David Cale's We’re Only Alive For A Short Amount of Time Begins in Chicago

Chicago News   David Cale's We’re Only Alive For A Short Amount of Time Begins in Chicago
The autobiographical musical show kicks off the Goodman Theatre's 2018–2019 season September 15.

David Cale returns to Goodman Theatre three decades after his debut with his new musical memoir We’re Only Alive For A Short Amount of Time. Performances begin September 15 with direction by Goodman Artistic Director Robert Falls.


Drawing from his own childhood, We’re Only Alive For A Short Amount of Time is a new autobiographical show about hope, family and transcendence from the playwright behind the Drama Desk-winning Harry Clarke.

The show features lyrics written by Cale, music composed by Cale and Matthew Dean Marsh and arrangements and music direction by Marsh, who also performs live each night with a quintet of musicians: David Belden (viola), Michelle Campbell (harp), Desiree Miller (cello), Jered Montgomery (trumpet) and Anna Najoom (clarinet).

The creative team also includes Kevin Depinet (sets), Paul Marlow (costumes), Jennifer Tipton (lights), Mikhail Fiksel (sound) and Briana J. Fahey is the production stage manager.

“I am thrilled to begin this exciting new season with an extraordinary autobiographical tour-de-force infused with an enthralling score—and twists that will take your breath away,” says Director Falls in a statement. “We first presented We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time in last year’s New Stages Festival—and I immediately felt that David’s devastating-yet-life-affirming tale, with its vast themes and stirring music, would captivate and thrill audiences. And although I have known him for over three decades and have frequently presented his work, I am honored to collaborate with David as a director for the first time.”

Cale returns to the Goodman following his productions of The Redthroats (1988), Smooch Music (1989), Deep in a Dream of You (1991), Somebody Else’s House (1993), Lillian (1997), and Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky (2005).

We're Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time was developed, in part, at SPACE on Ryder Farm; Weston Playhouse Theatre Company; the 2018 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA; Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater; and Goodman Theatre’s New Stages festival. For more information visit Goodmantheatre.org/Alive.

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