Alice Trillin, a gifted author, educator, film producer, activist on behalf of cancer patients, and muse to her husband, humorist Calvin Trillin, died September 11, 2001, age 63. Though Alice never smoked, at age 38 she discovered she had lung cancer. Against terrifying odds, Alice survived for 25 years and wrote eloquently about living with the disease.
From condolence letters he received, Calvin Trillin felt readers didn't know Alice beyond a "sort of an admirable sitcom character" that he created in his books and magazine pieces. Four years after her death, New Yorker editor David Remnick suggested that Trillin consider writing about Alice. In 2006, The New Yorker published Trillin's essay "Alice, Off the Page: Expanding On — or Maybe Correcting — Some of the Things I Wrote About My Wife." The 2007 memoir About Alice developed from that essay. This world-premiere play, inspired by the memoir, vividly brings to life their love story.