It's no secret that streaming services have changed the world of TV forever. Places like Netflix and Hulu are producing new and exciting content, and networks have been challenged to step up their game as a result. But the inception of streaming services has also extended into the world of theater and Broadway. The new website BroadwayHD is doing just that, filming and streaming live theater productions from Broadway and other major theaters. The latest release is a fascinating one man play Thom Pain, starring The Office's Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute). But rather than a live stream, the performance was filmed in advance and edited into a finished film product. So why did Wilson chose to go this route?
I recently had the chance to speak with Rainn Wilson about Thom Pain on BroadwayHD, where I asked him why he decided to bring this unconventional play into people's living rooms. He told me,
It looks like Rainn Wilson has been eager to do this particular play for well over a decade. But given his busy schedule with the final few seasons of The Office, as well as his recent appearances in shows like Star Trek: Discovery had kept him too busy. But once his schedule had the appropriate opening, he made sure to finally get that bucket list role checked off.
Luckily for him, Rainn Wilson's go in Thom Pain will now be immortalized forever. While most plays (including Broadway) come and go without being recorded for distribution, Wilson will forever have this particular dream role saved in a stunning film form.
Rainn Wilson also revealed how the thought of filming Thom Pain came to be. While BroadwayHD typically specializes in streaming live performances, Wilson wanted to do something unique with his play. He told me,
It looks like Rainn Wilson wasn't just content playing a dream role and having it filmed for prosperity. The Office and Six Feet Under alum also wanted to try something different with streaming. So he filmed the Thom Pain over and over again, allowing savvy editors to piece together a wholly original experience. And the results are pretty remarkable.
You can catch Rainn Wilson in Thom Pain on BroadwayHD, after either a monthly or yearly payment to the service. Additionally, you can always binge watch his iconic tenure as Dwight Schrute in The Office over on Netflix.