“The Lifespan of a Fact” is brought to you in part by a donation from our show sponsor, The Bedford Inn.
Many thanks to the producers of “The Lifespan of a Fact”:
- Walter Bradhering
- Tom & Sue Carroll
- Suzan & George Chmiel
- Grete and Martyn Greenacre
- Kate and Jerry Hathaway
- Victor Keen & Jeanne Ruddy
- Jim & Theresa Knipper
- Myles & Leslie Martel
- Catherine Rein
- George & Theresa Schu
- Sue & Steve Teitelman
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member of our exclusive Producer’s Circle, click here.
The Role of Story in “The Lifespan of a Fact”
By Roy B. Steinberg
It is a foolish man who thinks stories do not matter – when, in the end, they may be all that matter and all the forever we’ll ever know.
Lynda Rutledge from “West with Giraffes”
We are on the cusp of an election where competing stories may change how we govern in the United States for generations. This play grows directly out of our mission to be a catalyst for discussion – in this case, it is a discussion about democracy.
Much has been written about our divided nation and what facts mean. All season long we have explored the meaning of fact or fiction and this eponymous play is the climax of that discussion.
It is Emily in this play who says, “there is nothing more important than story…
I have seen that the right story at the right time changes the way people look at events in their own lives. This is the right time. And I depend on you to get the story right. Now go get it done.
Pundits in electronic media opine about “controlling the narrative” and thereby using facts to support a particular agenda. Were the actions on January 6 an “insurrection” or a “peaceful protest”? The very phrase “alternative facts” is a very recent addition to our lexicon. This play asks the very real question of whether facts matter and how we define a fact. My favorite line in this play comes from John, the star writer, who says, “…there’s a world of facts to choose from. The wrong facts get in the way of the story.”
Although this play is packed with welcome humor, it brings up some profound issues and demands serious attention. Art can disturb preconceptions and I find myself grappling with certain assumptions.
Even as we entertain, we aspire to have you leave the theater with questions and ideas. Cape May Stage is the center of the arts in our region; we are grateful for your presence and welcome the opportunity to engage. So, have a drink or dessert after the show and send me an email about the ethical and moral issues that we present.
That is what theatre can do – it is the very reason why we exist.
Bill Timoney (John D’Agata) Broadway: NETWORK, and ALL THE WAY(2014 “Best New Play” Tony Award). Off-Broadway: THE IRISH CURSE at the Soho Playhouse. Off-Off Broadway: PICKING PALIN at the NYC Fringe Festival, ENDLESS AIR, ENDLESS WATER at MCC, and THE MUNDY SCHEME at the Irish Arts Center’s Irish Rebel Theater. Regional: American Repertory Theatre (MA), Arkansas Rep, Penobscot Theatre Company (ME), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), and Musical Theatre West (CA). A New Jersey native, Bill’s home state stage credits include NJ Rep, Shadow Lawn Stage, the Bickford Theater, the Black Box of Asbury Park, and the Celtic Theatre Company of NJ (“CTC”). He received a “Best Supporting Actor in a Play” award from Star Ledger Drama critic Peter Filichia for DA at the CTC, as well as a “Best Leading Actor in a Play” nomination for the CTC’s THE WEIR. Bill’s film appearances include Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, the Hallmark Channel holiday movie BROADCASTING CHRISTMAS, the HBO film version of ALL THE WAY, and the “one-shot” Horror flick LET’S SCARE JULIE (as Julie’s Dad). TV: the SyFy Channel’s 12 Monkeys (as Senator Royce), as well as episodes of The Blacklist, Hunters, Blue Bloods, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Malcolm in the Middle, Orange is the New Black, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Mr. Robot, FBI, Person of Interest, and Billions. Viewers of the soap opera All My Children know Bill as Alfred Vanderpool, “the preppie nerd of Pine Valley.” Bill played Alfred in the show’s popular “Greg & Jenny” storyline from 1982 through 1987, revisiting the role on a cameo basis from 1998 through 2005. Bill is a veteran voice actor whose work ranges from the anime TV series Pokémon and Disney’s live-action movie MISSION 2 MARS (as the voice of the spacecraft computer), to the dubbed versions of the Oscar-winners KOLYA and IL POSTINO. Bill writes essays about the voice acting craft in his column “Heard But Not Seen: adventures in Voice Acting” for Videoscope Magazine. Bill and his wife Georgette Reilly Timoney (seen at CMS in the one-woman show RED-HOT PATRIOT: THE KICK-ASS WIT OF MOLLY IVINS, directed by Marlena Lustik) reside on the Jersey Shore with their beloved menagerie of dogs and cats. Bill is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.
