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GTPulse: Traverse City actor returns to stage with One-Man Show




Like all performance artists, local actor John Klapko missed being on stage. He managed to return to the limelight for the first time in over a year performing the always intimidating one man show, and while you can’t watch it in person, it was beautifully shot and edited at Ramsdell in Manistee. to air this weekend.

Thom Pain (based on nothing) debuted as an Off-Broadway show 16 years ago. Written by Brooklyn-based playwright Will Eno, it is considered a groundbreaking play and was nominated for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. The one-man show is about a man named Thom who Eno says is trying to tell his story. life story and is constantly interrupted by the fact that he is alive.

The 31-page monologue is a feverish dream that takes audiences through a life of an not quite middle-aged man, from shattered childhood illusions to struggles with lost love in adulthood. Without a co-star, Thom engages in a push and pull game with his affections towards the audience. In an instant, they are his confidant, the next, his enemy. Is his erratic behavior the result of what happened to him in life, or has his life been shaped by his behavior? Viewers will be asking these and other questions while watching the show and will have the opportunity to watch it this weekend with local John from Traverse City as Thom Pain.

The selection for this piece came to John in 2020. In these times of pandemic, the isolation of Thom Pains is particularly moving.

I don’t think anybody starts off by saying they want to do a one-man show, that sounds a little presumptuous. I read this show 10 years ago and at the time I didn’t think I was mature enough to do it. He has the perfect title for who the character is. The character talks a lot about the pain of life setting the stage to make this room feel like it’s really dark and heavy, which it is. But it is punctuated by these moments of lightness and humor. I think that’s what makes you look, he says.

Coupled with the fact that productions cannot be performed in an ensemble, this is a perfect way to get back on stage. A challenge for John was to perform without the mutual energy of the audience. Instead of putting on a more intimate studio show, John performed the monologue in the large and beautiful Ramsdell Center for the Arts. Photography, videography and graphic design duo based in Traverse City Harp star captured the show. He performed in front of an audience member alongside Micah Mabey and Kristen Stewart.

As far as I think about it, the second character is the audience. He plays tricks on them, amuses them, then disrupts their expectations. So, to look out and not populate the theater, it’s fair, you have to pretend. Kristens’ mom was in the audience the day we filmed everything, and it was nice to have someone new with the material.

Another side of the show that makes the Pandemic perfect is that there are no sets or props used. All of his closest theater friends provided the commentary compilation that he used to direct himself. Local theater friends Kit McKay, Sarah Hartley, Jeremy Hogue, Nick Viox, Minda Nyquist, Stacia Sexton and Sarah Bielman all gave the show a fresh, outward look.

I couldn’t get everyone to see what I wanted, but I got a lot of good feedback from friends who did. I don’t feel like I did anything on my own.

Rehearsals were done in these friends’ living rooms, her car, her head, and at Old Town Playhouse, but her performance can be watched from the comfort of your own home. Whether you are looking for a lesson in understanding the life of a single man or looking to support local art, check out Thom pain This weekend. The show will be available on demand from Friday February 26 to Sunday February 28. Tickets cost $ 5 plus a processing fee of $ 2.76. Admission to the online event can be purchased at

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