Theatre NOVA Announces Michigan premiere of “The Lifespan of a Fact” with in-person performances

Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s resident nonprofit professional theatre, is thrilled to announce its return to in-person productions. 

Theatre NOVA’s 2021-2022 season opens September 17 with the Michigan premiere of “Lifespan of a Fact” by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, which runs through October 10, 2021. Jim Fingal had one job: to fact-check renowned essayist John D’Agata’s piece for the high-profile magazine where he interns. But the more Jim digs, the more “alternative facts” he discovers in the article. Soon he finds himself in an all-out battle of truth versus fiction with the famous author. Based on the true story of D’Agata’s essay “What Happens There,” “The Lifespan of a Fact” is a hilarious examination of how sometimes cold hard facts do not necessarily lead to the truth. 

Directed by Carla Milarch, “The Lifespan of a Fact” features Andrew Huff, Justin Montgomery, and Diane Hill.  The production and design team includes Monica Spencer (scenic design), Xavier Williamson (lighting design), Vince Kelley (costume design), Sophie Little (sound design), and Briana O’Neal (stage manager/props).

For the health, safety, and well-being of our patrons, staff, and artists, COVID safety measures will be in place. All of the artists and staff participating in the season will be required to be fully vaccinated, and patrons must bring proof of vaccination and wear a mask while in the building. Unvaccinated patrons will not be admitted. This policy is subject to change at any time, in accordance with fluctuating local, state, and federal guidelines. Please check our website for our current policy before attendance. 

Theatre NOVA is located at 410 W Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. General admission tickets for plays are $22. In addition, Theatre NOVA continues to make theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them at all performances.

Tickets, memberships, flex passes, and subscriptions may be purchased online at Tickets may also be purchased in person one hour before each performance. Seating in the theatre will begin 30 minutes before each performance. There is ample free parking, and quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops. New patrons can find Theatre NOVA across Huron Street from Ann Arbor’s YMCA, through a parking lot entrance on the north side of the street. For more information, visit 

Theatre NOVA is dedicated to raising awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and new playwrights in a diverse and expanding audience; and providing resources and outlets for playwrights to develop their craft, by importing, exporting, and developing new plays and playwrights.

Gordon Farrell (Playwright) 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 has become a standard playwriting text at colleges and universities in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Jeremy Kareken (Playwright) 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 speechwriter 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 Studio.”

David Murrell (Playwright) 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.”

Carla Milarch (Director)  is a former artistic director of Performance Network Theatre, whose passion for new plays led her to co-found Theatre NOVA. As a dramaturg and director, she has helped bring 25 brand new plays to fully-staged productions, as well as hundreds of plays to staged readings, including those at the Michigan Playwrights Festival, the Fireside New Play Festival, the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays (board member), and the Kennedy Center’s MFA playwrights’ workshop. She served as board president of the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance. Some awards include “Best Overall Season/Artistic Direction” from the Oakland Press, “Outstanding Contributions to an Ensemble” from The Detroit Free Press, “Most Valuable Performer” from the Oakland Press, and the Between the Lines “Angel” award for outstanding contributions to the LGBT community. Carla’s love and experience for both sides of the stage have taken her from producing theatre at The Barn Theatre in Port Sanilac, Michigan, to co-founding a theatre in Amarillo, TX, with her Purchase classmates, to producing theatre in a barn again—this time in the middle of a world-class city.



Jim Fingal: Justin Montgomery

Emily Penrose: Diane Hill*

John D’Agata: Andrew Huff*

* The Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, 

the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Production Team:
Director: Carla Milarch

Assistant Director: Ezra Korycinski

Set design/dresser/painter: Monica Spencer

Lighting design: Xavier Williamson

Costume design: Vince Kelley

Sound design: Sophie Little

Stage Management/Props: Briana O’Neal 

Assistant Stage Manager: Cassie Kirchmeier

Administrative Assistant: Meredith Rupp

“The Lifespan of a Fact” by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell

Theatre NOVA, 410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 Box office: 734-635-8450, 

Tickets: $22 (Pay-what-you-can tickets available for every performance) 


LIFESPAN OF A FACT by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
September 17 – October 10, 2021 

Fri., Sept. 17, 8:00 p.m. Opening Night 

Sat., Sept. 18, 8:00 p.m.  

Sun., Sept. 19, 2:00 p.m.  

Thurs., Sept. 23, 8:00 p.m.  

Fri., Sept. 24, 8:00 p.m.  

Sat., Sept. 25, 8:00 p.m.  

Sun., Sept. 26, 2:00p.m.  

Thurs., Sept. 30, 8:00 p.m.  

Fri., Oct. 1, 8:00 p.m.  

Sat., Oct. 2, 8:00 p.m.  

Sun., Oct. 3, 2:00 p.m.  

Thurs., Oct. 7, 8:00 p.m.  

Fri., Oct. 8, 8:00 p.m.  

Sat., Oct. 9, 8:00 p.m.  

Sun., Oct. 10, 2:00 p.m.

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