Pig Iron Theatre Celebrates Release of First Play Collection PIG IRON: THREE PLAYS Today, 9/17

Pig Iron Theatre Company is celebrating the release of their first collection of plays during this year's Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. The book, Pig Iron: Three Plays, will be feted today, September 17th at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street. The event will run from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Guests can RSVP at www.livearts-fringe.org. For more information or to order books call Pig Iron Theatre Company at (215) 425-1100.

The staff and artists of the company are looking forward to celebrating the publication of this collection that spans the company's career. The collection includes Live Arts Festival hit and OBIE recipient Hell Meets Henry Halfway, the acclaimed Chekhov Lizardbrain, and early Pig Iron classic Gentleman Volunteers.

The paperback edition, published by 53rd State Press, costs $18 and will be available that night for purchase and is available through the company. Copies of the book can be reserved for the party by emailing reservebook@pigiron.org with your name and the number of books to be placed on reserve.

The evening will be highlighted by short performances from Pig Iron's company members, including cast members from their current Live Arts premiere, Zero Cost House.

THE WORKS

Hell Meets Henry Halfway: A heady cocktail of florid insults and absurd cruelties, dressed in tennis whites, Hell Meets Henry Halfway is based on Polish literary provocateur Witold Gombrowicz's Gothic horror novel Possessed. Henry is set amid a decaying Eastern European aristocracy. It's a pitch-black comedy, set in a poisonous atmosphere of contempt and self-pity. Its Off-Broadway production received a 2005 OBIE Award.

Chekhov Lizardbrain: A startling, poignant amalgam of Russian tragicomedy and contemporary brain science, where a lonely, mildly-autistic botanist conjures up a parade of unsettling and comic recollections in an attempt to shape his fractured memories into a comforting fiction. Pig Iron's virtuosic physical performers spin a web of memory, vaudeville, and the impossible task of telling a story straight. James Sugg received the OBIE award in 2008 for his performance in this piece

Gentlemen Volunteers: American idealists. The war to end all wars. An unlikely love affair. In this early Pig Iron work, the audience follows the action around an open space in this environmental staging of an entangled romance set against the chaos of World War I, accompanied by low-tech sound design.

Founded in 1995 as an interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron Theatre Company is dedicated to the creation of new and exuberant performance works that defy easy categorization.

In the past 16 years the company has created 24 original works and has toured to festivals and theatres in England, Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Romania and Germany. The body of Pig Iron's work is eclectic and daring. Individual works have been inspired by history and biography (Poet In New York, 1997 and Anodyne, 2001), rock music (Mission to Mercury, 2000 and James Joyce is Dead and so is Paris: The Lucia Joyce Cabaret, 2003), American kitsch culture (Cafeteria, 1997), serendipity (Dig or Fly, 1996 and The Snow Queen, 1999), and fallen heroes (The Odyssey, 1995 and The Tragedy of Joan of Arc, 1998). In 2001, Pig Iron collaborated with legendary theatre director Joseph Chaikin (1935-2003) to create an exploration of sleep, dreams and consciousness (Shut Eye). In 2005, Pig Iron won an OBIE Award for Hell Meets Henry Halfway, an adaptation of Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz's novel Possessed; in 2008, Pig Iron won a second OBIE for James Sugg's performance in Chekhov Lizardbrain. In 2006, Pig Iron was named Theatre Company of the Year in the Philadelphia Weekly.

Pig Iron calls itself a "dance-clown-theatre ensemble" - our focus moves from character to space to contact with the audience. Individual pieces have been called "soundscape and spectacle," "cabaret-ballet," and "avant-garde shadow puppet dessert-theatre."
Currently, Pig Iron is composed of 3 artistic directors and 4 company members, in addition to an administrative staff and board of directors. The company made Philadelphia its permanent home in 1997; though individual pieces are often developed in residency at other theatres or at universities, we premiere all our work in our hometown of Philadelphia.



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