THE LIFESPAN OF A FACTby Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
Made possible by
Mollie & John Byrnes
August 30 to September 22
The Lifespan of a Fact
by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
based on the essay/book by JOHN D’AGATA and JIM FINGAL
A determined young fact checker is about to stir up trouble. His demanding editor has given him a big new assignment: a groundbreaking piece by an unorthodox author. Together, they take on the high-stakes world of publishing in this new play about the comedy of conflict. The ultimate showdown between truth and fiction, with undeniably delicious consequences.
The Lifespan of a Fact reunites director Sam Weismanº, actor Mickey Solis* and Academy Award nominee and Gloucester resident actress Lindsay Crouse* after their celebrated collaboration in GSC’s 2017 New England premiere of Lucy Prebble’s, The Effect. Prior to 2017 Crouse and Weisman worked together in the 1995 feature film Bye-Bye-Love which was directed by Weisman and starred Crouse.
The Lifespan of a Fact, runs from August 30 through September 22. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.
Lindsay Crouse* (Emily) is an award-winning veteran of stage and screen. In the New York theater she spent seven years with the Circle Repertory Company, winning critics’ praise for her portrayal of Ophelia in Hamlet and Viola in Twelfth Night, and garnering an Obie Award for David Mamet’s Reunion. On Broadway she won a Theater World Award for her performance as Ruth in Pinter’s The Homecoming.
Featured on numerous television dramas, Lindsay has guest starred over the years on shows such as Hill Street Blues, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Touched by an Angel, LA Law, NYPD Blue, ER, Frasier, Alias, CSI, and Law and Order SVU. She played three different characters on Law & Order, and spent a season on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the infamous Maggie Walsh. She was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Performer in the Children’s Special, “Mother and Daughter,” and for a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, “The Complete Shakespeare Sonnets.”
For the last decade Lindsay has played a wide range of characters at the Gloucester Stage. She joined the cast of the riotous trilogy, The Norman Conquests, by Alan Ayckbourn, sharing with them Boston’s IRNE award for Best Ensemble, and she received an IRNE Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of Lettice in Peter Schaffer’s madcap comedy, Lettice and Lovage. On the dramatic side she played the doctor in the searing duet, Going to St. Ives, received raves for her portrayal of Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst, and won the Independent Critic’s Best Actress award for her performance as Daisy in Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy. Last year Lindsay was nominated for the IRNE’s Best Actress award for her portrayal of Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa, and shared with the wonderful cast a nomination for Best Ensemble.
Some of Lindsay’s best known films include All The President’s Men, Slapshot, House of Games, The Verdict, The Insider, Mr. Brooks, Indian in the Cupboard, Prince of the City, Daniel, and Places in the Heart, for which she received an Academy Award nomination.
A note: During the years I have worked at the Gloucester Stage each time I’ve sat down to write a bio I thought – What a skewed portrait of a human being this is. If I say I got an Academy Award Nomination for Places in the Heart someone will think, Oh, she’s a big movie star! If I include that I got it in 1985, someone will think, Wow, what a has-been actress! It makes you think about the lifespan of a fact… So whatever the bio leads you to believe, I am grateful to The Gloucester Stage for another extraordinary opportunity to get at the human truths that define us at this moment, and that ultimately bind us all together.
Mickey Solis* (John) New York and Off Broadway credits include the American premiere of Ivan Viripaev’s Illusions at the Baryshnikov Arts Center; An Orestia with Classic Stage Company; God of Carnage at Engeman Theater; White People at Ensemble Studio Theatre; Night Over Taos at INTAR, directed by Estelle Parsons; The Master and Margarita at the Fisher Center; Beckett at 100 (at the 92nd St. Y with Alvin Epstein and Bill Camp; Error of Their Ways at HERE Arts Center; and Private Moments in Central Park directed by David Levine for Creative Time. Regionally he has worked at the Yale Repertory; American Repertory Theater; Dangerous Ground (Brooklyn); Triad Stage; Appalachian Summer Festival; New College Theater; Moscow Art Theater; Epic Theater; Shakespeare on the Sound; Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.
Derek Speedy* (Jim) is thrilled to make his GSC debut! Derek is recent graduate from Harvard University where he was a four-year cast member of the (in)famous Hasty Pudding Theatricals. During his Freshman year, he was named one of Variety Magazine’s 110 Students to Watch “who represent the future of film, media and entertainment.” Credits include: Dogfight (Eddie Birdlace), Assassins (John Hinckley Jr.), Polaroid Stories (Orpheus), Into the Woods (Baker), Pericles (Antiochus/Pandar). Training: Harvard University, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Stagedoor Manor. Thanks to God, always; Mom and Dad; Marcus Stern; and the entire cast and crew at GSC!
