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BROADWAYHD TO STREAM RAINN WILSON IN SOLO PERFORMANCE OF WILL ENO'S THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING)
OLIVER BUTLER AND WILL ENO DIRECT FILM ADAPTATION OF GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE PRODUCTION OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST PLAY
New York, November 1, 2017 – BroadwayHD announces today that Thom Pain, the Geffen Playhouse’s filmed adaptation of its stage production of Will Eno’s lauded play Thom Pain (based on nothing) starring Rainn Wilson (“The Office,” founder of Soul Pancake), will be available on BroadwayHD beginning January 11, 2018. The play was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and has been translated into more than fifteen languages, with more than 100 productions mounted worldwide. Thom Pain, the film, will open the Indie Memphis Film Festival today and will also screen as part of the Dallas VideoFest this weekend.
Of the play, Charles Isherwood in his review in The New York Times wrote: “It’s one of those treasured nights in the theater – treasured nights anywhere, for that matter – that can leave you both breathless with exhilaration and, depending on your sensitivity to meditations on the bleak and beautiful mysteries of human experience, in a puddle of tears. Also in stitches, here and there.”
First performed to rave reviews in 2004 at the Edinburgh Festival where it won every major honor including a First Fringe Award, Thom Pain (based on nothing) next moved to the Soho Theatre in London and then on to the DR2 Theatre in New York, where it ran for more than 350 performances. In 2004, the London Daily Telegraph declared, “It’s hard to imagine more dazzling writing on any stage.” Ten years later, in 2014, Lyn Gardner of The Guardian was moved to write that the play is, “still one of the best monologues I’ve ever seen.”
Multi-faceted, award-winning actor Wilson and playwright Will Eno became friends more than 20 years ago, well before the play’s critically acclaimed world premiere. Eager to bring the play to Los Angeles, the two had spoken about working together for years. It was only recently that all the stars aligned. The Geffen Playhouse stage production was directed by OBIE Award winner Oliver Butler. Eno and Butler co-directed the film adaptation, which was produced by the Geffen Playhouse.
Thom Pain (based on nothing) concerns the life of a tragic and hilarious character named Thom, who has been described as, “just like you, except worse. He is trying to save his life, to save your life – in that order. In his quest for salvation, he'll stop at nothing, be distracted by nothing, except maybe a piece of lint, or the woman in the second row.”
“Mr. Eno might be called a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation... To sum up the more or less indescribable: Thom Pain is at bottom a surreal meditation on the empty promises life makes, the way experience never lives up to the weird and awesome fact of being. But it is also, in its odd, bewitching beauty, an affirmation of life's worth.” – The New York Times
The presentation of Thom Pain marks the second collaboration between the Geffen Playhouse and BroadwayHD. In March, BroadwayHD presented a live stream of the Geffen’s production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, starring Jane Kaczmarek and Alfred Molina, in its first-ever live stream from a U.S. theater outside of New York City.
