By Ben Olson and Brady Lorio
Reader Staff and Contributor
We’ve all suffered in life. Some more notably (and loudly) than others. How appropriate that acclaimed playwright Will Eno’s notable one-man play “Thom Pain (based on nothing)” has been brought to our hamlet here in North Idaho.
The show will take place on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Evans Brothers Coffee House. Though the show is free, any donations provided will feed a starving artist or two. The play contains mature content, so leave the kiddos at home.
Eno’s “Thom Pain (based on nothing)” debuted in 2004 and features a rambling monologue by a suffering protagonist who caroms between stories of bee stings, dead dogs and sordid experiences with women.
Ten years after its initial production, Lyn Gardner of the Guardian wrote, “It’s still one of the best monologues I’ve ever seen.”
The play stars Mason Clark and is directed and produced by Hunter Price of the Pop Up Theatre Co.
Below, Price recently spoke with Bradly Lorio about the anticipated production:
Why are you bringing this show to Sandpoint?
I am so excited to bring this amazing Will Eno script to Sandpoint. This is a play that my friend, Mason Clark, and I have created. This town is where I got my start as a theater artist. I was deeply involved in the SHS theater department as well as many shows around town. I learned so much in my time there. The reason I want to bring this play to Sandpoint is to pay back the community that gave me so much and nurtures artists so well.
What should people expect Saturday night?
A lot. Charcoal drawings. Lights. Sound. An actor and a story. Words that use a vast expanse of the current lexicon (some strong language) … oh, also a little fear (in a healthy way). I think each person who sees the show has a very idiosyncratic experience. I don’t want to diminish that by prescribing what I think the audience should experience. You will feel what you feel. Hopefully we made a space that allows you to expand and observe your worldview.
This is a very complex play. I have read very few plays that capture the human experience in its totality quite like this one. It has humor, deep sadness (sometimes at the same time), heartbreak, love, lust, loss, anguish, childhood, growing up, and the tremendous struggle that is being as the playwright, Will Eno so beautifully writes, “a feeling thing in a human body.” To give you an idea about the playwright, he is described as the Becket of the Jon Stewart era. That being said, this will probably be like no play you have ever seen. It’s a one-man show that covers a lot of ground. So come ready to get in contact with some strangeness.
What do you hope to accomplish with this play?
Words are not the only way to tell a story. You don’t need a big budget to make a piece of art. You shouldn’t have to pay for culture. Strangeness is a fun, exciting, valuable thing to come into contact with. Also I hope to lead by example to all young artist out there to just make art.
Check out the free show at Evans Brothers Coffee House on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.