Chicago’s Goodman Theatre has announced that Tony Award winner Robert Falls will direct Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Stacy Keach in the world premiere of Jim McGrath’s Pamplona.
Keach will star as literary giant Ernest Hemingway in the play that takes place in Pamplona, Spain, in 1959—two years before the award-winning writer would take his own life.
Pamplona, which runs May 19–June 18, replaces the Goodman’s previously announced production of Lady in Denmark by Dael Orlandersmith.
Keach was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for playing Hemingway in a 1988 television miniseries about the author’s life. Keach and Falls previously collaborated on Finishing the Picture and King Lear at the Goodman.
“After the prize comes the pressure,” read press notes for Pamplona. “Basking in the glory of career-defining awards—the 1953 Pulitzer Prize and the coveted Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954—legendary writer Ernest Hemingway insists his best work is yet to come. Five years later, holed up in a Spanish hotel with a looming deadline, he struggles to knock out a story about the rivalrous matadors of Pamplona. But his real battles lie outside the bullfighting arena; in declining health, consumed by his troubled fourth marriage and tormented by the specter of past glories, he must now conquer the deepening despair that threatens to engulf him.”
“My fascination with Hemingway began when I was a student at the University of California at Berkeley, where I read In Our Time,” Keach said in a statement. “I felt as if the author was inside my head, expressing himself with words and attitudes that reflected how I felt—and I became inspired to read everything he wrote. When I played him in the 1980s, I was somewhat intimidated; I felt simply too young to fully appreciate the emotional turmoil he had experienced, due to his failing health and his inability to continue writing. This is why I am so excited with the prospect of revisiting this literary giant now, at the right age to fully explore the essence of his later years. The opportunity to work with Bob, with whom I’ve been blessed to collaborate twice before, and work again at Goodman Theatre—so close to where Hemingway grew up—is perfect.”
For tickets, visit GoodmanTheatre.org. The Goodman is located at 170 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.
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