Pig Iron's TWELFTH NIGHT Adds 2/22 Performance at Abrons

From February 4-23, Abrons Art Center presents the New York premiere of Pig Iron Theatre Company's Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Start with a shipwreck, take one part mistaken identity, add in a comedic love triangle and mix with excessive drinking, melodramatic breakdowns and a live, Balkan-inspired score, and you've got a raucous take on one of Shakespeare's most wicked comedies. Alternately absurd and heartfelt, Twelfth Night, or What You Will is replete with practical jokes, gender confusion, and thwarted love.

Performances of Pig Iron's Twelfth Night, or What you Will will take place February 4-23 at Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand Street). Tickets are $30-40 and can be purchased by calling 212.352.3101 or visiting www.abronsartscenter.org

With their signature verve, Pig Iron turns Shakespeare's text into a clear, funny, and vibrant performance in this award-winning and music-soaked crowd-pleaser. There are dueling musicians, depressive noblemen, idiots and veteran jesters, religious zealots, and erotic misunderstandings. With its highly physical performance style, Pig Iron brings a news spark to one of Shakespeare's most celebrated plays.

Director Dan Rothernberg says that, "After 15 years of making original performance experiments, the next hurdle was to see if [Pig Iron] could apply our physical ensemble approach to a classic script and let everything we care about live within a very set form. Experimental theater is about opening up new ways of seeing; could we sneak this into a Shakespeare play without deconstructing the thing? All our experiments with clown theater, with cabaret, and with dance theater inform the way people speak and move in this production, resulting in a rough, wholly American Twelfth Night."

Pig Iron's production features company regulars James Sugg (OBIE Award winner for Chekhov Lizardbrain), Dito van Reigersberg,and Alex Torra, Birgit Huppuch (Pig Iron's Isabella, OBIE Award winner for Telephone) as Olivia, and Kirsten Sieh (GATZ) as Viola. Barrymore Award-winning New Zealand composer Rosie Langabeer has provided a musical score performed live by members of the West Philadelphia Orchestra. Twelfth Night premiered at the 2011 Philadelphia LiveArts Festival and was recently revived for Philadelphia's 2013 FringeArts Festival.Dan Rothenberg (Director)is a founding member and co-artistic director of Pig Iron Theatre Company. Dan has directed almost all of Pig Iron's original performance works, including Poet in New York, Gentlemen Volunteers, Isabella, Zero Cost House, The Lucia Joyce Cabaret, and the OBIE Award-winning productions Hell Meets Henry Halfway and Chekhov Lizardbrain. In 2001, Dan co-directed Shut Eye with Joseph Chaikin. Pew Fellowship in Performance Art (2002). USA Knight Fellowship (2010).

Dito van Reigersberg (Orsino) is a co-founder of Pig Iron, and has performed in almost all of Pig Iron's productions since 1995. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Martha Graham School of Dance. He has also performed with Headlong (St*r W*rs), Azuka (Hedwig), Mauckingbird (The Misanthrope; Hedda Gabler), Bearded Ladies (Bond; My Dinner with Dito), and Nichole Canuso Dance Company (Wandering Alice; Takes).

Birgit Huppuch (Olivia) is delighted to be back with Pig Iron, having performed in Twelfth Night in 2011 as well as in Isabella and Pay Up (Montclair). Recently she performed in Not What Happened (BAM's Next Wave Festival) and The Debate Society's Blood Play (Under the Radar Festival, Williamstown). Other credits include work at The Public, The Foundry, The Joyce, Clubbed Thumb, 13P, Cleveland Playhouse and Philly Shakespeare Festival. She received a 2009 Obie for her performance in Telephone.

James Sugg (Sir Toby) is a member of Pig Iron Theatre Company with whom he has created 18 original pieces. He has also worked with the Milwaukee Rep, Arena Stage, Seattle Rep, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Wilma, The Arden Theater, Folger Theater, Headlong Dance Theater, Rainpan 43 and Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental. He is the composer of the musicals A Murder, A Mystery And A Marriage (book and lyrics by Aaron Posner), James Joyce is Dead and So Is Paris (Pig Iron), The Sea (a one man electric chamber opera) and Cherry Bomb (book and lyrics by Jen Childs). His work has been recognized with two OBIEs, four Barrymores for Outstanding Sound Design, the F. Otto Haas Award for Emerging Theater Artist and a Pew Fellowship.

Chris Thorn (Malvolio)has spent 3 seasons touring the country with The Acting Company, most recently in As You Like It directed by Dan Rothenberg. Recent work includes the 2012 Ice Factory production of Miss Lily Gets Boned, The Bird and Two-Ton Weight at EST, and King John for the New York Shakespeare Exchange. He received a Best Supporting actor nomination at the 2009 New York Innovative Theatre Awards for The Most Damaging Wound, with The Production Company. Chris is a graduate of Boston University, and a native of South Berwick, ME.

Pig Iron Theatre Company was founded in 1995 and has grown from a small, fringe performance troupe into one of the best-known ensembles of its kind in America. The New York Times hailed the company as "one of the few groups successfully taking theatre in new directions."

Pig Iron's original creations have been the recipients of two OBIE Awards, two Total Theatre Awards from the Edinburgh Fringe, six Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre (and 40 nominations), and a listing as one of the top 10 productions of the year in The New York Times. Pig Iron's co-founders Quinn Bauriedel, Dan Rothenberg, and Dito van Reigersberg have been jointly awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2002) and a USA Knight Fellowship (2010).

Pig Iron's original works have been developed in residencies at New York's Public Theater, Toni Morrison's Atelier program at Princeton University, and La Jolla Playhouse (CA), among others. During the company's 15 years of touring, their plays have been seen at Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), Z Space (San Francisco), Woolly Mammoth (DC), Festival Konfrontacje Teatralne (Lublin, Poland), Teatr Rozmaitosci (Warsaw, Poland), Camden People's Theater (London), October Arts Festival (Ennis, Ireland), Strictly Mundial Festival (Salvador, Brazil), the Under the Radar Festival (NYC), as well as six tours to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Pig Iron has also taught its unique approaches to ensemble-created physical theater at theaters and universities in Scotland, Ireland, Turkey, Argentina, Peru, and across the USA at institutions such as Yale University, Brown, Harvard, Utah State Logan, Wesleyan, Bryn Mawr, University of the Arts, and many others. In 2011 Pig Iron launched a 2-year graduate program in ensemble theater based in their hometown of Philadelphia.

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