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THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT: Welcome Nathan Ahlgrim as Jim Fingal

A sparky, spirited debate about the difference between accuracy and "truth", THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT plays in the Firemen's Kitchen at HCT November 11th-19th.

Making his first ever theatrical appearance on the Hickory Community Theatre stage is Nathan Ahlgrim as fastidious fact-checker Jim Fingal.

Hailing from Elmhurst, Illinois (home of the Theatre Historical Society of America) Ahlgrim moved to Hickory two years ago. He received a B.S. in Biology/Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University—where he was known as "The Brain Guy" at numerous local schools.

Since moving to the area, Ahlgrim has worked as an instructor at Catawba Valley Community College, and as a summer camp program director for the Green River Perserve. He was a presenter at the TEDxHickory Conference in 2021, where he discussed how to motivate student curiosity and learning. Ahlgrim's love of education and the outdoors also led him to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he spent a year teaching natural history and ecology in "classrooms that had no walls, save the mighty pine trees."

Though this is Ahlgrim's first ever theatrical stage role, as an audience member he admires HCT's ability to bring "people from the whole community into its productions." As an educator, Ahlgrim genuinely relates with his character's factual crusading. "I built lessons around misinformation, disinformation, and truth. I love these debates." At the same time, Ahlgrim keeps a proper perspective on how his character's want-to-know-it-all earnestness can play in the non-theatrical world. "We all know someone like Jim. Bless his heart."

Performances of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT are Fridays and Saturdays, November 11th through 19th at 7:30 PM; Sunday, November 13th at 2:30 PM; and, Thursday, November 17th at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for youth and students.

Tickets are available online at, or by phone at 828-328-2283. The theatre box office is open from 12-5 PM Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before a performance.

Due to the continued risk of COVID-19 in Catawba County, and in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC, the Hickory Community Theatre encourages patrons to wear a mask or other face covering while inside the building.

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is rated R for adult language.

THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT is produced in association with Hickory Allergy, Asthma & Sinus. The Hickory Community Theatre’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.

(Photo: John Koval)

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