Stacy Keach will play Ernest Hemingway in the world premiere of Pamplona at the Goodman Theatre.
Stacy Keach will play Ernest Hemingway in the world premiere of Pamplona at the Goodman Theatre.
(© David Gordon)

Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls and stage and screen star Stacy Keach will reunite for the world premiere of Pamplona, a new play by Jim McGrath. Directed by Falls, Keach will star as acclaimed 20th-century novelist Ernest Hemingway during the author's haunted years following his Pulitzer and Nobel Prize honors. Performances are set to run May 19-June 18.

Falls directed Keach in a 2006 production of King Lear as well as a 2004 production of Arthur Miller's Finishing the Picture. Pamplona returns to Keach the role of Hemingway, which earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award nomination for his portrayal of the in the eponymous 1988 television mini-series.

Pamplona is described as follows: "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," said Keach. "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."

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