Francis Guinan Is Arthur Conan Doyle in World Premiere of Fake, at Steppenwolf

News   Francis Guinan Is Arthur Conan Doyle in World Premiere of Fake, at Steppenwolf
Steppenwolf Theatre Company's world premiere of writer-director Eric Simonson's Fake, featuring "Sherlock Holmes" writer Arthur Conan Doyle as a character, begins Sept. 10. Kate Arrington, Francis Guinan (as Sir Arthur), Alan Wilder, Coburn Goss and Larry Yando are featured.

Fake will play to Nov. 8 in Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre in Chicago. Opening is Sept. 20 at 7:30 PM.

According to Steppenwolf notes, "In 1914, renowned mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invites four guests to his English country home. Each visitor has a connection to the infamous 'Piltdown Man,' purported to be the missing link between ape and man — later exposed as a hoax. Swinging back and forth through time, Fake investigates how 'Piltdown' rattled assumptions about evolution, faith and science — and how we are transformed by our quest for the truth."

Chicago mainstay Guinan, a Steppenwolf ensemble member, played Big Charles in the Steppenwolf Chicago world premiere (and subsequent Broadway engagement) of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County. In 2008-09 he appeared in Art and The Seafarer for Steppenwolf. Arrington and Wilder are also Steppenwolf ensemble members.

The design team for Fake includes Todd Rosenthal (sets), Karin Kopischke (costumes), Joe Appelt (lights) and Barry Funderburg (sound and composition). Michelle Medvin is the stage manager and Lauren Hickman is the assistant stage manager. Rebecca Ann Rugg is the dramaturg and Cecilie O'Reilly is the dialect coach.

Fake was developed as part of Steppenwolf's New Plays Initiative, through which the company maintains ongoing relationships with writers of international prominence and rigorously discovers and supports the work of early and mid-career playwrights. Ensemble member Simonson recently completed a documentary on the late Studs Terkel for HBO. Simonson received a Tony nomination for his direction of Steppenwolf's The Song of Jacob Zulu with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and directed an Oscar-nominated documentary about the acclaimed South African singing group. Simonson received an Oscar for Best Documentary Short for his film "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin" in 2006.

Other directing credits at Steppenwolf include Honest (also playwright), Carter's Way (also playwright), Slaughterhouse-Five (also adaptor) and Nomathemba (Hope).

Fake was originally commissioned by the Manhattan Theatre Club.

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