Cutting Ball Theater's 'THOM PAIN' Extends Again Thru 5/9
San Francisco's cutting-edge Cutting Ball Theater today announced that due to overwhelming popular response, the company will extend its Bay Area Premiere of Will Eno's London and Off-Broadway hit THOM PAIN (based on nothing) a second time; the company has added three weeks of shows in addition to the previously announced extension to April 19. THOM PAIN (based on nothing) plays now through May 9 (added performances April 23-25, April 30-May 2 and May 7-9 at 8pm; April 26, May 3 at 5pm) at the Cutting Ball Theater in residence at Exit on Taylor (277 Taylor Street) in San Francisco.
Crowded Fire Artistic Director Marissa Wolf helms this Pulitzer Prize-nominated one-man meditation on the empty promises that life makes, starring Jonathan Bock. For tickets ($15-30) and more information, the public may visit cuttingball.com or call 800-838-3006.
This isn't your average one-man show. Thom Pain is trying to save his life to save your life, in that order. Filled with biting humor, desire, and lost innocence, THOM PAIN (based on nothing), called "brilliant" by Entertainment Weekly, is a sharply-crafted solo show about one ordinary man's extraordinary search through the wreckage of his life. Hailed as "astonishing . . . a small masterpiece" by The New York Times, this insightful, at times surreal, monologue catalogues the eternal agonies of the human condition in wit and one last-ditch plea for empathy and enlightenment.
SF Weekly called THOM PAIN "solidly one of the best pieces of theater [I've] ever witnessed," while the
San Francisco Chronicle noted actor Jonathan Bock's performance as Pain "riveting," and the Bay Guardian dubbed the production "an aggressively funny, cooly insouciant piece of theater...in a laser-focused, captivating production at Cutting Ball Theater."
"Cutting Ball is honored to produce the Bay Area Premiere of THOM PAIN (based on nothing)," said Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose. "The New York Times called Will Eno, ‘a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.' Right now, I am at the Guthrie Theater directing Beckett's Happy Days, and as I work on Beckett's words and prepare for Will Eno's premiere in the Bay Area simultaneously, I am struck by what a perfect description of Eno's work that is. Both Beckett's and Eno's plays are filled with a wicked sense of humor and a profound depth. Their works burrow down into the most intimate vulnerabilities of the human soul - with both writers, at one moment I am laughing myself to the floor and the next I feel as though I am having a spiritual epiphany. Will Eno is very much of our time, putting his profound ideas in the forms of stand-up comedy and the 24-hour news cycle. The fact that he is able to tackle such weighty themes in forms we associate with glibness and superficiality is what makes his work so surprising and catches us off guard - he is one of the most exciting playwrights alive today."
Will Eno is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Helen Merrill Playwriting Fellow, and a Fellow of the Edward F. Albee Foundation; he is the recipient of the first-ever Marian Seldes/Garson Kanin Playwriting Fellowship, nominated by Edward Albee). THOM PAIN (based on nothing), which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and subsequently transferred to London, opened Off-Broadway in New York in 2005, where it ran for over 400 performances; it was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Eno's other work for the stage includes The Flu Season, which premiered at The Gate Theatre in London and then opened in New York, where it won the Oppenheimer Award (2004) for best debut by an American playwright; Intermission, which premiered at the Ensemble Studio Theatre's One-Act Marathon in 2006; a collection of short plays, Oh, The Humanity and other good intentions, was produced at the Flea Theater in New York in 2007, starring Marisa Tomei and Brian Hutchison; TRAGEDY: a tragedy had its U.S. premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theater in 2008 (an excerpt of the play appeared in the June 2006 issue of Harper's Magazine). Additionally, Eno taught playwriting at Princeton University and was a Hodder Fellow; he was recently named a Fellow of the Cullman Center of the NY Public Library.
Jonathan Bock makes his Cutting Ball debut as the titular Thom in THOM PAIN (based on nothing). Bock's regional credits include As Bees in Honey Drown at New Conservatory Theatre, Crystal Christian and Blue Grass at Magic Theatre, and roles at FoolsFury and the Willows Theatre. Bock will return to Cutting Ball in May to play the role of Pélleas in the company's Open Process workshop of Maurice Maeterlinck's Pélleas and Mélisande, in a new translation by Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose.
Director Marissa Wolf was recently named Artistic Director of Crowded Fire Theatre, where she was an Artistic Associate for three years. Her directing credits include Crowded Fire's West Coast Premiere of Gone by Charles Mee, her experimental adaptation of Gertrude Stein's long poem, Lifting Belly (FoolsFURY), and Marguerite Duras' story The Malady of Death (Fury Factory). Wolf previously held the Bret C. Harte Directing Internship at Berkeley Repertory Theater for two years, where she assisted renowned directors including Tony Taccone, Les Waters, Lisa Peterson, Annie Dorsen, Frank Galati, and Mary Zimmerman. She studied directing at Vassar College and received additional training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
Co-founded in 1999 by husband and wife team Rob Melrose and Paige Rogers, Cutting Ball Theater presents avant-garde works of the past, present, and future by re-envisioning classics, exploring seminal avant-garde texts, and developing new experimental plays. Cutting Ball Theater has partnered with Playwrights Foundation, Magic Theatre, and Z Space New Plays Initiative to commission new experimental works, including Bone to Pick by Eugenie Chan. The company has produced a number of World Premieres and West Coast Premieres, and re-imagined various classics. Recipient of the 2008 San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie award for outstanding talent in the performing arts, Cutting Ball Theater earned the Best of SF award in 2006 from SF Weekly, and was selected by San Francisco Magazine as Best Classic Theater in 2007.