[20] PAY UP (Pig Iron Theatre Company with The University of the Arts): Fringe review

Pig Iron Pay Up 2013 Philadelphia Fringe reviewThis is not a play. Therefore this is not a review, but a warning. If you’re looking to sit in a darkened theater watching actors execute a full-length script start-to-finish, look elsewhere (I liked Lindsay Harris-Friel’s Traveling Light and Attis Theatre’s Ajax, the madness). “It is your money. It is your time. You choose.” This is the mantra at the nucleus of Pig Iron’s and UArts site-specific simulated economic environment. Upon entry you’ll be given plastic booties to wear over your shoes, five bucks, and six opportunities to see eight shows costing you a dollar (or more) a pop. Performed in a white-washed, boxed-in, sectioned-off spaces within a larger white-washed warehouse, the interrelated scenes expose the multi-faceted monetization of relationships in modern society. American daily life boiled down to its spine, the U.S dollar.

Director Dan Rothenberg grants his troupe of twenty-three talented performers the liberty to use only a few props: white boxes and green dollar bills, mostly. These are the only certainties I can provide. I could go out on a limb to sugges the US dollar is a box in itself. I could quote Karl Marx: “By possessing the property of buying everything, by possessing the property of appropriating all objects, money is thus the object of eminent possession. Money is the procurer between man’s need and the object, between his life and his means of life.” But from here on out you choose: Are you going to see a scene about the failure of American healthcare, a butterfly, or a monkey? You decide. [Asian Arts Initiative] September 4-22, 2013. fringearts.ticketleap.com/pay-up

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