Borges and the Future of Philadelphia Theater: Pig Iron APT first year show

abb7625a-bf5b-4ed0-85b3-476e2f476c2cPig Iron’s characteristic brand of devised theater has had a huge impact on the local performing arts scene. The company’s own shows, including the current I Promised Myself to Live Faster, continue to impress local audiences. With the foundation of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training, which recently announced a partnership with UArts which will provide students with an MFA in devised performance, their signature style is being further disseminated..

“Theater work is being made the way bands make work now, with everyone hanging out and figuring out a way to make art,” Joanna Settle, director of UArts Ira Brind School of Theater Arts told Philly.com recently. “Devised performance gives you the tools to make really great work out of yourself.” The results don’t always make for good theater, but as the inaugural graduates of the Pig Iron school attest, it generally makes for interesting theater.

The school offers the first chance to see work from the current crop of APT students this week with two showcases of short theatrical works inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’s book of essays On Argentina, but with a distinctly Philadelphia flavor. Student work will range from explorations of the Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar to the Philly AIDS Thrift Store (yay!) to The Divine Lorraine.

A reception will follow each showing, with drinks, light fare, and the opportunity to chat with the students about the showing. Featuring the APT Class of 2016: Giovany Barrera, Michael Black, Chanel Blanchett, Fred Brown, Jessica Creane, Josephine Decker, Lydia Kincaid, Sarah Knittel, Jenson Titus Lavalee, Gina Murdock, Lillian Ransijn, Brett Robinson, Meryl Sands, Eva Steinmetz, Alexandra Tatarsky. [Pig Iron School
1417 N. 2nd Street] May 27 & 28, 2015 (7:30 PM). RSVP: enid@pigiron.org.

  • Pig Iron’s I Promised Myself to Live Faster is onstage at FringeArts [140 Columbus Boulevard]  May 22-31, 2015; fringearts.com/i-promised-myself-to-live-faster.
  • Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, a group headed by two Pig Iron School alums will premiere at Fleischer Art Memorial [719 Catherine Street] June 24-28, 2015; fleischer.org.
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Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.