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PIG IRON: Three Plays
by Pig Iron Theatre Company
forthcoming December 2011

Since its founding in 1995, Pig Iron Theatre Company has been making unprecedented, original work for audiences in its hometown of Philadelphia and beyond. Focused on the intersection of physical theatre, clowning, and dance, the company has been recognized for innovation that cuts across the physical and the textual. Collaborating with playwrights, assembling and composing texts from scratch, and adapting literary works, Pig Iron's written texts evidence an ingenious framework for bringing physical intensity and peculiarity into a broad, strange interface with both archaic and invented modes of theatrical entertainment, culling especially from traditions of vaudeville, commedia dell'arte, buffon, clowning, melodrama, dance, and opera. PIG IRON: THREE PLAYS offers the first extended opportunity to approach the company's work on the page, and includes an introduction by the company on the relationship of the written script to their performance work.

GENTLEMEN VOLUNTEERS is played in promenade, compelling the audience to follow the performance around the performance space. Incorporating a Foley soundscape of pre-war radio magic, it follows the story of two American ambulance drivers and two European nurses during World War I. A love story in the tradition of Casablanca.

HELL MEETS HENRY HALFWAY is adapted from Polish author Witold Gombrowicz's gothic serial Possessed, a tournament of malcontents, a competition of deadly backhands and screaming tantrums in a battle to prove who cares the least. It features a mad prince trapped in a tower with his furious secretary, an ailing doctor of alchemy obsessed with bodily fluids, and a tennis player and her coach who are slowly melting into the same person.

A startling, poignant amalgam of Russian tragicomedy and contemporary brain science, CHEKHOV LIZARDBRAIN is an attempt to tame a troubling memory inside the mind of Dmitri, an introverted, mildly autistic botanist who struggles to mold the messy, anarchic strands of his experience into a comforting fiction by reshaping his memories according to Anton Chekhov's "five rules of theatre." Both playful and unsettling, CHEKHOV LIZARDBRAIN is an enactment of one man's battle against the erosion of his consciousness.

Pre-order Pig Iron: Three Plays or subscribe to the 2011-12 catalog, including Pig Iron: Three Plays.

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