8:30–10pm / Oct 6 / Elebash Recital Hall

The Illusion & The Aftermath

Temporary Distortion

Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)

Split Britches (Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver)

A Period of Animate Existence

Pig Iron Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of the artists
Works-in-Process are excerpts from new work, in development or recently premiered.


The Illusion & The Aftermath

The Illusion & The Aftermath will be performed continuously, for six hours, in the Elebash Lobby from 2:00PM to 8:00PM on Friday, October 6th. Temporary Distortion will talk about the piece at 4:30PM in the Elebash Recital Hall.


When we began work on this performance, we were attempting to develop a strategy that might allow us to see and hear better than we do on a day-to-day basis. Calling this process “art” allowed us to give it a special kind of attention. Our goal was to provide a potentially transformative moment for the audience by giving them room (in their otherwise busy lives) to practice deep viewing and singular focus, in order to recognize our experiences are a direct result of where (and how) we place our attention. We are calling this approach: contemplative performance. The Illusion & The Aftermath is a contemplative performance of live music that unfolds slowly over the course of six-hours for a meditating audience. As a metaphor for spectatorship, meditation is meant to evoke an appreciation of conscious awareness and seeing an experience for just what it is, from one moment to the next. Meditation cushions and headphones are provided for the audience to come and go as they wish, staying for only as long as they would like. For someone in the room without headphones, the performance is virtually silent. Contemplative performance describes a certain way of looking, listening, and thinking about performance. It involves a quality of hyper-attentiveness, but also includes an attitude of ease and letting go.

Temporary Distortion explores the tensions and overlaps existing between the practices of visual art, theater, cinema, and music. The group works across disciplines to create performances, installations, films, albums, and works for the stage that have been shown in over 20 cities in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States. Essays discussing Temporary Distortion’s work have been published in American Theater Magazine, Chance Magazine, Yale’s Theater, NYU’s The Drama Review, Queen Mary University’s Contemporary Theatre Review, UCSD’s TheatreForum, and others. Its work is also examined in the books: Every Leader is an Artist, Theatre Today, Performance & Media: Taxonomies for a Changing Field, and Utopii performative: Artisti Radicali ai Scenei Americane in Secolul 21 (Performative Utopias: Radical Artists on the American 21st Century Stage). Their plays and writing on the arts have been published in Chance Magazine, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Yale’s Theater, and UCSD’s TheatreForum.

Collaborating Artists: Concept, Direction and Installation Design by Kenneth Collins; Composition, Musical Direction, and Sound Design by John Sully; Assistant Installation Design by Scott Fetterman; Metalsmith: H. Scott Fetterman; Performers: Kenneth Collins, Scott Fetterman and John Sully.

The Illusion & The Aftermath will be performed at the Chicago Cultural Center. Chicago, Illinois. January 19 – 28, 2018.


The Illusion & The Aftermath was made possible with support from a Composer Commission awarded by New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and additional support, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Residency support provided by The Watermill Center and Ideal Glass Gallery.

Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)


Combining a Dr Strangelove-inspired performance with a daring forum for public conversation, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) explores ageing, anxiety, hidden desires and how to look forward when the future is uncertain. Peggy Shaw will perform an excerpt from the production. In the full performance’s Situation Room, twelve audience members are invited to become a Council of Elders to discuss the global issues of the day, as the company weaves in satirical insights and humour. Adopting the characters of a bombastic general and ineffectual president, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches lace this interactive piece with both playful urgency and lethargy, encouraging discussion about the political landscape. The pioneering theatre-makers see unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in elders and hope to uncover buried resources in us all.

Split Britches (Peggy Shaw & Lois Weaver): Peggy Shaw is a performer, writer, producer, and teacher of writing and performance. She co-founded Split Britches and WOW Café in NYC. She is a veteran of Hot Peaches and Spiderwoman and has collaborated as writer and performer with Lois Weaver and Split Britches since 1980. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theatre and Performance Community. Peggy has received three NYFA Fellowships and three OBIE Awards including an OBIE for Performance in 1987 for Dress Suits for Hire and in 1999 for Menopausal Gentleman. She was the recipient of the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005. Her book A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Drama. Peggy was the 2011 recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger Award for the creation of Ruff, a musical collaboration that explores her experience of having a stroke. Peggy was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance in 2014, an award given to scholars, artists, and activists affiliated with the institute and whose work illustrates the highest achievement in the field of performance and politics. She is the 2014 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award.

Collaborating Artists: Written by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw and Hannah Maxwell; Created in collaboration with Jo Palmer, Claire Nolan, Matt Delbridge, Alex Legge, Edythe Woolley, and Meghan Hodgson; Technical Design – Jo Palmer; Video Content Design – Claire Nolan; Design Consultant – Matt Delbridge; Sound Design – Vivian Stoll; Choreography Consultant – Stormy Brandenberger; Produced by In Company Collective Producer- Alex Legge; Company Manager: Laura Petree.

Unexploded Ordnances is performing at La Mama Jan 4-21, Thursday to Saturday at 8PM; Sunday at 4PM

A Period of Animate Existence


We find ourselves in a perilous time. One that is being called the Sixth Extinction, an era in which we foresee the loss of 20% to 50% of all living species on earth. The gravity of these issues has entered mainstream consciousness, affecting our politics, media, and ultimately our individual beliefs about the trajectory of life.How do we consider the future in such a moment? A Period of Animate Existence is our inquiry into this great disruption.  In five staged movements, children, elders, and machines contemplate the future in a time of dire predictions and rapid technological change. This excerpt is Movement Three. A Period of Animate Existence is conceived and created by composer Troy Herion, designer Mimi Lien, and director Dan Rothenberg, in collaboration with librettists Kate Tarker and Will Eno, and video designers Dave Tennent and Kate Freer.

Pig Iron: Founded in 1995 as an interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron Theatre Company is dedicated to the creation of new and unusual performance works. Pig Iron has created over 30 original works, toured to festivals and theatres nationally and internationally, including the Under the Radar Festival, the Humana Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and the Konfrontacje Teatralne. Pig Iron has received 12 Barrymore Awards (and 53 nominations) and two Obie awards. The New York Times named Pig Iron “one of the few groups successfully taking theatre in new directions.” In 2011, Pig Iron launched the Pig Iron School, a program of graduate study in ensemble and physical theater; in 2015 Pig Iron partnered with University of the Arts to offer Masters of Fine Arts degrees.

Major support for A Period of Animate Existence has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the William J. Cooper Foundation (Swarthmore College), the American Composers Forum (funds provided by the Jerome Foundation), the Wyncote Foundation, Tom and Carol Beam, David and Linda Glickstein, the Henry Schimberg Charitable Foundation, the Independence Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Fidelity Foundation, The Rogers & Hammerstein Foundation, Anonymous.

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