Tracy Letts was recently seen playing Kenneth Tynan in Orson's Shadow Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre. The show to inhabit the Barrow Street prior to Orson was Letts' own Bug. Letts is also the author of the frequently produced Killer Joe. Norris, meanwhile, had a thriving career on and Off-Broadway in the 1990s (Wrong Mountain, Plunge, Marco Polo Sings a Solo, Chaucer in Rome, La Terrasse), but recently told Playbill.com that he hadn't appeared on a stage in five years. Instead, he's been devoting himself to writing. Norris' other works produced at Steppenwolf include The Infidel, Purple Heart and We All Went Down to Amsterdam.
Pain is described as a "dark, dark comedy that challenges the safety and comfort of American life." It takes place in the home of Clay and Kelly, an upper-middle-class couple in Chicago who find that some unknown creature has invaded their home and is eating the avocados in the kitchen.
The plot description somewhat echoes that of Letts' Bug, in which a Gulf War vet and his female companion hole up in a motel room and furiously battle an infestation of bugs that no one else can see.