Eric Simonson

Writer & director for film, television, theatre, and opera

Eric Simonson is a writer and director for film, television, theatre and opera. Recent films include the documentary, "Studs Terkel: Listening to America," "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin", and "On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom."


In 1914, renowned mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invites four guests to his English country home. Each visitor has a connection to the infamous "Piltdown Man," purported to be the missing link between ape and man—later exposed as a hoax. Swinging back and forth through time, Fake investigates how “Piltdown” rattled assumptions about evolution, faith and science—and how we are transformed by our quest for the truth. 


Selected audio clip from FAKE

Produced by LA Theatre Works

"...Fake could only have been conjured by someone who has lived an exceedingly full life -- a true adult who has experienced the glitter of sophisticated worldliness, the cynical weariness of intense careerism, the devastating ache that comes with severe loss and intense memory, and the crushing impact of profound love and death. Ironically, there is nothing at all artificial about "Fake," aside from its meticulously crafted structure, which so cleverly adapts aspects of the traditional detective story (complete with the participation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes), and then so seamlessly transforms the genre into the most probing of metaphysical investigations. This is a wonderfully mature, richly multifaceted piece of work..." 
                     - Chicago Sun Times

"...Fake is a very original work (directed, as well as written, by Mr. Simonson) displaying tremendous grace and polish. And with some fine dramatic flourishes of its own, and very impressive double-casting (in back-and-forth scenes set in 1914 and 1953), the show makes mysterious twins out of fact and faith, holding each up to the light of reason... it's still a lot of fun to see how he gets to his conclusion..." 
                      - Talkin Broadway


"...For all its maneuverings, manipulations, and hidden agendas, Fake is more than a clockwork entertainment. Simonson uses the Piltdown Man fraud to set intellectual as well as theatrical mousetraps, opening up discussions about religion and science, God, history, nationalism, human nature, the politics of proof, and crucially, how we know what we think we know..." 
                     - Chicago Reader


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