Michael C. Hall to Star in Thom Pain (based on nothing) at the Signature Theatre

Thom Pain (based on nothing)

By Will Eno

Directed by Oliver Butler

On The Irene Diamond Stage

Running October 23 to November 25, 2018, Opening on November 11, 2018

Golden Globe Award-winner Michael C. Hall (“Dexter,” “Six Feet Under,” The Realistic Joneses) will play the title role of Thom Pain in the Signature Theatre (Paige Evans, Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert, Executive Director; James Houghton, Founder) production of Thom Pain (based on nothing), by Drama Desk Award-winning playwright Will Eno and directed by Obie Award-winner Oliver Butler. Eno was the first writer to complete Signature’s Residency 5, a unique program offering three full productions over the course of five years. This is his first Legacy production since completing the program, which included productions of his play Title and Deed, and the world premieres of The Open House and Wakey, Wakey.

Thom Pain (based on nothing) runs October 23 – November 25, 2018 with a Sunday, November 11 opening night on The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues). Called “a small masterpiece” by The New York Times and “one of the best monologues I’ve ever seen” by The Guardian, this surreal and very real one-man show follows Thom Pain as he desperately, and hilariously, tries to save his own life…or at least make it into something worth dying for.

On stage, Michael C. Hall most recently starred as Thomas Newton in the London and New York Theatre Workshop productions of Lazarus (Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucille Lortel award nominations) by David Bowie & Enda Walsh, directed by Ivo van Hove and inspired by the novel The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis. Hall previously portrayed the title character in the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, directed by Michael Mayer from the book by John Cameron Mitchell, with music and lyrics by Stephen Trask. He also starred in Will Eno’s Broadway production of The Realistic Joneses (Drama League Award nomination) directed by Sam Gold and co-starring Toni Collette, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei. Hall made his Broadway debut in 1999 as the Master of Ceremonies in Sam Mendes' revival of Cabaret and portrayed Billy Flynn in 2002 in the revival of Chicago. Off-Broadway, Hall's credits include the Roundabout Theatre Company's Mr. Marmalade; Cymbeline, Macbeth, Timon of Athens and Henry V at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, The English Teachers for MCC, the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Corpus Christi, Romeo and Juliet at Center Stage, R Shoman at Williamstown and Skylight at the Mark Taper Forum. His television credits include “Safe,” “The Crown,” “Dexter” (SAG, Golden Globe awards; five Emmy nominations) and “Six Feet Under” (two SAG ensemble awards, Emmy nomination). On film, Hall appeared in Game Night, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Christine, Cold in July and Kill Your Darlings. His forthcoming films include The Torture Report and In the Shadow of the Moon. He received his MFA from NYU.

The creative team will be announced, and tickets will go on sale on September 13. All tickets for the initial run of the production are $35 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access. For more information, please visit www.SignatureTheatre.org.

The groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access is a program that guarantees affordable tickets to every Signature production through 2031. Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Margot Adams, The SHS Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

2018-19 SEASON OVERVIEW

RESIDENCY 1: LYNN NOTTAGE

Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz

November 19 – December 30, 2018

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat, Ruined) begins her Residency 1 at Signature with Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine, directed by Obie Award-winner Lileana Blain-Cruz. This satirical tale, set in present-day New York City, follows successful African-American publicist Undine as she stumbles down the social ladder after her husband steals her hard-earned fortune.

Broke and now pregnant, Undine is forced to return to her childhood home in the Brooklyn projects, where she must face the challenges of the life she left behind. Featuring “punchy social insights and the firecracker snap of unexpected humor” (The New York Times), Fabulation reveals how difficult it is to outrun where we come from.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Kamilah Forbes

January 29 – March 3, 2019

The Irene Diamond Stage

It’s the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell, an aging star grasping at her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring…her boss. While Vera’s portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with the actress’ legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s fast-paced, sly satire, directed by Kamilah Forbes, will take you on a seventy-year journey through Vera’s life and the cultural climate that originally shaped her and continues today.

