Theatre Nervosa to Present Thom Pain (based on nothing)
New Milwaukee company offers one-man show directed by acclaimed Theatre X leader
Theatre Nervosa, a new pop-up theatre company offering timely, relevant productions, will present Will Eno’s play Thom Pain (based on nothing) March 20 – 23 at the Underground Collaborative. The piece will be performed by A.J. Magoon and directed by John Schneider. All performances will take place at 7:30 p.m.
Thom Pain (based on nothing), a 2005 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, follows the titular narrator as he attempts to relate his life’s story. As he veers off course, however, he explores the deeper quirks and mysteries of human existence, while confronting the audience with the same. The Off-Broadway premiere of the show starred James Urbaniak in the title role. Since then, the monologue has been performed by well-known actors including Rainn Wilson (The Office, Juno) and, most recently, Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) in a 2018 Off-Broadway revival.
“There’s a very empathetic, human quality to Thom Pain. He’s telling his own story, but it’s one we all can relate to,” said A.J. Magoon, who both performs in Thom Pain (based on nothing) and serves as Theatre Nervosa’s artistic administrator. “The hurts and bruises life has given him have made him cautious, but he’s still trying hard – to be heard, to be accepted, to be liked.”
Theatre Nervosa’s debut production will be directed by John Schneider, who served as artistic leader and resident playwright for Milwaukee’s internationally-acclaimed Theatre X for over 30 years. Now a Marquette University faculty member and assistant Arts & Entertainment editor at the Shepherd Express, Schneider brings his extensive, award-winning background in movement and experimental theatre to the show. Also involved are lighting designer Linda Pozen and stage manager Ben Yela.
“Using himself as a messy example, the character explores with great wit how each of us becomes who we are,” stated Schneider. “This intimate, crazily unique black comedy about a young writer’s attempt to make sense of his life makes perfect sense in A.J. Magoon’s honest performance, his debut of sorts to the Milwaukee theater community. It takes me to deep places.”
Performances will take place on March 20, 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. each night. The production will take place in the Arcade Theatre at The Underground Collaborative, a creative event venue and art gallery located at 161 W. Wisconsin Avenue on the lower level of the Grand Avenue Mall, under the T.J. Maxx. Tickets can be purchased online and are $15 for general admission seating and $10 for students and artists.