Interview: Doug McLaughlin of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT at Chatham Playhouse

May 5th through May 14th, 2023.

By: Apr. 25, 2023
Interview: Doug McLaughlin of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT at Chatham Playhouse
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Chatham Playhouse presents The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell.

The Lifespan of a Fact tells the story of a young and enthusiastic intern at an acclaimed literary magazine who is assigned to fact-check a high profile essay by a celebrated author. Complications ensue as the two battle over "facts" and "truth," and the importance of both. The play is based in part on the book of the same name by Jim Fingal and John D'Agata.

I had the honor of interviewing Director Douglas McLaughlin.

Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Doug McLaughlin, and I'm a lifelong NJ resident. I grew up in Rockaway and currently reside in Hillsborough.

Please tell us about your involvement in theater.

I've been involved in theater (onstage, backstage, and as a director) for over 20 years. I graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Theater, and I've worked in various capacities on stages in NJ, NY, and Philadelphia. And I'm delighted to direct at Chatham Playhouse for the first time!

What inspired you to direct this piece?

It's a timely and very funny piece, and I love and connect to the intimacy at the heart of it. Yes, it puts the debate of "fact versus truth" front and center, but it focuses ultimately (and movingly) on three people, who, despite their disparate personalities and beliefs, are really trying to connect with each other.

What do you want your audiences to take away from this show?

There is a segment in the play that refers to walking in another person's footsteps. I would love for our audiences to find their way into these characters in a similar way.
Any upcoming projects you will be working on after this? (Directing, playwriting, acting, etc.). I'll be working with Pioneer Productions, another wonderful NJ theater company, later this year on several projects (, and I'm directing a new production at Chester Theater Group next spring More info to come soon!

Anything additional you would like to add?

I've been blessed by a tremendously gifted, cast, crew, and production team at Chatham Playhouse, and I'm truly grateful for their support and generosity. And like the characters in Lifespan (hopefully?) discover, connection and collaboration makes all the difference!

How can people buy tickets to this show?

For ticket information, please visit

The cast:

Corey Chichizola as Jim Fingal

Gabrielle Wagner Mann as Emily Penrose

Kevin Cluff as John D'Agata

The team:

Produced by Eileen Cadorette and Leslie Williams Ellis

Stage Manager George Seylaz

Scenic Designers Alan Ellis and Roy Pancirov

Costume Designer Amy McLaughlin

Lighting Designer Diane Giangreco

Sound Designer Joe DeVico

Props and Set Direction by Carol Saso

Scenic Artists Dean Sickler and Gordon Wiener

Projection Designer Jeff Knapp

Photo credit: Chatham Playhouse. From left to right: Kevin Cluff as John, Director Douglas McLaughlin, and Gabrielle Wagner Mann as Emily.


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