Magazine article American Theatre

No Snoozing for the Avant-garde.(Shut Eye)(Brief Article)

Magazine article American Theatre

No Snoozing for the Avant-garde.(Shut Eye)(Brief Article)

Article excerpt

Pig Iron Theatre Company's Shut Eye, a collaboration with Joseph Chaikin that premiered in September 2001, will pay at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Aug. 1-26.

IN THE CONTINUALLY SHIFTING WORLDS OF THE PHILADELPHIA-based Pig Iron Theatre Company's Shut Eye, images of sleep and sleeplessness are artfully presented with a logic that deliberately confuses dreams with reality. A newly married couple, exhausted by overwork, unsuccessfully attempts to stay awake long enough to be intimate and attentive. The comic corporate world of "Pillow Tech International" seethes with the greed and ambition of a new-age Jacobean nightmare. A man lies in a coma, undisturbed by emergency procedures or anxious visitors. A charming-but-pathetic insomniac wanders through all of these scenes with slow desperation, searching for a mythic sleep clinic. Shut Eye displays this young collective's skill in creating evocative physical images that resonate with both depth and humor.

Shut Eye is the result of a collaboration between Pig Iron and Joseph Chaikin, director of the legendary Open Theater and later the Winter Project, two groups that pioneered ensemble-created experimental works of theatre such as The Serpent, Terminal and Tourists and Refugees. Pig Iron founded their collective using the Open Theater as a model. Lecoq trained and movement oriented, the company has made a name for itself internationally and as one of Philadelphia's premiere experimental theatre troupes. …

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