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The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris

16 September 2012

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy – Liz Fisher – B Iden Payne Nomination
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Comedy – Ben Wolfe – B Iden Payne Nomination

Capital T presents

The Pain and the Itch

by Bruce Norris

Directed by Mark Pickell

October 25 – November 17

EXTENDED Thru November 24th

Thursday-Saturday at 8pm

Hyde Park Theatre 511 W 43rd St

“Sex to change the course of the world…” With this line from a personal ad, marine biology grad student Jules lures journalism student Jo to his subterranean lab-turned-apartment, where he studies fish sleep cycles for signs of the apocalypse. And so begins one hell of a blind date, and a hilarious play. Rising American playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb tackles our fascination with myths about the origins (and end!) of life with this clever, sharp-witted doomsday comedy.

Worst. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Clay and Kelly share a perfect house and two perfect children in what seems to be a perfect life. That is until Clay’s mother, Carol (a self-proclaimed socialist), his estranged brother, Cash (a staunch Republican), and Cash‘s Eastern European girlfriend (20 years his junior) arrive for Thanksgiving dinner.

When a mysterious intruder disrupts Thanksgiving dinner, the gloves come off and an awkward situation devolves into absolute chaos. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris’ wickedly funny comedy of desire, deceit and family values is guaranteed to get under your skin.

Capital T is proud to present Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright Bruce Norris’ scathing satire directed by two-time Austin Critics Table Award-winning Director Mark Pickell (Killer Joe, Hunter Gatherers). The all-star cast includes Austin favorites Ken Bradley (Killer Joe), Lana Dietrich (August: Osage County), Liz Fisher (Hunter Gatherers), Indigo Rael (Exit Pursued by a Bear), Benjamin Summers (Middletown), Ben Wolfe (I ? Walmart) and introduces Sadie Dragoo as Kayla.


Austin American-Statesman

“Anyone who knows Austin theatre will see in an instant that this cast includes some of the very best and most vivid actors in this town. It’s an ensemble that lifts the audience in that close-up space out of mere make-believe into authenticity, unpredictability and suspense that are fine-tuned and deeply memorable.”

– Austin Live Theatre

“Some moments are hysterical and laugh-out-loud funny while others are shocking and stop your heart.”

  “THE PAIN AND THE ITCH will certainly be one of the    most memorable Thanksgivings you will ever have”

“A superb cast for a savagely humorous flaying of the American upper middle class”

– Austin Live Theatre

Particularly spot-on is Lana Dieterich’s performance as Carol — the grandmother who makes awkward small talk about diversity with Mr. Hadid, inadvertently powers up the television to a porn channel, and fills gaps in conversation with, “The thing about PBS is…” While she can be insufferable, at the same time it’s impossible to ignore her for fear of missing a hilarious morsel.

Austin American-Statesman


Mr. Hadid – Ben Wolfe

Clay – Benjamin Summers

Kelly –Liz Fisher

Cash – Kenneth Wayne Bradley

Kalina  – Indigo Rael

Carol – Lana Dieterich

About the Playwright

Bruce Norris – Playwright

Bruce is a writer and an actor whose play Clybourne Park won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama last year.   Other plays include The Infidel(2000), Purple Heart (2002), We All Went Down to Amsterdam (2003), The Pain and the Itch (2004) andThe Unmentionables (2006), all of which premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre. His work has also been produced at Lookingglass Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Washington, DC), The Royal Court Theater (London), and The Staatstheater Mainz (Germany). Mr. Norris is the recipient of the 2009 Steinberg Playwright Award, the Whiting Foundation Prize for Drama, and the Kesselring Prize, Honorable Mention. He also received Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best New Work for his plays, We All Went Down to Amsterdam and The Pain and the Itch. As an actor, he has been seen at Steppenwolf in Closer and Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and can be seen in the upcoming film All Good Things. He currently resides in New York.