Rubicon Theatre Launches 25th Season With THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT

Performances run October 4 - 21, 2023.

By: Sep. 26, 2023
Rubicon Theatre Launches 25th Season With THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT

Rubicon Theatre will launch its 25th Anniversary Season, entitled TRULY YOURS, with The Fountain Theatre’s acclaimed West Coast Premiere production of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT running October 4 - 21, 2023. Based on the nonfiction book by JOHN D’AGATA and JIM FINGAL named “Best of the Year” by the Huffington Post, this fast-paced, funny, smart and timely play follows the conflict between an ambitious young fact-checker trying to make his mark and a prominent writer who has created a groundbreaking and poetic essay that may save a flailing magazine from collapse. 

Written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT had a successful run on Broadway in 2019 with Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter”), and Tony winners Bobby Cannavale and Cherry Jones. The production ran for more than 100 performances.

The Fountain Theatre transfer directed by Simon Levy stars Ron Bottitta, JONAH ROBINSON and Inger Tudor

Creator Gordon Farrell posted of the upcoming run, “Do not miss it! The best production of my play since Broadway -- and in some ways better! A TOTAL TREAT! GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!”

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT opens Saturday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m., with low-priced previews October 4 - 6. Performances during the regular run are Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m. (talkback following), Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $30 - $79.50 with discounts available for subscribers, students, military and equity. 

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is the opener for Rubicon Theatre Company’s 25th “Silver” Anniversary Season, entitled Truly Yours. The season consists of five compelling, “must-see” productions filled with humor, passion, grit, and, above all, truth: THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND,EISENHOWER: THIS PIECE OF GROUND,  “A” TRAIN, and ONCE. Those who subscribe to all five shows save 15% and receive other benefits including easy exchange privileges, guaranteed seats, and advance notice and special discounts on added concerts and special events. To subscribe to Rubicon’s 25th Anniversary Silver Season or to purchase single tickets for THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, call Guest Services at (805) 667-2900 or visit Click Here.  

More about the Story

When an established, larger-than-life author John D’Agata (played by Ron Bottitta) submits an essay for publication in a prestigious New York magazine, the new intern Jim Fingal (Jonah Robinson) gets his first assignment from his editor (Inger Tudor) -- to fact check the article to make sure everything is accurate. What Jim finds turns his world upside-down. What starts as a routine assignment quickly evolves into a battle of wills as Jim rigorously scrutinizes John's work, uncovering discrepancies and exaggerations. John, on the other hand, defends his creative liberties as a writer, arguing that the emotional core of the story is more important than strict adherence to facts.

“What I love about Lifespan is that it’s based on a true story,” says Director Simon Levy, “and as the clash intensifies, the play tackles these really important contemporary questions. What is the definition of a ‘fact’ in today's world? And how does that align with ‘truth’? And who decides? The joy of the play is watching three wonderfully contrasting, funny, and compulsive/obsessive characters battle over their very different views of the answers to those questions.”

“THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is a compelling and thought-provoking play that explores the intersection of truth, art, and personal integrity,” says Rubicon Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. “We are so grateful to Simon and Stephen Sachs at The Fountain for allowing us to share their this story and their incredible artistry with our audiences to open our 25th Season.”

“With sharp wit, humor, with zinging one-liners and powerful dialogue,” adds Burns, “this play keeps audiences engaged while challenging their own perspectives. THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is a riveting exploration of the creative process, journalistic integrity, and the blurry boundaries between fact and fiction. It reminds us that the pursuit of truth can be a complex, messy, and even humorous journey.”

About the Cast 

As John D’Agata, Ron Bottitta makes his Rubicon debut with LIFESPAN. His other credits with The Fountain Theatre include Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children. Before the pandemic, Bottitta appeared in Earthquakes in London at Rogue Machine, and Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis at Son of Semele. Other productions at Rogue, where he is a company member, include Oppenheimer, Honky (Ovation Nominee for Best Play), Penelope (Ovation Nom - Best Play), The Sunset Limited (L.A. Weekly Nomination for Best Play), Monkey Adored, and Razorback. Bottitta has also appeared at The Geffen, LATC, LATW and The Odyssey. His TV and film work includes “The Mandalorian,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Get Shorty,” “Elementary,” “Supergirl,” “Grey's Anatomy,” “Quicksand,” “Fishmonger,” “Overboard,” “Black Panther,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “The Mountain Between Us” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” as well as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” He plays returning cult favorite Capt. Butcher in “Call of Duty: WWII, Vanguard and Warzone.” Training: B.A., U.C. Berkeley, M.F.A., N.Y.U. 

JONAH ROBINSON as English major and Harvard fact-checker Jim Fingal has appeared with Utah Shakespeare Festival, Marin Shakespeare Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Alabama Shakespeare Company, and others. Jonah appears in "Daisy Jones and the Six" on Amazon Prime.

