The Lifespan of a Fact on Broadway: Show Is Now Closed

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ORCH $189
MEZZ $99
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The Lifespan of a Fact Summary

  • Show Status: Closed
  • Genre: Play
  • The Lifespan of a Fact is 1.5 Hours long, including an intermission of None
  • 8 Shows per week
  • Previews Began: September 20, 2018
  • Show Opened : October 18, 2018
  • Show Closed: January 13, 2019

The true of story of the seven year collaboration of non-fiction writer John D'Agata and fact checker Jim Fingal.

The Lifespan of a Fact on Broadway Background

The play juxtaposes D'Agata's ambiguous view of fact with Fingal's firm black and white stance. Through much profanity they discover the limits of truth in literary non-fiction.

Based on the 2012 novel of the same name, penned by D'Agata and Fingal themselves, The Lifespan of a Fact makes its world premiere on the Great White Way. The book is unusual as it features D'Agata's essay "What Happens There" along with Fingal's hand-written comments and correspondence. The book was critically acclaimed and named a Top 10 Most Crucial Book by Slate. The renowned book was adapted for the stage by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell (Swim Visit) all in their Broadway debuts. Prior to this production neither Kareken nor Murrell had even had a play performed Off-Braodway.

The play stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) as Jim Fingal, Bobby Cannavale (Mauritius, "Third Watch") as John D'Agata and Cherry Jones (The Heiress, "24") as Emily. The original play is directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet, Chinglish) and is running for only 16 weeks.

What's The Lifespan of a Fact Like?

D'Agata's essay "What Happens There" is commissioned by Harper's Magazine after the suicide of 16-year-old Levi Presley in Las Vegas. His piece focuses on the relationship between the city's unique culture and its attitude towards its suicide rate, one of the highest in the country. His piece is pulled when it is discovered that a significant portion of the article is factually inaccurate. As a result, The Believer picks up the story, but editor Emily wants to assign a fact checker to the project. Jim Fingal is assigned to the job and the two men spend the next seven years working on the essay. Although some of D'Agata's original inaccuracies were unintentional, many "facts" in the piece were simply made up by D'Agata. During the collaborative process Fingal brings up many profound questions including the responsibilities a nonfiction author has to its readers and the limits of creative license.

Is The Lifespan of a Fact Good for Kids?

The show is most appropriate for those aged 12 and above. Children under the age of 4 will not be permitted in the theatre.

Theatre Information

Studio 54 Theatre

254 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
Seats: 922
Entrance: 54th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues
Theatre Information

Studio 54 Theatre Seating Chart

The Lifespan of a Fact Marquee

The Lifespan of a Fact Marquee

Cast Members

Daniel Radcliffe
Emily Penrose
Cherry Jones
Bobby Cannavale


Jeffrey Richards

Norman Twain

Deanna Twain

Will Trice

Barbara Freitag

Eric Falkenstein

Carl Moellenberg

Wendy Federman

Ken Greiner

Van Kaplan

Caiola Productions

Production Credits

Production Stage Manager
Martha Donaldson
Jeremy Kareken + David Murrell + Gordon Farrell
Leigh Silverman
Lighting Designer
Jen Schriever
Costume Designer
Linda Cho
Set Designer
Mimi Lien
Sound Designer
Palmer Hefferan
Projection Designer
Lucy Mackinnon

Creative Team

General Manager
Foresight Theatrical LLC
Company Manager
Jason Haft at Foresight Theatrical LLC
Advertising Representative
Press Agent
Polk & Co
Production Manager
Hudson Theatrical Associates