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Theater Wit to Restage Will Eno's THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) with Lance Baker, 6/27-7/27

Theater Wit has announced it will present a special encore presentation this summer of its critically acclaimed 2007 smash hit Thom Pain (based on nothing) by Will Eno.

Chicago favorite Lance Baker, who earned a Jeff Award for Best Solo Performance racing his way back and forth and around Thom's life in Eno's astonishing text, returns to Theater Wit to reprise his starring role for this limited engagement. Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler also returns to direct.

Previews are June 27-30: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 7 pm. Press opening is Tuesday, July 2 at 8 pm. Regular performances run through July 27: Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 7 pm (no show Thursday, July 4.) Tickets are $12-$36. Theater Wit is located in the heart of Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood at 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. For tickets and information, visit TheaterWit.org or call 773.975.8150.

Thom Pain (based on nothing) is the breakout play by Will Eno (Middletown, The Realistic Joneses) who the New York Times described as "Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation." The play's titular character, Thom Pain, has come to a certain point in his life. But don't we all? A celebration of the extraordinary wonder of being utterly ordinary, Thom Pain examines a history of lost love and innocence and retained dictionaries and letters. They may even be his own. And as he desperately and uncomfortably searches for the answers we come to realize that it isn't really his story at all, but ours.

Layered on top of this seemingly traditional one-man show is a wry and cutting twisting of perspective; it challenges every aspect of the play, even as the audience experiences it. It bounces between heart-wrenching confession and ironic detachment, all the while reflecting on the script's own self-examination and subverting the audience's every expectation. The experience is intimate, mind-bending and brutally funny.

Thom Pain (based on nothing) premiered in August 2004 at the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh and then transferred to the Soho Theatre in London. The play won the coveted Fringe First Award, the Herald Angel Award, and was cited by The Guardian as the best play at the Fringe. Thom Painhad its American premiere at DR2 Theatre in New York, where it ran for over a year and was nominated for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. Theater Wit presented the Chicago premiere in 2007 when it ran for ten weeks at the Viaduct Theatre.

Will Eno (playwright) is a Residency Five Fellow at the Signature Theater, where his play Title and Deed premiered in May 2012. His play Gnit, an adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt, premiered at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville in 2013. His play The Realistic Joneseshad its premiere at the Yale Repertory Theater, in April 2012.His play Middletown was a winner of the Horton Foote Award and was produced at the Vineyard Theater in New York and Steppenwolf in Chicago. His play Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and has been translated into many Romance languages and several Slavic ones. He was recently awarded the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award. His work is published by TCG, DPS, playscripts, and Oberon Books, in London. Other work has also appeared in Harper's, The Believer, and The Quarterly.

Lance Stuart Baker (Thom Pain) most recently appeared in Henry VIII at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. In addition to Thom Pain(based on nothing), Baker originated the role of Elf in Theater Wit's annual holiday staging of The Santaland Diaries, and co-starred in the world premiere of Spin, the inaugural production at Theater Wit's new home at 1229 W. Belmont. Other memorable roles include Doubt (American Theatre Company), Ten Chimneys and Mauritius (Northlight), Invisible Man (Court Theatre), Becky Shaw and The Mandrake (A Red Orchid), Around the World in 80 Days(Lookingglass/Kansas City Rep)and Amadeus (Chicago Shakespeare). He directed A Very Merry Scientology Pageant and The Earl (both at A Red Orchid). Film credits include Public Enemies, The Express, Repetition, Road to Perdition, Treasure Island and Payback. He is an ensemble member with A Red Orchid, an artistic associate at Collaboraction, and an associate artist at Chicago Dramatists.

Jeremy Wechsler (Director) is the artistic director of Theater Wit where he has directedCompleteness and The Four of Us (Itamar Moses) Tigers Be Still (Kim Rosenstock), This (Melissa James Gibson), Spin (Penny Penniston), Feydeau-Si-Deau (Georges Feydeau), Men of Steel (Qui Nguyen), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Will Eno), Two for the Show (James Fitzpatrick and Will Clinger) and The Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris/ Joe Mantello). Other directing credits include: A Taste of Honey (Shelagh Delaney), The Play About the Squirrel (Mia McCullough), The White Devil(John Webster), The Real Thing (Tom Stoppard), Szinhaz (Itamar Moses), The Duchess of Malfi(John Webster), Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare), The Roaring Girl (Thomas Middleton), Flight(Mikhail Bulgakov), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (Paul Rudnick), This is the Rill Speaking(LanfordWilson), Hay Fever (Noel Coward) Now Then Again (Penny Penniston), A Month in the Country (Brian Friel), Europe (David Grieg), Henry VI: Blood of a Nation (Shakespeare), The Promise (Jose Rivera), Un Robot (Laura Jacqmin), The Coarse Acting Show (Michael Green) Life is a Dream (Calderon), The Prisoner's Dilemma (David Edgar), Cabaret (Kander/Ebb) and The Threepenny Opera (Brecht). Wechsler's productions have been nominated for and won multiple awards for design, performance, adaptation and best new work. He has taught at several universities, is an artistic associate at Collaboraction and currently serves on the board of the League of Chicago Theatres.



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