The Swarthmore College Department of Theater and the William J. Cooper Foundation will present Pig Iron Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Start with a shipwreck, take one part mistaken identity, add in a comedic love triangle and mix with excessive drinking, melodramatic breakdowns and a live, Balkan-inspired musical score, and you’ve got a raucous take on one of Shakespeare’s most wicked comedies. Alternately absurd and heartfelt, Twelfth Night, or What You Will is replete with practical jokes, gender confusion, and thwarted love. This event is free and open to the public without reservation, but seating will be limited.
Director Dan Rothenberg ‘95 says that, “After 15 years of making original performance experiments, the next hurdle was to see if [Pig Iron] could apply our physical ensemble approach to a classic script and let everything we care about live within a very set form. Experimental theater is about opening up new ways of seeing; could we sneak this into a Shakespeare play without deconstructing the thing? All our experiments with clown theater, with cabaret, and with dance theater inform the way people speak and move in this production, resulting in a rough, wholly American Twelfth Night.”
With their signature verve, Pig Iron turns Shakespeare’s text into a clear, funny, and vibrant performance in this award-winning and music-soaked crowd-pleaser. There are dueling musicians, depressive noblemen, idiots and veteran jesters, religious zealots, and erotic misunderstandings. With its highly physical performance style, Pig Iron brings a news spark to one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays.
Pig Iron’s production features company regulars James Sugg (OBIE Award winner for Chekhov Lizardbrain), Dito van Reigersberg ‘94, and Alex Torra, Birgit Huppuch (Pig Iron’s Isabella, OBIE Award winner for Telephone) as Olivia, and Kirsten Sieh (GATZ) as Viola. Barrymore Award-winning New Zealand composer Rosie Langabeer has provided a musical score performed live by members of the West Philadelphia Orchestra. Twelfth Night premiered at the 2011 Philadelphia LiveArts Festival, was recently revived for Philadelphia’s 2013 FringeArts Festival, and recently experienced outstanding success at the Abron Arts Center in New York.
These events are free and open to the public without reservation, but space is limited.
Where: LPAC Pearson-Hall Theatre
When: Saturday, March 1st at 7PM and Sunday, March 2nd at 2PM and 7PM
Join Director, Dan Rothenberg ’95, Professor Allen Kuharski, and members of the TWELFTH NIGHT cast for a post-show discussion on Sunday, March 2nd at 5:15pM in the LPAC CINEMA.
Join Alumni Sarah Sanford ’99, Dito van Reigersberg, and Asst. Professor Alex Torra for Workshops on Pig Iron’s performance technique: Tuesday through Thursday, March 4th – 6th, 7:30-10:30PM. Attendance all three nights not required, but space is limited. Contact Jean Tierno (jtierno1) or Allen Kuharski (akuhars1) for more information.