Dale McFadden is an IU faculty member and theater director in Terre Haute, a professor who never seems to take his summers off. “No, I do like warm weather, but I also like to work, so I try for a balance.”
White’s current project, Terre Haute (by Edmund White), follows a series of discussions that take place when a prisoner based on the Kansas City Bomber Timothy McVeigh is visited by a writer whose character is based on Gore Vidal.
The real McVeigh was actually incarcerated at the prison in Terre Haute. “Although the two never really met, Gore Vidal did communicate in letters and even said that he felt a certain sympathy with McVeigh. Perhaps it was based on their both feeling outside of and critical of the government and some aspects of society.”
Truth To Tell
Playwright Edmund White is an influential literary and cultural critic who’s written both fictional biography and a non fiction autobiography. “In the recent revival of Terre Haute in New York,” McFadden says, “White even added some notes to the program.
There are some parts of the play that simply aren’t true. For instance, Timothy McVeigh didn’t meet the Unabomber in Terre Haute, but he did meet him Colorado. [Despite factual inconsistencies, though,] the truths about the McVeigh character’s attitude and the potential for sympathy with the older man based on Gore Vidal are deep and potent.”
A Footnote To The Interview
“As to truth of the story, on Sunday the 27th following the matinee we’ll have a conversation with Mark Hamm, who’s written two books on Oklahoma City Bombing and Kevin Mayes the coroner who pronounced McVeigh dead following the execution. “