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David Cale (USA)


The Public: Shiva Theater

Thursday, January 11 - Friday, January 12

Running Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes

Members and Partners: $20
Full: $25 + fees

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Photo by Craig Schwartz


David Cale gives words to escaping the volatility of his parents’ marriage by singing Petula Clark songs, by tending to the tropical birds in the Bird and Animal Hospital he built in a garden shed, by embodying vivid memories and by learning to live when death is suddenly everywhere.

Weaving together family portraits, narrative storytelling and original songs lushly arranged by Matthew Dean Marsh, Cale tells his harrowing autobiographical story of growing up in an industrial English town with an intimate authenticity and lays bare the violent act which changed everything and the surreality of being propelled out.

WE'RE ONLY ALIVE FOR A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME was developed, in part, at SPACE on Ryder Farm, developed, in part, at a retreat at the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Weston, Vermont, developed, in part, and presented at the 2017 Goodman Theatre New Stages Festival and developed, in part, at the 2018 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA.

THE PHILIP AND JANICE LEVIN FOUNDATION provides support for The Public’s access and engagement programming.

All orders subject to $3 per ticket service fee and $1.50 per ticket facility fee. There is a $1 per ticket package fee per performance for UTR Packs. Service fees for single tickets are waived at the Box Office window. All fees are waived for Public Theater Members and Partners. Plays, titles, actors, directors, and performance dates and times are subject to change. All sales are final, no refunds or cancellations.


Written and Performed by David Cale

Songs by David Cale

Arrangements and Underscoring Composed by Matthew Dean Marsh

Directed by Tony Speciale


Piano Matthew Dean Marsh

Trumpet John Blevins

Viola Christiana Liberis

Cello Kristine Kruta


Costume Design by Paul Marlow

Stage Manager Hannah Woodward

Additional Lighting to the Repertory Plot by Ben Stanton