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 collaborated with Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada to create a new work. Hailed as a provocateur in his home country, Okada is known for his hyper-casual writing and gestural, self-conscious choreography. Zero Cost House was Okada's first English-language play. The autobiographical piece includes a character named for the playwright and the text reflects on Okada's response to the danger of radiation in Japan, after the 2011 tsunami. "He has a hyper-colloquial way of writing dialogue—not quite cinematic but almost cinéma vérité," says Pig Iron Co-Artistic Director and Zero Cost House cast member Dito van Reigersberg. "There are interruptions. People say little things that come into their heads. Okada drops in kernels of ideas as offhand comments that will turn into major themes."
Dan Rothenberg directed Zero Cost House for a world premiere at Philadelphia's 2012 FringeArts Festival. Following tours to Washington, Sarasota, and New York's Under the Radar festival, the cast traveled to Japan to perform Zero Cost House for its first Japanese audience.