A new play by Lynn Nottage will be produced during the 2019-20 Season as part of her residency.

RESIDENCY 5: DAVE MALLOY

Octet

By Dave Malloy

Directed by Annie Tippe

April 30 – June 9, 2019

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Three-time Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) begins his residency as Signature’s first musical theatre writer with the world premiere musical Octet, directed by Annie Tippe (Ghost Quartet).

Featuring a score for an a cappella chamber choir and an original libretto inspired by internet comment boards, scientific debates, religious texts, and Sufi poetry, Octet explores addiction and nihilism within the messy context of 21st century technology.

Special thanks to Time Warner Foundation, Inc., The Michael and Betty Rauch Fund for Residency 5, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting the Residency 5 Program.

LEGACY PROGRAM: WILL ENO

Thom Pain (based on nothing)

By Will Eno

Directed by Oliver Butler

October 23 – November 25, 2018

The Irene Diamond Stage

Drama Desk Award-winner Will Eno, the first writer to complete the Residency 5 program, returns to Signature for his first Legacy production with Thom Pain (based on nothing), directed by Oliver Butler (Obie and Lortel Award-winning The Open House).

Called “a small masterpiece” by The New York Times and “one of the best monologues I’ve ever seen” by The Guardian, this surreal and very real one-man show follows Thom Pain as he desperately, and hilariously, tries to save his own life…or at least make it into something worth dying for.

LEGACY PROGRAM: ATHOL FUGARD

Boesman and Lena

By Athol Fugard

Directed by Yaël Farber

February 5 – March 17, 2019

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre

Legacy playwright Athol Fugard has made a home at Signature since being the inaugural Residency 1 playwright at the Center, and his South African-set stories, with themes of complex identities, racial tension, and social protest, remain as relevant as ever.

In this new production of the “prophetic and brilliant” (The New York Times) Boesman and Lena, the human need for kindness, hope and compassion is on display in the struggles of abusive Boesman and his long-suffering wife Lena, who encounter a stranger while wandering the South African wastelands.

LEGACY PROGRAM: SAM SHEPARD

Curse of the Starving Class

By Sam Shepard

Directed by Terry Kinney

April 23 – May 26, 2019

The Irene Diamond Stage

This new production of Curse of the Starving Class, directed by Terry Kinney, honors Pulitzer Prize-winning Legacy Playwright Sam Shepard, who passed away in 2017. Living a stagnant, unhappy existence in rural California, the struggling Tate family is desperate for change, but every family member has a different way of trying to improve their station in life. Last produced in NYC by Signature more than 20 years ago, Curse of the Starving Class was called a play of “eloquent intensity, whirlwind farce and resonantly poignant insight” by Time Magazine.

About SIGNATURE THEATRE

Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. By producing a series of plays by each resident writer, Signature delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. In 2014 Signature became the first New York City company to receive the Regional Theater Tony Award.

Signature serves its mission through its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature’s three distinct playwrights’ residencies and foster a cultural community. At the Center, opened in January 2012, Signature continues its original Playwright-in-Residence model as Residency 1, a year-long intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work. Residency 5, the only program of its kind, was launched at the Center to support multiple playwrights as they build bodies of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature’s 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies back for productions of premiere or earlier plays.

The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City’s cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, a rehearsal studio and a public café, bar and bookstore.

Through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, Signature has also made an unprecedented commitment to making its productions accessible by underwriting the cost of the initial run tickets through 2031.

Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature has produced the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, María Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, A.R. Gurney, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson and a season celebrating the historic Negro Ensemble Company. Lynn Nottage is the current Residency 1 playwright. Signature’s Residency 5 playwrights are Annie Baker, Martha Clarke, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Dave Malloy and Dominique Morisseau; Will Eno completed his Residency 5 in 2016. Signature’s productions and its resident writers have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk and AUDELCO awards, and 50/50 Awards for Gender Parity, among many other distinctions. For more information, please visit signaturetheatre.org.

Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Signature Theatre.

 

Trevor Chauvin