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Stacy Keach to star as Hemingway in Goodman Theatre’s ‘Pamplona’

Goodman Theatre’s artistic director Robert Falls and veteran actor Stacy Keach are reuniting for the world-premiere production of “Pamplona.”

The new play, written by Jim McGrath, stars Keach as Ernest Hemingway in a story of the iconic author’s life after he received the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize for literature. Keach previously starred as Hemingway in a 1988 television miniseries, for which he won a Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award nomination.

Author Ernest Hemingway is shown in this undated photo. (AP Photo)
Author Ernest Hemingway is shown in this undated photo. (AP Photo)

According to today’s announcement, the new play deals with the pressures Hemingway faced following the prestigious accolades of the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes in 1953 and 1954, respectively: “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.” Hemingway would commit suicide in 1961.


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Falls and Keach first collaborated at the Goodman ten years ago for “King Lear.” Falls also directed Keach in “Finishing the Picture” in 2004.

“Pamplona” runs May 19-June 18 at the Owen Theatre. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 20 at and at noon by phone at (312) 443-3800 and at the theater box office, 170 N. Dearborn.

Note: The previously announced “Lady in Denmark” will be rescheduled. Goodman subscribers will instead receive tickets to “Pamplona.”