Twelfth Night, or What You Will
Pig Iron Theatre Company
New Running Time:
2 hrs, 45 minutes (including intermission)
Live Arts Festival
Theater / 165 minutes
Suzanne Roberts Theatre
“I’ve always been fascinated with this eternal struggle between imagination and death that runs through all of Shakespeare’s plays.”
“One of the few groups successfully taking theatre in new directions.”
Festival Executive Producers
Photo: Photos (c) Jason Frank Rothenberg or Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net
It’s Shakespeare, Pig Iron style.
Welcome to an uproarious world of drunkards and wine-drenched parties, depressive noblemen and dueling musicians, idiots and veteran jesters, religious zealots and erotic misunderstandings, performed to the beat of a live Balkan band. Pig Iron uses its highly physical performance style to ignite one of Shakespeare’s most wicked comedies, and infuses Shakespeare’s wordplay with an immediacy that is alive, funny, and unpredictable.
Alternately absurd and heartfelt, Twelfth Night, or What You Will is replete with practical jokes, gender confusion, and mistaken identity. Girl washes up on beach, disguises herself as boy. Girl, disguised as boy, falls in love with Duke. Woos lady on behalf of Duke. Lady falls in love with girl-disguised-as-boy. Longing ensues. As does the imbibing of enormous quantities of alcohol, plus outrageously melodramatic breakdowns to “the saddest music in the world.”
“Philly's most adventurous company.”
In short: Toby Belch, gypsy-rock, eleven days, accordions, boy you look just like your sister.
Pig Iron brings a cast of familiar faces including Dito van Reigersberg, James Sugg, Sarah Sanford, Alex Torra, Birgit Huppuch (Isabella, Live Arts Festival, 2008), and Scott Greer making his Pig Iron debut. With music by Rosie Langabeer (Cankerblossom, Live Arts Festival, 2010). Previous Live Arts shows also include: Welcome to Yuba City (2009) and Pay up (2005).
Directed by Dan Rothenberg Text William Shakespeare Music Rosie Langabeer Performers Blake DeLong, Scott Greer, Birgit Huppuch, Jaime Maseda, Mark McCloughan, Michael Sean McGuinness, Charleigh Parker, Andy Paterson, Dito van Reigersberg, Sarah Sanford, James Sugg, Alex Torra
* Post-show discussion on Sept 7 moderated by Abbe Blum, professor of English literature at Swarthmore College.
** Post-show discussion on Sept 9 moderated by Nat Anderson, professor of English literature and director of the creative writing program at Swarthmore College.
Twelfth Night, or What You Will has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the William Penn Foundation.
Photos by Dan Rothenberg and Jason Frank Rothenberg