Hickory – In the new comedy THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, an ambitious editor named Emily Penrose, assigns a new intern named Jim Fingal to fact check an essay by noted writer John D’Agata. What follows from there is a crazy and funny ride as D’Agata and Fingal battle over which is more important, somewhat trivial facts or human truth. The play will begin performances on November 4 in the Firemen’s Kitchen at the Hickory Community Theatre.

In the HCT production, the roles of Penrose and Fingal are played by two newcomers, Nathan Ahlgrim and Joan Schmid. In addition to being newcomers to HCT, both actors are also recent arrivals to Hickory.

Ahlgrim relocated here from Elmhurst, Ilinois two years ago when his wife, Mackenzie LeCroy, joined Dr. Bryan Graham’s dental practice. Ahlgrim is part of the Psychology faculty at Catawba Valley Community College and a summer camp counselor at Green River Preserve, where he is part of the Green River Preserve Players. His other performance experience includes ballroom dance and competing at the USA Dance National Championships. He is the 2014 champion in rhythm dances. He says he auditioned for THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT because of his background as an educator. “As a teacher,” he said, “I built lessons around misinformation, disinformation and truth. I love those debates.”

Schmid is originally from La Palma, California and moved to Hickory in 2017, with her husband Bert, because it is a great place to retire. She says she enjoys being at Hickory Community Theatre because HCT sponsors a full range of shows, with something for everyone. “I chose to audition because the role description worked for me. Emily is strong and direct.” Outside of the theatre, her favorite things are music, reading and enjoying her husband’s cooking.

Performances of the THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT are November 4-19, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays, November 6th and 13th at 2:30 and Thursday, November 17th at 7:30.

Tickets for all performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. For tickets visit hickorytheatre.org or call the box office at 828-328-2283.

The HCT’s 74th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive, Sunbelt Xpress and Frye Regional Medical Center. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is produced by Hickory Allergy, Asthma and Sinus.

PHOTO: Joan Schmid plays Emily Penrose and Nathan Ahlgrim plays Jim Fingal in THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, coming to the Firemen’s Kitchen at the Hickory Community Theatre November 4-19. Photos by John Koval.