American Lives Theater’s new season covers pregnancy and social issues

American Lives Theater’s third season will feature plays that explore the nuances of some of the country’s biggest social issues today. The origins of the home pregnancy test, the line between fact and fiction, and Christian conservatives are among the topics the company will produce in 2022 and the first half of 2023.

“We’ve carefully curated what we think is an entertaining and flawless look at America right now. And we look forward to hearing the dialogue these pieces spark with audiences,” founding artistic director Chris Saunders said in a press release.

For all three full-length performances, the theater will offer ASL interpretations. A representation of each will also require vaccinations and masks for those who feel more comfortable in this setting.

Find information on tickets, which cost between $15 and $25, at

“The Lifespan of a Fact”

By Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell. September 1-25 at the Phoenix Theater Cultural Center, 705 N. Illinois St.

Daniel Radcliffe starred in the Broadway production of the play, in which a fact checker challenges a writer who has differing points of view. The American Lives Theater production will also include talks with the audience:

  • Media and ethics: Lou Harry will host a free discussion with Rod Hicks, Director of Ethics and Diversity for the Society of Professional Journalists (September 3).
  • Meet the playwright: Broadway playwright Kareken will answer audience questions about the work (September 23).

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‘Short and sturdy’

October 13-16 at the District Theater, 627 Massachusetts Ave.

The theme for this year’s Short Play Festival is American Family. Six of the 19 pieces are by Hoosiers and 12 are world premieres. Each will receive five performances.

“Heroes of the Fourth Turning”

By Will Arbery. January 13-28, 2023, at the IndyFringe Theater, 719 E. St. Clair St.

On a nightly party in Wyoming, four young conservatives celebrate the appointment of their mentor as president of a Catholic college. The conversation continues in a discussion of generational politics, personal responsibility, and spirituality – touching on many topics that are currently players in the collective political consciousness of the United States. The piece was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2020.

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By Jennifer Blackmer. From May 4 to 28, 2023, at the Phoenix Theater Cultural Center.

The play tells the story of Margaret Crane and the challenges she faced on her journey to inventing the first home pregnancy test.

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Contact IndyStar reporter Domenica Bongiovanni at 317-444-7339 or [email protected] Follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @domenicareports.

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