The Lifespan of a Fact

by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
Streaming Online September 11-27

Wisconsin Premiere

Directed by Joe Hanreddy

Celebrated author John D’Agata has just written a sublime and shattering magazine essay. But is his story true? And how negotiable are the facts? When the world’s most neurotically precise fact-checker appears on the author’s Las Vegas doorstep and starts dissecting his work, the ultimate showdown between “truth” and “accuracy” begins. As the deadline looms, the high-stakes world of publishing becomes a battle royale in this brand new comedy of conflict. Timely and terrific, this brainy Broadway hit wrestles with truth, what constitutes it, and who gets to decide.

"...a rib-bustingly funny farce in which things go from very bad to far worse in nothing flat.”
– The Wall Street Journal


Cast: James Carrington (Jim Fingal), Michael Herold (John D'Agata), Mary MacDonald Kerr (Emily Penrose)

Scenic Designer: Joe Varga, Lighting Designer & Art Director: Noele Stollmack, Costume Designer: Amy Horst, Composer/Sound Designer: Joe Cerqua, Film Editor: Kathy Wittman, Props Master: Pamela Miles, Stage Manager: Sarah Deming-Henes, Assistant Stage Manager: Abbi Hess


The Lifespan of an Artform by Cat Capellaro | Isthmus

Filling the house: Forward Theater adapts to COVID-19 with 'Lifespan of a Fact'
by Lindsay Christians | The Cap Times

'Lifespan of a Fact' Debates the Details on a Virtual Stage by Lindsay Christians | The Cap Times


A delightful look at the creation of Lifespan, from the perspective of the actors that made it happen. Catch a glimpse of the amazing spirit that artists possess when making theater, no matter the circumstances.


An in-depth conversation with the creative team that worked behind-the-scenes. We discuss the entire process - from storyboards and shooting schedules, to recording gear and rehearsal logistics.


The online presentation of The Lifespan of a Fact is unlike anything we've ever produced before (live theater has always been our specialty). But we were determined to create something with the original artistic team that embraced our current circumstances and also pushed the boundaries of what is currently being offered (this is also our specialty). We saw an opportunity to foster a collaboration between theatermakers and video artists, and the result is a unique multimedia experience that will entertain you, make you laugh, and make you think (our signature specialty). It's a departure from the "Zoom theater" you may have seen recently, and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we've enjoyed making it.


Health and safety. There are a number of external factors (see below), but the health of our patrons is the highest priority. So we are determined to create a "safety-first" plan that adapts to the current shutdown and still brings you all the productions scheduled for our 2020-21 season. First and foremost, we remain committed to paying artists their full contracts for each production, despite changes to our season. If you are one of our 2,300+ subscribers, you are the reason we can do this. Thank you for your confidence and support.

The Lifespan of a Fact was rehearsed, performed, and recorded remotely, with each actor and production team member working via Zoom. The temporary closure of Overture through November wasn’t the only factor in this choice. Actor’s Equity Association (AEA), the national union of professional actors and stage managers, is not currently allowing any of their members to rehearse shows in person. Experts throughout our field are working out protocols to keep theater artists safe in a rehearsal room and onstage, but we do not yet know how long that process will take.

We share AEA’s commitment to safety, so are glad we have the option to present this particular play remotely. With a stellar three-person cast, a brilliant director at the helm, and our full design team working their magic, we have every confidence that The Lifespan of a Fact will remain a robust and entertaining experience for you. And fear not – we’ll be offering lots of live online talkbacks so you won’t miss out on that essential part of your Forward experience!

The Playhouse at Overture Center
201 State Street, Madison, WI