As Editor Emily Penrose, Inger Tudor brings a wealth of experience to her role. She is a graduate of LAMDA , Harvard College and Harvard Law School. She is a member of The Road and Rogue Machine Theatres. Favorite L.A. theatre credits include the World Premiere of The Merchant of Venice Annotated with Theatre Dybbuk, a national tour of Steel Magnolias with L.A. Theatre Works, The Suppliant Womenand Honky at Rogue Machine, Antigone at A Noise Within, Going to St. Ives at Actors Coop (for which she received an L.A. Stage Scene Award and Stage Raw, and NAACP nominations for Best Lead Actress), The Exorcist at Geffen Playhouse, Stuff Happens at Mark Taper Forum, and Romeo and Julietat Boston Court, for which she received an NAACP Best Supporting Actress nomination. TV and film credits include “Your Honor,” “Physical,” “Goliath,” “Transfer,” “My Condolences,” and “Voodoo Macbeth,” for which she received three Best Actress awards.

About the Creatives and Director

Playwright Gordon Farrell trained as a playwright at the Yale School of Drama. He received an M.F.A. in 1986 and went from there to work with major Hollywood studios, initially as a story analyst for Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures, and eventually as a screenwriter. He has written for hire and sold screenplays to Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers, MGM, and ITC. He has worked with Robert Simonds, Neal Moritz, Bruce Berman, and NYC indie producer Norman Twain. Gordon's first independent screenplay "Girls Who Smoke" premiered in 2011. It went on to be an official selection at over a dozen film festivals, ultimately winning the Audience Choice Award in Seattle at the Post Alley Film Festival. As a playwright, from 2009 to 2013, Gordon worked with dozens of women on New York's Lower East Side who wanted to tell their personal stories on stage. The series of monologue plays that grew out of it was called In the Red Room/Every Woman Dances for Someone. The fully dramatized version Girls Who Walked on Glass, played to SRO houses and rave reviews in Buffalo and is scheduled to transfer to New York City. His other plays have been produced in San Francisco, at the Alleyway Theatre, at the Yale School of Drama, and at Primary Stages in New York. He is the author of "The Power of the Playwright's Vision," published by Heinemann Press, which has been translated internationally and become a standard playwriting text at colleges and universities in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Jeremy Kareken, playwright, lives in New York and Baltimore. His short plays Hot Rod, Big Train, and 80 Cards have been performed around the country and internationally. He served as a speechwriter and policy analyst for two presidential campaigns. 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, New York, and a graduate of the University of Chicago, Jeremy has taught at NYU, NYIT, The Actors Studio Drama School, and currently teaches at the Acting Studio in New York. A lifetime member of The Actors Studio, Jeremy occasionally acts. For 18 years, he served as the researcher for Bravo TV’s “Inside The Actors Studio.”

Playwright David Murrell was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School and the University of Chicago, currently lives in Queens, and has written a sea chest's worth of TV and film treatments and spec scripts. Access Theater (NYC) and the Cleveland Public Theatre each produced his play Ductwork. The Hamptons Film Festival Screenwriters Conference selected his feature screenplay about haunted breast implants “THESE! Conquered the Earth,” co-written with Jeremy Kareken. In 2019, the Outer Critics Circle co-awarded David the John Gassner Playwriting Award for THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT.

Director Simon Levy has been Producing Director of The Fountain Theatre since 1993. The L.A. Drama Critics Circle honored him with the Milton Katselas Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing. Recent directing credits at The Fountain include The Children, Daniel's Husband and The Chosen. His stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (Finalist for the PEN Literary Award in Drama) is produced widely throughout the world. It is the only stage adaptation authorized by the Fitzgerald Estate, and is published by Dramatists Play Service, along with his adaptations of Tender is the Night (winner of the PEN Literary Award in Drama) and The Last Tycoon. Simon has produced dozens of shows at The Fountain over the past 30 years. Prior to coming to L.A., he lived in San Francisco, where he was the General Manager of Beach Blanket Babylon, Artistic Director of The One-Act Theatre Company, and Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area.

Additional creative and technical staff for THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT are as follows: Production Stage Manager HANNAH RAYMOND, Set Designer JOEL DAAVID, Lighting Designer ALLISON BRUMMER, Sound Designer & Composer MARC ANTONIO PRICHETT, Video Designer NICHOLAS SANTIAGO, Costume Designer Michael Mullen, Prop Designer JOYCE HUTTER, The Fountain Theatre Technical Director SCOTT TUOMEY, Production Manager JULIA DONLAN, Technical Director ANTHONY M. COLOMBO, and Associate Artistic Director STEPHANIE COLTRIN.

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