The real story behind the play, THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, is the culmination of a 7-year battle between a writer and a fact-checker, his editor and their magazine.
John D’Agata and Jim Fingal co-wrote the book, The Lifespan of a Fact, published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2012. The book details D’Agata’s original premise behind his 2003 essay, “What Happens There” while, side-by-side, Fingal explains his fact-checking process and rebuts D’Agata’s claims about his story and his theories about nonfiction writing.
This book and the story behind it have become both a bellwether and flashpoint for those who care about facts, truth and integrity in the written word. It also became the basis for the play, THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, co-written by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, currently in production at Theatre Artists Studio.
In the play, D’Agata insists, “I’m saying there’s a world of facts to choose from. The wrong facts get in the way of the story.” But Fingal’s warning is ominous: “By changing paint colors and statistics . . . by misrepresenting official and searchable documents, you undermine your argument, you undermine society’s trust in itself. Which is why facts have to be the final measure of the truth."
And, so, the stage is set for a brilliant, provocative comedy/drama that will challenge what you believe about facts, truth and who gets to decide the difference. Here, at The Studio, we have many different, strong opinions. That’s actually an indicator of a healthy community and a great story.
As always, the final decision is your own.