A slender but entertaining play fictionalizes the Piltdown Man hoax, the supposed "missing link" of human evolution that, 40 years after its discovery, was revealed to be a fake. Scenes from 1914, the year of the discovery, alternate with scenes of 1953, the year of the debunking. The cast and direction are superb, ably concentrating on character and human conflicts rather than science. Francis Guinan of Chicago's amazing Steppenwolfe Theatre Company is a standout as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who may or may not have perpetrated the prank. More interesting than the play itself is a postlude discussion of the incident between producing director Susan Lowenberg and Russell H. Tuttle, professor of anthropology, University of Chicago, whose charm, articulateness, and humor animate the discussion.
Oscar-winning and Tony-nominated writer and director Eric Simonson explores the most famous archeological hoax in history. Alternating between 1914 and 1953, journalists and scientists set out to uncover who planted the Piltdown Man skull. Everyone's a suspect, including legendary Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Kate Arrington, Coburn Goss, Francis Guinan, Alan Wilder and Larry Yando.
Fake is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.