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Fresh from a smash Broadway run, this rapid, blistering drama, heavily laced with timely humor, is the ultimate showdown of fact versus fiction. Hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as “truly scintillating” and The New York Times as “terrifically engaging,” this fast-moving, provocative play is next up at Pioneer Theatre Company.

(SALT LAKE CITY, UT) — The Broadway hit playThe Lifespan of a Fact, based on the true story between essayist John D’Agata and fact-checker Jim Fingal, opens at Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) November 1, 2019 and runs through November 16, 2019. Tickets for this production can now be purchased by calling 801-581-6961 or visiting tickets.pioneertheatre.org.
Unorthodox essayist John D’Agata is played by BEN CHERRY. Jim Fingal, the young fact-checker assigned to review his essay about the suicide of a young man is played by JOHN KROFT. Fingal’s demanding editor, Emily Penrose, is played by CONSTANCE MACY.
John D’Agata, both a real-life magazine essayist and a character in the play, states “I’m not interested in accuracy; I’m interested in truth.” Weaving the delicate balance between truth and accuracy is always at the forefront of a reporter’s stories, but none more so than the story of The Lifespan of a Fact. Timely, hilarious, and devastating, The Lifespan of a Fact explores what it takes to tell a story in the news – and how difficult ‘facts’ can be to distinguish from ‘beliefs’ and ‘opinions.’
Contains strong language and the storyline references an essay about a young man’s suicide.
John D’Agata is played by CHERRY, who was recently seen at PTC in last season’s Oslo. He has appeared on Broadway in Indecent and Fiddler on the Roof and was in the National tour of Mary Poppins. On television, Cherry has been seen in “The Following,” “Smash,” and “I Love You…But I Lied.”
KROFT portrays Jim Fingal. He has appeared on television in “Blue Bloods,” and “Red Oaks,” and on stage for Dan Cody’s Yacht (MTC), Arcadia (Juilliard), and Troilus and Cressida (Columbia.)
MACY plays Emily Penrose, a no-nonsense editor who acts as mediator between the author and fact-checker. Macy is an Indianapolis-based actor who has worked at the Indiana Repertory Theatre since 1990. She appeared at PTC in the 2011 production of The Diary of Anne Frank and has performed in several other regional theaters around the country.
Director WES GRANTOM returns after last season’s The Lion in Winter, as well as the Ken Ludwig’s Comedy of Tenors. He most recently directed beep boop at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as received multiple Drama League Fellowships.
The creative team includes set design by guest artist JO WINIARSKI. The Lifespan of a Fact marks her first time at PTC. Her credits include being art director for “Late Night With Seth Meyers” for the first five seasons, as well as receiving an Emmy nomination for art direction for “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!”
SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE returns to PTC for her 22nd production at the theatre. Previous designs include last season’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, The Tempest, Hamlet, My Fair Lady, among others.
Lighting designer MICHAEL GILLIAM returns for his 19th production including this season’s concert production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. His Broadway credits include Bonnie and Clyde, Brooklyn, Big River, and Stand-Up Tragedy. He has worked on the West End, Off-Broadway and in National Tours, with regional credits including Pioneer Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, and Goodman Theatre.
Sound design is by JENNIFER JACKSON, whose previous design/original music credits include Romeo and Juliet (Yale Repertory Theatre); several at Salt Lake Acting Company, including form of a girl unknown, Silent Dancer, The Wolves; and several at Salt Lake Shakespeare, including Twelfth Night, The Last Five Years, and others.
YANCEY J. QUICK is the Hair Designer, returning after designing for the concert production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He is the Wig Master and Shoe Master for Ballet West, and has had his work seen on stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, when the company was invited to perform its production of The Nutcracker to sold-out houses.
The dramaturg for the production is ALEXANDRA HARBOLD. She served as the dramaturg for Sweat, Oslo, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Sting’s The Last Ship and more at Pioneer Theatre Company. She also directs and acts, and is a co-founding member of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory in Salt Lake City.
PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY (PTC): Now celebrating its 58th season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s Premiere Professional Theatre and a leading arts organization of the West. Led by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and Managing Director Christopher Massimine, PTC promotes community-building and education through presenting world-class productions; developing new socially resonant and universal work; hosting talks, lectures, and workshops that engage a versatile and inclusive demographic, while celebrating diversity in culture and society; and serving as the connecting bridge between art and scholarship as an affiliate of the University of Utah.
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PUBLICITY PHOTO SHOOT: Media is invited to participate in an on-stage publicity photo shoot on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Please call 801-581-7222 to RSVP.
MEDIA PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Wednesday, October 23, 2019 after 3 p.m.
INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call 801-581-7222 to arrange.
Pioneer Theatre Company
Book by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
Based on the Essay/Book by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal
November 1 – November 16, 2019
Monday – Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) located in the
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
$31 – $47 in advance, and $5 more when purchased on the day of the show
Box Office: 801-581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon. – Fri.
BEN CHERRY………………………John D’Agata
JOHN KROFT………………………Jim Fingal
CONSTANCE MACY………………Emily Penrose
WES GRANTOM…………………..Director
JO WINIARSKI……………………Scenic Design
SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE……….Costume Design
MICHAEL GILLIAM……………….Lighting Design
JENNIFER JACKSON……………..Sound Design
YANCEY J. QUICK………………..Hair Design

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