A determined young fact checker is about to stir up trouble. His demanding editor has given him a big assignment: apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by an unorthodox author. Together, they take on the high-stakes world of publishing in this new comedy of conflict. The ultimate showdown between fact and fiction is about to begin—with undeniably delicious consequences.
Asolo Rep proudly continues its winter repertory season with the recent Broadway sizzling hit The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell. Directed by Asolo Rep Associate Artistic Director Celine Rosenthal, The Lifespan of a Fact previews Jan. 22 and 23, opens Jan. 24 and runs through March 19 in rotating repertory in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
At a high-end, struggling magazine, millennial fact-checker Jim is eager to prove he has what it takes to his demanding editor, Emily. His first assignment: to fact check a groundbreaking essay by the famous author, John D’Agata; a piece that offers a glimmer of hope for the future of the publication, which is reeling from dwindling circulation and shrinking ad sales. But as he dives into the article, he discovers that the essay is riddled with inaccuracy after inaccuracy, and so begins the heated battle between truth and fact and right and wrong.
“The Lifespan of a Fact is remarkably pertinent–it hits right on the pulse of what is going on today in the world of media and politics,” said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “It is one of the best plays I’ve seen recently, packed with razor-sharp dialogue and unexpected twists and turns that will keep audiences laughing, guessing and gasping. “
The cast includes Tracy Michelle Arnold (Emily), returning to Asolo Rep where she previously portrayed Regina in The Little Foxes (2017) and Mary in Roe (2018). She has appeared in more than 60 productions at American Players Theatre, including Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Arkadina in The Seagull and Linda in Death of a Salesman.
As a freshman at Harvard, Derek Penn Speedy (Jim) was named one of Variety’s 110 Students to Watch “who represent the future of film, media and entertainment.” He was last seen as Jim in Lifespan at its regional premiere at the Gloucester Stage Company opposite Academy Award-nominee Lindsay Crouse.
Gene Weygandt (John) has appeared on Broadway in Big and Wicked and in the national tours of A Christmas Carol and Wicked. His film credits include The Birdcage and The Babe, and his television credits include Empire, Chicago Fire, Boss, Home Improvement and more.
Director Celine Rosenthal is in her second season as Associate Artistic Director of Asolo Rep. She is a Tony®-nominated producer for Leap of Faith and Seminar. Her work has been seen at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London, NYMF, New York City Center, MMAC, 54 Below, 59E59, Abingdon Theatre, and in the Broadway’s Future Songbook Series at Lincoln Center.
"A lot of this play has to do with the simple question of 'what is truth?' Is it ok for us to take poetic license and bring that forward as truth? Is that dangerous or is that art?” said Director Celine Rosenthal. "The play tackles difficult topics with humor, which is vital. If we can’t look at this play and see our own ridiculousness and laugh at it, analyze it, and change our perspective then I think we’re stuck. We’re lost. That’s why this play is important right now: we’re not just talking about something, we’re laughing about it."
Asolo Rep’s winter repertory season also includes Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Peter Amster, playing through March 21, and Into The Breeches!, a new comedy set in Sarasota in 1942, playing Feb. 12 through March 21. Also coming up: The Great Leap in the Cook Theatre March 18-April 11; the world premiere musical Knoxville, April 3-25; and another new musical, Hood, A Robin Hood Musical Adventure, May 7-31. In June, Asolo Rep brings its season to a close with Snow White in an innovative new production great for the entire family, June 11-28.
For tickets and more information, visit www.asolorep.org