How do we prove that a person is alive? Pain felt in the skin when cut; the scream produced when bones shatter; the agony felt when the heart is being ripped apart—all paradoxically provide evidence that a person is alive. Inspired by the traditional Indian performance “Kutiyattam,” the production Quartet on Pain is a play that is set below an extremely restricted circular stage, and explores a life in which words are excised and a life that is accompanied by pure physically expressed pain. The story is structured around a dying whale that is trapped in endless suffering because of the words it has said and the who grew up eating the sounds of suffering—Neokson, who wanders looking for the agonizing sounds of pain. The play illustrates a cycle as it shows that suffering, which is evidence of life, becomes sound, that sound later becomes words, and those words again invoke suffering.