Kindred Theatre Society presents The Vancouver premiere of “The Lifespan of a Fact.”

Kindred Theatre Society presents The Vancouver premiere of “The Lifespan of a Fact.”

A comedic showdown between truth and fact set in the world of non-fiction publishing.

Starring Ben Immanuel, Loretta Walsh, and Tal Shulman and directed by Jennifer Clement at Studio 16 from May 2nd to May 12th, 2024, in Vancouver, BC

Kindred Theatre Society is pleased to announce the Vancouver premiere of “The Lifespan of a Fact” at Studio 16 at 1555 West 7th Avenue from May 2nd to May 12th, 2024. “The Lifespan of a Fact” is a comedic showdown between truth and fact set in the world of non-fiction publishing. The play stars Ben Immanuel (Wonder, The Man in the High Castle, Sisters and Brothers) as John D’Agata (the writer), Loretta Walsh (When Calls the Heart, Creepshow, Batwoman) as Emily Penrose (the Editor in Chief), and Tal Shulman (So Help Me Todd, Holiday Road) as Jim Fingal (the Fact Checker). Directed by Jennifer Clement (Director credits: Dinner with Friends, Italian American Reconciliation, Actor credits: Supernatural, Psych, Eureka) and the Set Design by Interior Designer Peter Wilds. “The Lifespan of a Fact” is written by Jeremy Karaken & David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell based on the book by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal.

The story follows Jim Fingal (Shulman), a fresh out of Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine. John D’Agata (Immanuel) is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about a high-stakes event concerning a teenage boy – an essay that could save the magazine from collapse. When Jim is assigned to fact-check D’Agata’s article, the two come head-to-head in a comedic yet gripping battle over facts versus fiction.

The play is based on real-life D’Agata’s piece “What Happens There,” an essay written about the teenager Levi Presley. In real life, Jim Fingal was assigned to fact-check the piece and ignited a seven-year debate on the blurred lines of what passes for truth in literary nonfiction. Having had success globally (the play made its world premiere on Broadway in 2018 starring Daniel Radcliffe, Bobby Cannavale, and Cherry Jones), it is currently being highly produced worldwide. “The Lifespan of a Fact” is not only a story brimming with comedic banter and debate about “truth,” it also offers themes of the story being a conduit to connect us in our humanity and trust in journalism and the media.

With the branding of terms such as “fake news” and the recent elimination and banning of news being allowed to be shared on Meta-owned social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), the public is more and more challenged with the ideas of “what is a fact?” “Is what I am reading legitimate?”

The book on which the play is based, The Lifespan of a Fact, received critical attention from national media, including NPRThe New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. It was subsequently named a “Top 10 Most Crucial Book” by the editors of Slate, a “Best Book of the Year” by The Huffington Post, and an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times Book Review. 

Key artistic contributors to the project are veteran actor/director Jennifer Clement, award-winning and nominated actors Ben Immanuel and Loretta Walsh, and set designer Peter Wilds. This team has worked together in the past, in 2012 critically acclaimed and sold-out production of “Dinner with Friends” at the Nest on Granville Island.

The Cast:

Ben Immanuel (playing John D’Agata, the writer)

Ben Immanuel is a multiple-award-winning actor, writer, director, and producer.  He has written and directed three feature films: Moving Malcom, Down River, and most recently, Are We Done Now?  In a four-decade career, he has played lead and supporting roles in well over 100 film and television productions, with theatre acting highlights that include THIS, Dinner with FriendsItalian American Reconciliation, and American Buffalo, for which he received a Jessie Award nomination. He directed the Canadian stage premieres of White Hot and Dying City and Casey and the Octopus, for which he also wrote the script.

Loretta Walsh (playing Emily Penrose – the Editor in Chief)

Loretta Walsh is an award-nominated actor and has been a professional performer for over 20 years. On television, she’s most well known for her 11 seasons on the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. Some of her other favourite film and television credits include Creepshow, Never Broken, Batwoman, Gabby Duran & the Unsittables, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bates Motel, The Sinners, Down River, Cold Pursuit, and The Cleanse.

Loretta is the founder and Artistic Producer of the theatre company Kindred Theatre and has starred in over 30 plays, including Dinner with Friends, Lobby Hero, Sex with Strangers, THIS, Either We Talk or We Don’t Talk, White Hot, Othello, and Hamlet. 

Tal Shulman (play Jim Fingal – the fact checker)

Tal Shulman is thrilled to be joining Kindred Theatre for Lifespan of a Fact! He has performed on stages across the country, including the Stratford Festival, Soulpepper, Young People’s Theatre, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, and the Improv Centre. Tal holds a BFA in Acting from Toronto Metropolitan University (fka Ryerson Theatre School), and studies at Haven Acting Studio. This summer, you can catch him at Bard on the Beach playing Dromio(s) in Comedy of Errors.

Jennifer Clement (Director).

Jennifer Clement has over 40 years of experience as a professional actor, educator/director, & arts advocate.  She has performed over 100 roles in theatre/film & TV across the country, including Arts, Club, Globe, Theatre Calgary, ACT in San Francisco, Belfry, and Vancouver Playhouse, where she received a Jessie award for her role in The Trespassers by Morris Panych. Directing credits include Dinner with Friends, Italian American Reconciliation, Brilliant Traces, and The Woods.  In the film/ TV world, she is incredibly proud of the Canadian work on Fido, Waydowntown, The War Between Us, & Da Vinci’s Inquest. In 2018, Jennifer was honoured with the UBCP/ACTRA Lorena Gale Women of Distinction Award.

In the last decade, Jennifer has been inspired to work with young people and actor educators through her past position as Head of Department at VFS. She is thrilled to be back as a creative collaborator with Kindred and this team of artists.

Peter Wilds (Set Designer)

Peter Wilds Design was established in 2011. As a full-service interior design studio based in Vancouver, Canada, they provide detailed drawings and material concepts for new construction and offer complete and select room renovation for residential and commercial projects. Peter Wilds Designs’ work has garnered national and international recognition in design publications such as Adore Home, Anthology Magazine, BC Living, Canadian House & Home, Gray Magazine, In Style Magazine, The Province, The Vancouver Sun, WeddingLux, Westcoast Homes & Design Magazine, Western Living Condo Magazine, Style at Home Magazine.

“The Lifespan of a Fact” – May 2nd-12th at Studio 16 – 1555 West 7th Ave, Vancouver

for tickets and more info,

For more information, photos, and interviews with the cast, please contact:

Lesley Diana | | 604-726-5575

Photo credit: Ricardo Hubbs


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