Thom Pain: based on nothing at Edmonton Fringe Festival

thom pain (based on nothing)

Academy at King Edward (8525 – 101 street) August 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22


An interview with Amy DeFelice

Cody Porter in Thom Pain: based on nothing. Photo credit: Jon Ward

Cody Porter in Thom Pain: based on nothing. Photo credit: Jon Ward

Describe your show in five words.

Distracted man aims for salvation.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

The play is a mix of Absurdism and Existentialism, which is why the author has been described as “A Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation. Thom Pain is just like the audience, except worse. He is trying to save his life, to save their 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 dreams of the audience.

Thom Pain: based on nothing is obviously quite a celebrated play, but what made you, specifically, decide to produce this show at the Edmonton Fringe Festival? How does it tie into Trunk Theatre’s mandate?

We had considered presenting Thom Pain: based on nothing during the regular season, but it has an energy that seemed great for the Fringe. Some Fringe audiences want a play that isn’t a traditional theatre experience and this play makes some entertaining demands on them. While this play is officially a one person show, the main character desperately needs something from the audience.
The Trunk Theatre mandate is to do contemporary international scripts that are character driven, i.e performer driven pieces, which this is certainly.

Your media image is quite striking. When you were setting up this shot, what were you trying to convey?

Thom Pain loves language, but has found that words can get in way of expressing emotion. Words end-up as shields to protect us from feeling. And yet the play uses and twists language in a vibrant way, it is definitely written by someone who loves the absurdity of the English language.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Thom Pain: based on nothing was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Fesitval, where it was awarded the First Fringe Award. This is the first Will Eno script to be presented in Edmonton. We hope someone will present his first play A Canadian Lies Dying on American Ice.

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

The company is director Amy DeFelice and performer Cody Porter, who plays the title role. At previous Fringes, Amy directed Ashes to Ashes, Emphysema: A Love Story, The Yalta Game, Mojo Mickybo and Or,. She has been nominated for seven Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards for Best Fringe Director. Cody Porter is an actor/playwright, who has appeared in The Three Sisters (Broken Toys), Mockingbird Close (Cacophonic Collective) and Ruminations of Maude (The Other Theatre), As a team we’ve previously presented Port Authority, Days of Wine and Roses and This Lime Tree Bower, all of which were Irish scripts.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. I’ll be previewing shows up until the Fringe starts. Want your show to appear on After the House Lights? Email jennamarynowski@gmail.com.

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