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. Over the course of its lifespan, Pig Iron has created more than two dozen original works and has toured to festivals and venues across the US, Europe, and Asia. Pig Iron trains the next generation of daring physical theater artists through the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.
Pig Iron Theatre Company undertook an investigation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, leading to a fully-staged production of the play in 2011 at the FringeArts Festival. This project marked the largest undertaking in Pig Iron's history. Riotous live music by Rosie Langabeer and a set by Maiko Matsushima, which included a skateboard ramp, contributed to what the Philadelphia Inquirer called "a wild rumpus of a show." Most performances sold out for the two-week run.
Twelfth Night was a major departure from Pig Iron's typical artistic work in that it did not grow from ensemble creation. Tackling Shakespeare, company members reported, was a way to try something they'd never before attempted and also to reach audiences who might not have been comfortable seeing an experimental theater group. Pig Iron members described their major artistic challenge as the creation of a piece "that was simultaneously recognizable as Shakespeare's play and as a Pig Iron production." In bringing Twelfth Night to life, they made every effort to maintain the eclectic and daring hallmarks of their ensemble-driven process.
Pig Iron's production of Twelfth Night will be remounted at FringeArts in late 2013.