As a journalist, it’s hard not to have a vested interest in the outcome of The Lifespan of a Fact, by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell, now at Keegan Theatre.
Directed with a sleek look and crisp pacing by Susan Marie Rhea, the playwrights are setting up a dichotomy between “truth” and “fact.” Prestigious author John D’Agata (Colin Smith, dismissive and passionate) has filed an impressive article (or “essay,” as he’d be quick to correct) about a teenager’s suicide from the top of Las Vegas’ Stratosphere Tower.
Editor Emily Penrose (Sheri S. Herren, cool and captivating as the only adult in the room) is on a tight deadline. Her magazine’s fact-checking department (realistically) slashed, she’s enlisted an eager Harvard-graduate intern (who instantly name-drops The Crimson), Jim Fingal, for a quick read (Iván Carlo, bringing humanity to a character easy to dislike). He finds some issues: 138 pages worth, to be precise.
Lifespan (incredibly based on a true story) has interesting things to say about which details are most important…