University Letter

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Empire Theatre Company and Praxis Strategy Group present ‘The Lifespan of a Fact’ Jan. 26-29, Feb. 2-5

Empire Theatre Company and Praxis Strategy Group will present “The Lifespan of a Fact” Jan. 26-29 and Feb. 2-5 at the Empire Arts Center.

Based on the true story of John D’Agata’s essay “What Happens There,” “The Lifespan of a Fact” follows Fingal, who has a small job: to fact-check articles for one of the best magazines in the country. His boss has given him a big assignment: to apply his skill to a groundbreaking piece by legendary author D’Agata. But now Fingal has a huge problem: D’Agata made up a lot of his article. What starts professional quickly becomes profane.

“‘Lifespan of a Fact’ caught my attention when we were selecting shows for the ETC’s 11th season,” said Kathleen Coudle-King, managing artistic director for the Empire Theatre Company. “We live in an age when we are constantly bombarded by information. We should all be really well informed, right? So, how do we, as a critically thinking audience, tease apart fact from fiction?

“There is so much the audience is going to want to discuss after this show. I can just imagine people coming to see it and walking out with very different impressions. I love that kind of theatre.”

“The Empire Arts Center and Empire Theatre Company are incredibly excited to have Praxis Strategy Group as a sponsor for this show. We are so thankful for their support and collaboration,” said Debra Pflughoeft-Hassett, executive director of the Empire Arts Center.

Grand Forks’ own Chris Berg will direct the production, with a cast consisting of Zeke Bocklage as Jim Fingal, Nicole Quam as Emily Penrose, and Water Criswell as John D’Agata. Abby Plumley will serve as the Stage Manager.

For more information, visit or call 701-746-5500.

About the Empire Arts Center

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Empire Arts Center is dedicated to promoting the arts in the greater Grand Forks community. The Empire provides a welcoming venue for other local arts organizations, as well as developing our own artistic programming such as the Empire Theatre Company, The 1919 Lounge, the Flashback Film series and the Backstage Project. The Empire is also home to the UND Art Collections Gallery; exhibits from this collection have displayed works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.