Marlena Lustik (Emily Penrose) made her debut on Broadway in Foxy with Bert Lahr. Other Broadway credits include Pousse Café and Days in the Trees. Off Broadway she appeared in the original productions of the Pulitzer Prize winning play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Regional theatre credits include The Long Wharf Theatre, The Goodspeed Opera House and the Kennedy Center working with artists like David Straithorn, Swoozie Kurtz, Colleen Dewhurst and Peter Sellars. She has done numerous commercials and was nominated for a CLIO. Television and film credits include Rodeo Red and the Runaway, Times Square, With All Deliberate Speed and roles on Another World and One Life to Live. She appeared as Anna in the cult film My Brother Has Bad Dreams and there is an interview with her about that film in the August 2022 issue of Videoscope Magazine. Here at Cape May Stage, she has played Eleanor in The Lion in Winter, Aoife in Outside Mullingar, Mrs. Banks in Barefoot in the Park, Mrs. Gottlieb in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Julia in Lend Me A Tenor, Silda in Other Desert Cities, Berthe in Boeing Boeing, Lillian in I Hate Hamlet and Ouiser in Steel Magnolias. Last season it was her great pleasure to act in Adopt A Sailor: The Holiday Edition opposite Roy Steinberg and Colby Howell. She is delighted to be working with them again. An added treat is working with Bill Timoney, whose wife Georgette Reilly Timoney, Marlena directed in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Thanks as always to my daughter Alexa for using her professional psychological skills to keep me calm when I am acting. “Breathe Mom, Breathe”!
Isaac Josephthal is thrilled to be returning to Cape May Stage having previously performed in The Lion in Winter in 2018. In New York: Public Enemy (The Pearl Theatre Co.) and the premiere of Lars von Trier’s Dogville (Tisch, dir. Robert O’Hara). Regional: If I Forget (Barrington Stage Company). International: Julius Caesar and Jean Genet’s Splendid’s (French National Theatre). TV: Big Dogs, Divorce (HBO), Hightown (Starz), New Amsterdam (NBC). A million thanks to Roy and the entire Cape May Stage team.
Jeremy Kareken (playwright, LIFESPAN OF A FACT) is a playwright living 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 speech writer 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, he has taught at NYU, NYIT, the Actors Studio Drama School, and currently teaches at the Acting Studio—New York. A lifetime member of The Actors Studio, Jeremy occasionally acts and for 18 years served as the researcher for Bravo TV’s “Inside the Actors”.
David Murrell (playwright, LIFESPAN OF A FACT) 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 and the Hamptons Film Festival Screenwriters Conference selected his and Jeremy Kareken’s feature screenplay about haunted breast implants, “THESE! Conquered the Earth.” In 2019, the Outer Critics Circle co-awarded David its John Gassner Playwriting Award for THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT.
