Robert Falls to Direct David Cale’s New Autobiographical Musical Show

Chicago News   Robert Falls to Direct David Cale’s New Autobiographical Musical Show
The new work from the Obie-winning Harry Clarke playwright will open the Goodman’s 2018–2019 season in September.
David Cale Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Goodman Theater Artistic Director Robert Falls has replaced Tony Speciale as the director of David Cale's new autobiographical solo play, We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time. A musical memoir of hope, family, and transcendence, the show will open the Chicago theatre's new season in September.


We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time marks 30 years since playwright, composer, and performer Cale made his Goodman debut. The new work will begin performances September 15 in the theatre's mainstage and will play through October 21.

The show features songs he has written, with arrangements and underscoring composed by Matthew Dean Marsh—performed live by Marsh and a quintet of musicians at each performance.

“We are thrilled to open our new season with We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time—a strikingly beautiful new work from one of the most gifted artists I’ve been privileged to collaborate with over the course of 30 years,” said Falls in a statement. “Highly personal and unusually intimate, David’s play is a complex journey of survival and transformation—and we are grateful to Tony Speciale for the role he played in the process of its development. I look forward to sharing this extraordinary story with Chicago audiences—many of whom first welcomed him here, so many years ago.”

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.

Cale’s work includes the critically acclaimed Harry Clarke, which premiered Off-Broadway featuring Billy Crudup, as well as The Redthroats, Smooch Music, Deep in a Dream of You, Somebody Else’s House, Lillian, and Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky, which all played at the Goodman.

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