*Member of Actors Equity Association (AEA)
SAM WEISMANº (Director) worked for ten years as an actor before making the transition to directing. He has earned directorial credits in film, television, and theatre. They include the feature films George of the Jungle (which received a British Academy Award nomination for Best Children’s Movie), The Out-Of-Towners (starring Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, and John Cleese), Bye-Bye Love, D2: The Mighty Ducks, and Dickie Roberts. He also was Co-Producer of DAD (starring Jack Lemmon, Olympia Dukakis, and Ted Danson). Mr. Weisman has directed or produced over 200 television episodes, for such shows as Family Ties, Moonlighting, L.A. Law, Seventh Heaven (Pilot Episode), The Single Guy, Law And Order, Monk, In Plain Sight, The Bernie Mac Show; and was the Co-Creator of NBC’s The Sing Off, serving as Executive Producer of the show for its entire run. His television work has received three Emmy Nominations, multiple Humanitas Awards, two Golden Globe Nominations, and a Golden Globe Award. He directed and produced the Pilot of the critically acclaimed series, Brooklyn Bridge, which was honored by TV Guide as one of the best television episodes of all time. Mr. Weisman’s theatre work has received much recognition, including multiple Drama-Logue and LA Weekly Awards, and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Best Director honors for the West Coast premieres of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (starring Ian McShane and Penny Fuller) and Simon Gray’s The Common Pursuit (featuring Nathan Lane). Other West Coast theatre credits include James Lapine’s Table Settings, Moliere’s The Misanthrope at USC, and an acclaimed production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child at South Coast Repertory Theatre. Mr. Weisman was also the director and co-creator of Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories Of Harry Chapin, which premiered in Chicago, and then played Off Broadway at the legendary Village Gate. The show went on to be a major hit in Toronto and Los Angeles, receiving a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award for Best Ensemble. Weisman also directed Michael Weller’s A Late Morning (in America) with Ronald Reagan at The Contemporary American Theatre Festival. At Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, he directed Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, and the world premiere of John Kolvenbach’s Gizmo Love. A Graduate Of Deerfield Academy And Yale, Mr. Weisman Received An M.F.A. In Acting And Directing From Brandeis University’s Department of Theatre Arts, where he has returned to teach, and to direct productions of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Other Boston area work includes teaching and directing at the American Repertory Theatre’s Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, as well as playing Polonius in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet. He has been elected three times to the East Coast Council of the Directors Guild of America, and is a voting member of the Directors’ Branch of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mr. Weisman is thrilled to be working again with Lindsay Crouse and Mickey Solis who he directed in GSC’s production of The Effect. He dedicates his work in this production to his family: his wife, actress and therapist Constance McCashin; their son, Dan (and his wife Lizzie); and their daughter, Margaux (and her husband, Will).
GORDON FARRELL (Playwright) Gordon received an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama in 1986. His plays include With More Than Voices (produced off-off Broadway); Navigators, directed by Arthur Sherman at Primary Stages; Alice Again, A Tin Star Over Tombstone, and The Voice of America (Alleyway Theater). Gordon worked as a screenwriter at Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and MGM, writing for producers as varied as Robert Simonds, Bruce Berman, and the late Norman Twain, with whom he developed several plays, including one based on the life and literary struggles of J.R.R. Tolkien, an adaptation of Richard Russo’s darkly comic novel, Straight Man, and their final collaboration, The Lifespan of a Fact. Teaching in NYU’s Dramatic Writing Department for over 25 years, Gordon’s students include Annie Baker, Lucas Hnath, Christopher Shinn, Jessica Goldberg, Marco Rameriz, Madeleine George, and Chisa Hutchinson, among others. Gordon’s book, The Power of the Playwright’s Vision, was published by Heinemann Press in 2001 and is now a standard playwriting text in the U.S., England, and Canada.
JEREMY KAREKEN (Playwright) Jeremy’s short plays Hot Rod, Big Train, and 80 Cards have been performed around the country and internationally. His awards include the Sewanee Conference’s Dakin Fellowship for Farblondjet, and Guthrie/Playwrights Center’s Two-Headed Challenge for The Sweet Sweet Motherhood. The Hamptons Film Festival Screenwriters Conference selected Kareken and David Murrell for their horror-comedy script about haunted breast implants – THESE!Conquered the Earth! In 2018, PlayPenn shortlisted Jeremy’s new political satire about an illiterate king, The Red Wool. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, and a graduate of the University of Chicago, he has taught at NYU, NYIT, The Actors Studio Drama School, and currently teaches at the Acting Studio – New York. A lifetime member of The Actors Studio, Jeremy occasionally acts and is the researcher for Bravo TV’s “Inside the Actors Studio.”