Gordon Farrell (playwright, LIFESPAN OF A FACT) Trained as a playwright at the Yale School of Drama, Gordon received an MFA 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 (producer of “The Wedding Singer,” “Molly’s Game,” “Mile 22”); Neal Moritz (producer of “XXX,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Fast and Furious”) and Bruce Berman (producer of “The Matrix,” “Three Kings,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”). Working in independent film, Gordon has written for and sold projects to NYC indie producer Norman Twain (producer, “Lean on Me,” “Boycott,” “My Dog Tulip”). 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. In May 2019 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 in 2020. 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 in 2001. It has been translated internationally and become a standard playwriting text at colleges and universities in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Roy Steinberg (Director) has directed classical and contemporary plays as well as world premieres all over the United States. He directed Ann Jackson, Kim Hunter, and Alvin Epstein in The Madwoman of Chaillot at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. As a member of Circle Repertory Company, he developed and directed The Marriage Fool with Lynn Cohen and Farley Granger. His production of Othello played at the Intar Theatre on Theatre Row in New York and he directed Joan Copeland in a new play called Second Summer for the Colleagues Theatre Company. He was the Artistic Director of Theatre Matrix in New York and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin. He has directed touring companies of bilingual productions of Moliere’s The Miser and The Bourgeois Gentleman. As a Guest Artist he has directed college students throughout our nation in plays like American Buffalo, Our Town, The Importance of Being Earnest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mr. Steinberg has also produced and directed film and television including Guiding Light, One Life To Live, Days Of Our Lives, Forensic Files, and Scandalous Art. He has four Emmy nominations for his work. He directed Jo Beth Williams in Life In General on strike.tv, which won five Spirit Awards. At Cape May Stage, Mr. Steinberg has directed Souvenir, Moon Over Buffalo, Blithe Spirit, How to Make a Rope Swing, Say Goodnight Gracie, Social Security, Visiting Mr. Green, Proof, Class, Steel Magnolias, The Understudy, I Hate Hamlet, Boeing Boeing, Happy Days, Freud’s Last Session, The Santaland Diaries, The Woolgatherer, Mistakes Were Made, This Wonderful Life, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Disgraced, Buyer and Cellar, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, The Gin Game, Outside Mullingar, The Ultimate Christmas Show, Chapter Two, The Shuck, An Actor’s Carol, Heisenberg, Sylvia, Sidekicked and most recently Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Roy Steinberg has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He also functions as the Producing Artistic Director. His proudest production is his daughter, Alexa Catherine.
Spencer Potter (Set Design) is a Professor of Design and freelance costume/set designer working between the Western and Mid-Atlantic regions. Spencer’s design credits at Cape May Stage include: Ultimate Christmas Story…Abridged!, Outside Mullingar, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Buyer and Cellar, The Whipping Man, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life, Red Hot Patriot, Blithe Spirit, How to Make a Rope Swing, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, An Actor’s Carol, Heisenberg, Sidekicked, Murder for Two: The Holiday Edition, Ann, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Adopt a Sailor and assistant designer for Time Stands Still. Other design credits include: Costumes- The Roads to Home, Die Fledermaus, The Odd Couple, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Scenery – Singin’ in The Rain, Noises Off, And Then There Were None, Tons of Money, The Woman in Black and Steel Magnolias. In the past, Spencer has also worked as Cape May Stage’s Production Manager/Technical Director and as the Resident Intern Program Coordinator.
Zach Weeks (Lighting Design) is excited to be designing at Cape May Stage. Zach is a New York based designer whose designs have been seen all over New York. Selected credits include Peter and the Starcatcher, Little Shop of Horrors, You’re are a good man Charlie Brown, The Tempest, Little Prince (Epic Players), Pushkin (Sheen Center), Fall of the House of Usher (The New School). Regional Credits include Brigadoon & Love and the Law (Muhlenberg College), The Producers, Into the Woods, Hairspray, & Legally Blonde (White Plains PAC). Zach has worked as an Assistant Designer at Carnegie Hall, New York City Center, Plaza Hotel, and Theatre Row just to name a few. To learn more about Zach or to see more of his work please go to zwdesigns.net
Hao Bai (Sound Designer), a multidisciplinary designer in lighting, sound, and video projection for live and virtual performances. Hao’s work has been seen internationally at Asia Culture Center (South Korea), WuZhen Festival (China), in the states at CAC (Cincinnati), Stanford, Jones Hall (Houston), Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC), and in New York at The Public Theatre, NYU Skirball, The Shed, Bushwick Starr, La MaMa, JACK, Performance Space New York, New Stage Theatre, 59E59, A.R.T/New York Theatres, 14 Street Y, BAAD!, Stella Adler, The Performing Garage, The Gallery Players, The Tank, etc. Recent: Virtual: Final Boarding Call (Ma-Yi Theater+WP Theater); Nocturne in 1200s (Ping Chong). Lighting: Waterboy and the Mighty World (Bushwick Starr & The Public Theatre). Projection: Electronic City (NYIT Awards); Chronicle X (The Shed). Production Design: Where We Belong (Woolly Mammoth Theatre). https://www.haobaidesign.com
Leah Nadolski (Props Director/Set Decorator) is a graduate from DeSales University, class of 2017, with her degree in Theatre Tech and Design with a concentration on set design and props. Her past productions at Cape May Stage include Heisenburg, Sidekicked, The Taming, Slyvia, Murder for Two: The Holiday Edition, and Ann. She would like to thank her family and friends for their love and support.er
To view a copy of the official program for this show, click on the cover image below.