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Arts, Theater & Film

'The Lifespan Of A Fact'

Constance Macy (Emily Penrose), Ben Cherry (John D'Agata) and John Kroft (Jim Fingal) in the play "The Lifespan of a Fact," running at Pioneer Theatre Company through Nov. 16.

In 2012, award-winning essayist John D’Agata and fact checker Jim Fingal released their at-times heated discussion in the book, The Lifespan of a Fact. Now, their debate over truth versus accuracy is on stage, both on Broadway starring Daniel Radcliffe, and in Salt Lake City. Pioneer Theatre Company's production of the new three-person play will run through Nov. 16.

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The essayist says the facts don’t always matter. The fact checker feels they are always essential. Their argument, ostenbily conducted over seven years, became the book and hit Broadway play The Lifespan of a Fact, which is running at Salt Lake’s Pioneer Theatre Company through Nov. 16. Award-winning essayist John D’Agata’s and fact checker Jim Fingal’s at-times heated discussion about the importance of facts in narrative nonfiction sets up our conversation about truth versus accuracy and what role facts should and do play in our news landscape.


  • John D'Agata, essayist and co-author, with Jim Fingal, of The Lifespan of a Fact
  • Wes Grantom, New York City-based director, of most recently, Pioneer Theatre Company's production of The Lifespan of a Fact 
  • Matthew LaPlante, journalist, Associate Professor of Journalism at Utah State University, and author of, among other books, Superlative: The Biology of Extremes