Directed by Oliver Butler & Will Eno
Written by Will Eno
Starring: Rainn Wilson
Produced by Gil Cates, Jr. & Ben Shelton
Executive Producer: Jalem Getz
A Geffen Playhouse Production
Editor: Tymon Brown
Director of Photography: Ioana Vasile
Original Music by: Jeff Toyne
Music Supervisor: Mason Cooper
Sound Design: David Raines
Production Designer: Daniel Ionazzi
Costume Designer: Candace Cain
Emmy-nominated and SAG Award-winning actor Rainn Wilson has found himself in a variety of comedic and theatrical roles throughout his career. Following a host of guest appearances on TV series including Law & Order, CSI: Crime Scene Investigations and Entourage, his breakthrough came when he played assistant mortician, Arthur Martin, in HBO’s hit series Six Feet Under winning him and the cast a Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.” A co-starring role in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses caught the eye of The Office producer Greg Daniels, who cast Wilson in his memorable role as the quirky “Dwight Schrute” in the multi-award-winning series, netting him three SAG Awards for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series” during its nine-year run. On stage, he has appeared on Broadway and in a host of Shakespearean roles at some of the country’s most celebrated regional theaters. In 2005, Wilson made his directorial debut with The New Bozena, a sketch comedy and postmodern clown show and went on to direct three episodes of The Office. Past feature credits include Sahara, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, BAADASSSSS!, Juno, and the satirical comedy Cooties starring alongside Elijah Wood, as well as starring in The Boy which premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. More recently, Wilson had starring roles in the feature film thriller Shimmer Lake as well as voicing the character of “Gargamel” in the animated feature Get Smurfy. Next up is the quirky indie comedy Permanent, opposite Patricia Arquette; Warner Bros' The Meg, about a megalodon - the largest ocean predator. And on the small screen he can be seen carrying forth the legendary role of "Harry Mudd" on Star Trek: Discovery, and is upcoming in Duplass Brothers' Room 104 for HBO. Wilson is the founder of the website and YouTube channel Soul Pancake that currently boasts over two million followers and over 100 million views. Wilson’s autobiographical memoir titled The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy was published by Dutton. The book chronicles the actor’s transition from nerd to drama geek, his years of mild debauchery and struggles as a young actor in the drug-fueled 1980s NY, his many adventures and insights about The Office, becoming a husband and father, his journey into practicing the Baha'i faith as well as his philanthropic endeavors.
Will Eno is a Residency Five Fellow at Signature Theatre Company in New York, which presented Title and Deed in 2012, The Open House, in 2014, and Wakey, Wakey, in 2017. Following an acclaimed run at Yale Repertory Theatre, his play The Realistic Joneses appeared on Broadway in 2014, where it won a Drama Desk Award, was named USA Today’s “Best Play on Broadway,” topped The Guardian’s 2014 list of American plays, and was included in The New York Times’ “Best Theatre of 2014.” The Open House won the 2014 Obie Award, the Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, and a Drama Desk Award, and was included in both the Time Out New York and Time Magazine Top 10 Plays of the Year. Title and Deed was on The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine’s Top Ten Plays of 2012. His play Gnit, a loving but aggressive adaptation of Peer Gynt, premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in 2013. Middletown, winner of the Horton Foote Award, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre and subsequently at Steppenwolf Theater and many other American theaters and universities. He was recently awarded the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award. His plays are published by Samuel French, TCG, Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts in the U.S. and Oberon Books in London.
Oliver Butler directed the premiere of Will Eno’s The Open House at the Signature Theatre Company which captured an Obie Award for Direction, the 2014 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play and the Drama Desk Ensemble Award. Among his additional directorial credits, the premiere of An Opening in Time by Christopher Shinn at Hartford Stage, Legacy by Daniel Goldfarb at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Timeshare by Lally Katz at The Malthouse in Melbourne, Australia as well as City Center Encores! Off-Center production of Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick, Boom! In New York, his credits include the premieres of Goodbye New York Goodbye Heart by Lally Katz (The Australian-American Production Company) and Hostage Song, a musical by Kyle Jarrow and Clay McLeod Chapman (Horse Trade Theater Group). As co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society (TDS), a Brooklyn-based theater company, Butler has co-created and directed nine full-length plays since 2004 including The Light Years at Playwrights Horizons, sold-out runs of Jacuzzi at Ars Nova in New York City and TDS’ production of Blood Play at The Bushwick Starr, The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is a Sundance Institute Fellow and a Bill Foeller Fellow (Williamstown) and was an Ars Nova Artist in Residence. The Debate Society is currently working on a commission for Playwrights Horizons.
ABOUT BROADWAYHDBroadwayHD, founded in 2015 by Tony Award® winning producers Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane, is the only online streaming service of its kind, offering “Broadway Your Way” through an unprecedented in-hand theater experience that delivers premium live productions to theater fans globally. In addition to exclusive live streamed content of the world’s best productions, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited on-demand access to a library of more than 200 theater productions from the comfort and convenience of their own homes – or wherever streaming is possible. It’s the Broadway you know and love, curated from the stage to your screen.
ABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates and is currently helmed by Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., Artistic Director Matt Shakman and Board Chair Howard Tenenbaum. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org