction. Below are Goldberg's notes on the show. 


In 2012, the book The Lifespan of a Fact was published, and writing partners Jeremy Kareken and David Murrell, along with Gordon Farrell, read the reviews and felt it would make a wonderful movie or play. The book is written by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal — both characters in the eventual stage version — and is essentially 80 pages of the two men arguing about how facts function, or do not function, in an essay. John takes the position that being an essayist is akin to a poet or visual artist, as opposed to a journalist who is beholden to factual realities. Jeremy and David felt that dramatizing this encounter (in a time when truths seem to be more subjective than ever and facts seem “negotiable”) would be a worthy idea. They worked on the play for about six years, and eventually, they landed a Broadway production that went into rehearsal in late summer 2018. The Lifespan of a Fact ran for several months on Broadway and is just now making its regional bows across the country.

Director and Playhouse Associate Artist Wendy C. Goldberg at the meet and greet for The Lifespan of a Fact, presented by Moe & Jack Rouse and Randolph Wadsworth.


The play itself is a tightly woven tale for our time made with great humor. Within the play, we see the characters themselves fighting to have their point of view and opinion heard. We also see how our cultural obsessions with media and our concept of story and who gets to tell it (what is fact and what is fiction) permeate all aspects of our lives. In our play, we have a comedic look at truth-telling, fact-checking and cultural relevance, as well as an investigation into how these micro-encounters fuel our larger societal perspective.

David Whalen (John D'Agata), Kate Rigg (Emily Penrose), JuCoby Johnson (Jim Fingal) and Director Wendy C. Goldberg at the meet and greet for The Lifespan of a Fact


It is a thrill to be back in Cincinnati yet again with an incredibly relevant and excellently constructed play. When the play concludes, we will not have all the issues resolved, and that's the whole point. The intent is for our own communities to discuss the issues far beyond the time we spend in the theatre together, hopefully laughing and pondering this story.


To learn more about the Playhouse's production of The Lifespan of a Fact, presented by Moe & Jack Rouse and Randolph Wadsworth, visit our production detail page.

Director's Notes by Wendy C. Goldberg

Sep 27, 2019, 10:06 AM by Natalie Hulla
Playhouse Associate Artist Wendy C. Goldberg shares her artistic perspective of the Broadway comedy The Lifespan of a Fact.

Playhouse Associate Artist Wendy C. Goldberg returns to direct The Lifespan of a Fact — a fast-paced story that explodes with blistering comedy and timely relevance. Emily Penrose, a demanding editor-in-chief, hires a determined millennial fact-checker named Jim Fingal to work on a groundbreaking essay written by the famous author John D'Agata. But the overly eager Jim takes his fact-checking way too far, creating the ultimate showdown of fact versus fiction. Below are Goldberg's notes on the show. 


In 2012, the book The Lifespan of a Fact was published, and writing partners Jeremy Kareken and David Murrell, along with Gordon Farrell, read the reviews and felt it would make a wonderful movie or play. The book is written by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal — both characters in the eventual stage version — and is essentially 80 pages of the two men arguing about how facts function, or do not function, in an essay. John takes the position that being an essayist is akin to a poet or visual artist, as opposed to a journalist who is beholden to factual realities. Jeremy and David felt that dramatizing this encounter (in a time when truths seem to be more subjective than ever and facts seem “negotiable”) would be a worthy idea. They worked on the play for about six years, and eventually, they landed a Broadway production that went into rehearsal in late summer 2018. The Lifespan of a Fact ran for several months on Broadway and is just now making its regional bows across the country.

Director and Playhouse Associate Artist Wendy C. Goldberg at the meet and greet for The Lifespan of a Fact, presented by Moe & Jack Rouse and Randolph Wadsworth.


The play itself is a tightly woven tale for our time made with great humor. Within the play, we see the characters themselves fighting to have their point of view and opinion heard. We also see how our cultural obsessions with media and our concept of story and who gets to tell it (what is fact and what is fiction) permeate all aspects of our lives. In our play, we have a comedic look at truth-telling, fact-checking and cultural relevance, as well as an investigation into how these micro-encounters fuel our larger societal perspective.

David Whalen (John D'Agata), Kate Rigg (Emily Penrose), JuCoby Johnson (Jim Fingal) and Director Wendy C. Goldberg at the meet and greet for The Lifespan of a Fact


It is a thrill to be back in Cincinnati yet again with an incredibly relevant and excellently constructed play. When the play concludes, we will not have all the issues resolved, and that's the whole point. The intent is for our own communities to discuss the issues far beyond the time we spend in the theatre together, hopefully laughing and pondering this story.


To learn more about the Playhouse's production of The Lifespan of a Fact, presented by Moe & Jack Rouse and Randolph Wadsworth, visit our production detail page.

 

 

Artists

JuCoby Johnson

Jim Fingal

Kate Rigg

Emily Penrose

David Whalen

John D'Agata

Jeremy Kareken

Playwright

David Murrell

Playwright

Gordon Farrell

Playwright

Wendy C. Goldberg

Director

Todd Rosenthal

Set Designer

Jen Caprio

Costume Designer

Josh Epstein

Lighting Designer

Kate Marvin

Sound Designer / Composer

Joe Payne

Projections

Stephanie Klapper, CSA

Casting Director

Jenifer Morrow

Production Stage Manager

Brooke Redler

Second Stage Manager

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