DAVID MURRELL (Playwright) Theatrical credits include Ductwork (Access Theater, Cleveland Public Theatre), E.T.D., and [Untitled Organic Winery Project]. Screenplays: “Breed Ambassador,” “Chomper,” “The Cold Spot,” “Girl Gets Razor,” “Mission: Uncomfortable,” “A Radio Picture,” “THESE! Conquered the Earth!” (Hamptons Film Festival Screenwriters Conference), and “Walking Kane.” Murrell’s teleplays include: “Dayton Ladies,” “Down River,” and “Space Station Malibu.” David was born and raised on Staten Island and graduated from the University of Chicago. The Lifespan of a Fact is his first Broadway play.
MARCELLA BARBEAU (Lighting Design) is ecstatic to return to Gloucester Stage since last season’s True West (for which she received an IRNE nomination) and this season’s Barefoot in the Park. She recently completed her Master of Fine Arts at Boston University where she designed the lights for Dolores Claiborne and Pelléas et Mélisande with the Opera Institute, Cabaret, Much Ado About Nothing, and Mad Forest. Marcella spent the fall season in the UK and Europe assisting designers at the English National Opera, National Theatre Munich, and National Theatre Mannheim.
GAIL ASTRID BUCKLEY† (Costume Design) is happy to return to GSC! Selected designs at Gloucester Stage include Most Happy Fella, Spring Awakening , Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Happy Days, Going to St Ives, The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, and The Norman Conquests. Recent designs include, The Little Foxes and Pacific Overtures for the Lyric Stage; the 11th annual A Christmas Carol at the Hanover Theatre, and assistant costume designer on the movie I Care A Lot starring Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage. Gail received two Elliot Norton Awards and two IRNE Awards for Outstanding Costume Design. Gail is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
MADISON COOK-HINES (Assistant Director, Apprentice) just graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Theatre BFA in Directing and Stage Management. During her senior year, she received a grant to research, write, direct, design, build, manage, and produce Daughters of Lavinia, a puppet-filled play that uses Lavinia from Titus Andronicus to tell the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Madison also spent the year as a TA for the Sophomore Acting Class, a job she’ll miss dearly. Her favorite on-stage role (at URI and of all time) was playing the Provost in Measure for Measure. She adores making the most out of the littlest characters. But a close second favorite was performing in The Wolves. Madison is over the moon to be jumping in at Gloucester Stage and can’t wait to learn something different from everyone. She hasn’t had spare time in several years, but if she did, she might go hiking.
LAUREN CORCUER (Props Design) is excitedly returning to Gloucester Stage after her work this season on Barefoot in the Park, Ben Butler and last season on the Agitators. She has worked in the Greater Boston area as prop master, scenic charge, wardrobe tech, and stitcher. She now finds herself in the role of Associate Production Manager at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Top prop credits include: Cabaret (Moonbox), No
DEWEY DELLAY (Composer/Sound Design) Dewey is happy to be back at where the last show he composed and designed for was The Agitators. Dewey has received an Elliot Norton award for Outstanding Design on The Women, and an IRNE for Best Sound Design on Five By Ten (both Speakeasy Stage Company). Recent local work includes Blue Kettle and Here We Go (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), which was included in The Boston Globes Top Ten; The Little Foxes (Lyric Stage Company) nominated for an Elliot Norton; and Constellations (Underground Railway Theater) which won an Elliot Norton award. Some of his television composing credits include Emmy nominated National Geographic’s China’s Mystery Mummies, and five seasons of the show Our America with Lisa Ling for the OWN Channel. He is presently composing music for digital children’s books by Live Oak Media.
J. MICHAEL GRIGGS† (Scenic Design) has previously designed for GSC The Effect, Fences, and Auld lang Syne. He has designed for The Manhattan Theatre Club, Actor’s Shakespeare Project, American Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Trap Door Theatre and many others. He is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.
OLIVIA PALUZZI (Assistant Stage Manager, Apprentice) Olivia is a Massachusetts native who recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BFA in Theatre. She has concentrations in both acting and stage management and has a love for the work that happens on and back stage. Her time at URI was filled with participating in many productions, trying everything from carpentry, stage combat, sound board operating, and acting in vastly different roles. To end her senior year, she was the stage manager for an eight show one act festival and found the process challenging but rewarding. She believes having a passion for both the artistic side and logistic side of theatre keeps her well rounded and helps her see things from different perspectives. She can’t wait to see where this new chapter in life leads her and is looking forward to her time at Gloucester Stage.
MARSHA SMITH (Stage Manager) is very excited to return to Gloucester Stage. She has worked a great deal here over the years on shows like The 39 Steps, Cyrano, Doubt, Widow’s Blind Date, Tender, The Flick, Spring Awakening, and Man in Snow. She has also done many shows at Boston Playwrights Theatre, most recently Laughs in Spanish; and with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, including the rep project last fall of Macbeth and Equivocation. Marsha is a graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Stage Management and lives on her family’s farm in southern New Hampshire.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
ºMember of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC)
†Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE
The Boston Globe Critics Pick: https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/theater/