The Pregnant Speakeasy

Pig Iron Theatre Company



Still from Madeline’s Madeline, directed by Josephine Decker. Pictured: Helena Howard.


Pew Fellow Jennifer Kidwell, Superterranean, Pig Iron Theatre Company, 2019. Photo by Johanna Austin.


Pig Iron Theatre Company, Swamp Is On, 2015. Pictured (L to R): Toby Leaman, Doug O’Donnell,  Eppchez, Scott McMicken. Photo by John Huber.

A devised performance work will blend theater, installation, cabaret, and visual projection to reveal and celebrate the power of the pregnant body. Filmmaker, writer, and director Josephine Decker will draw from her own experience of pregnancy and motherhood to inform the immersive piece. Decker has directed four feature films including Shirley, which received the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Working with Pig Iron director Dan Rothenberg, choreographer Faye Driscoll, and composer Tareke Ortiz, Decker will co-create a series of performance environments through which audience members will move as they become initiated into a “secret knowledge” available to only the pregnant. The project aims to add emotional complexity and depth to the contemporary vocabulary about pregnant bodies, conceiving of them as inspiration for communal gathering, joy, and deep reflection.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.