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Pig Iron Theatre Company: Celebrating Pig Iron’s 20th Anniversary

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Nov 21, 2016
Nov 21, 2016
Segal Theater
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Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Click here watch the livestreamed event! (starts at 6:30pm)

Monday, November 21
Segal Theatre
6:30pm Discussion +
12:00pm Screening

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.


Since 1995, Pig Iron Theatre Company has been making unprecedented, original work for audiences in its hometown of Philadelphia and beyond. Inspired by the work of Jacques Lecoq, Joseph Chaikin, and Toshiki Okada, the company focuses on the intersection of physical theatre, clowning, and
dance, and has innovated across the physical and the textual. Pig Iron has created over 30 original works and has toured to festivals and theatres in Poland, England, Scotland, Peru, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Romania, and Germany, among others.

Following afternoon screenings of a selection of the company’s productions, founders Dan Rothenberg, Dito van Reigersberg, Pig Iron artists Mimi Lien and Jenn Kidwell, and others will talk about the company’s beginnings, its journey, and vision for the future in a dialogue moderated by Rebecca Rugg, Director of the Conservatory of Theater Arts, SUNY Purchase.


Photo by Colin Lenton

Photo by Colin Lenton

Dan Rothenberg is a founding member and co-artistic director of the Pig Iron Theatre Company. Dan has directed almost all of Pig Iron’s original performance works, including Poet in New YorkGentlemen VolunteersIsabellaPay UpThe Lucia Joyce Cabaret, and the OBIE Award-winning Hell Meets Henry Halfway. In 2001, Dan co-directed Shut Eye with Joseph Chaikin. In April 2010, Dan directed the English-language premiere of Toshiki Okada’s Enjoy for Play Company in New York, and then in 2014 followed up with the critically acclaimed production of Okada’s Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise for Play Company at JACK.  In 2015, Dan directed I Promised Myself to Live Faster (Humana Festival and FringeArts Philadelphia) as well as Swamp is On, a concert-spectacle with the rock band Dr. Dog. He has received a Pew Fellowship in Performance Art and a United States Artist Knight Fellowship.


Photo courtesy of the artist

Dito van Reigersberg, a co-founder of Pig Iron Theatre Company, is from Washington, D.C. He has performed in almost all of Pig Iron’s productions since the company’s founding in 1995, including Hell Meets Henry Halfway at Woolly Mammoth and the Ohio Theater (Obie Award); Chekhov Lizardbrain at Under the Radar (Obie Award); Zero Cost House at The Public Theater; Twelfth Night at Abrons Arts Center; and Shut Eye (co-directed by Joseph Chaikin). Regional Theatre: Prince Conti in La Bête at Arden; Lady Enid in The Mystery of Irma Vep at Act II; and Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Azuka. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse. His alter-ego Martha Graham Cracker is famously “the tallest drag queen in the world.”

Photo by Ian Douglas

Photo by Ian Douglas

Jennifer Kidwell is a performing artist. Recent projects include Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter (Robert Wilson/Toshi Reagon/Bernice Johnson Reagon); I Understand Everything Better (David Neumann); 99 Break-Ups and I Promised Myself to Live Faster with Pig Iron Theatre Company; and Dick’s Last Stand (as the controversial Donelle Woolford, Whitney Biennial 2014). She is currently at work on the original duet Underground Railroad Game (FringeArts Festival 2015, ANT Fest 2014) with collaborator Scott Sheppard. Kidwell is a proud co-founder of JACK (Brooklyn). Her piece On Playing Donelle was published in Movement Research’s Performance Journal #45 and on hyperallergic.com. She received a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship to work with Pig Iron Theatre Company, funded by the William & Eva Fox Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group.  She is a 2016 Pew Fellow.


Photo courtesy of the artist

Mimi Lien is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is an artistic associate with Pig Iron Theatre Company and the Civilians, resident designer at BalletTech, and co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. She was a 2015 MacArthur Fellow, the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction, and received an OBIE for sustained excellence in 2012. Her work has been presented at Lincoln Center Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Signature Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater, Soho Rep, The Kitchen, among many others. Her stage designs have been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 and 2015.


Photo courtesy of the artist

Rebecca Rugg is the new Director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at SUNY-Purchase. Since 2005, she has taught at Yale University for both Yale College and the School of Drama, where she also previously served as associate chair of playwriting. In addition to Yale, she has taught at DePaul and Northwestern Universities and at the University of Chicago. She was the founding producer of The Great Chicago Fire Festival, developed at Redmoon Theater Company in partnership with the City of Chicago. She was dramaturg on the original productions of Caroline, or Change; Harlem Song; Radiant Baby; and commissioned Passing Strange with Joe’s Pub director Bill Bragin. Rugg is co-editor with Harvey Young Jr. of the anthology Reimagining A Raisin in the Sun: Four New Plays (Northwestern University Press). Her criticism and translations have been published in American Theatre, Theater Magazine, and Performing Arts Journal.


 Screening Schedule:

Shut Eye (2001)
A comic meditation on dreaming, sleeping, and “the ordinary,” conceived
and co-directed by Joe Chaikin.

2:00pm Welcome to Yuba City (2009)
A cowboy/clown odyssey through a mythic American desertscape.

4:00pm Chekhov Lizardbrain (2008)
The OBIE-winning amalgam of faux-Russian tragicomedy and contemporary


Upcoming Events:


Oct 4
Oct 5
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