Davis Performing Arts Center Presents DC Premiere of Acclaimed Pig Iron Theatre Company’s Zero Cost House September 28 and 29

Company residency includes engagement with Georgetown Theater and Performance Studies Program students

Washington, D.C. — Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the few groups successfully taking theater in new directions,” Philadelphia-based Pig Iron Theatre Company will perform the DC premiere of Zero Cost House by renowned Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada for one weekend only at Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center, in the Gonda Theatre. The Davis Center will present three performances of the production — Friday, September 28 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, September 29 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. — fresh from its world premiere run as part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. A talkback will follow the Saturday matinee.

Okada’s sly, personal, and idiosyncratic work of autobiography “Zero Cost House” is about moving out of Tokyo and re-reading Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima. The time- and space-bending production serves as a meditation on the disruptions and re-imaginings that accompany a national disaster, and on the uneasy compromises between radical idealism and contemporary living. Jeremy Gable of EDGE Philadelphia calls the production “humorous, heartbreaking, and intense” and notes that “Okada’s style…translates well with Pig Iron’s talented five-person cast (which includes [Dito van Reigersberg], Mary McCool, Shavon Norris, James Sugg and Alex Torra), and director Dan Rothenberg unearths great worlds of meaning from the smallest moments.”

Davis Performing Arts Center Artistic Director Prof. Derek Goldman says, “We are honored to be hosting these world-class artists in a cutting-edge work that speaks to our ongoing commitment to global performance and cross-cultural exchange.”

An inventive physical theater company known for its raucous performance spirit and “prodigious talent and discipline” (Village Voice), Pig Iron is the first English-language company to collaborate with Okada on a new play. For Zero Cost House, company members traveled to Japan and spent weeks training in the unique movement style of the show’s author Toshiki Okada, who also wrote Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech.
Zero Cost House features Pig Iron regulars Dito van Reigersberg, James Sugg, and Alex Torra, as well as Mary McCool (New Paradise Laboratories) and Shavon Norris. Dan Rothenberg will direct from a script created by Okada in collaboration with the ensemble, translated by Aya Ogawa. The creative team also includes set designer Mimi Lien and costume designer Maiko Matsushima.

These performances are part of Pig Iron’s residency at Georgetown University, which will also include a workshop with the Theater and Performance Studies Program and other engagement events.

Tickets to Zero Cost House are $20 general, $18 faculty/staff/senior, and $10 student. To purchase, visit or call (202) 687-ARTS (2787) M-F 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Georgetown University’s main campus is located at 3700 O St. NW, in Washington, D.C.

About Pig Iron Theatre Company

Founded in 1995 as an interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron Theatre Company is dedicated to the creation of new and exuberant performance works that defy easy categorization. In the past 16 years the company has created 24 original works and has toured to festivals and theatres in England, Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Romania and Germany. The body of Pig Iron’s work is eclectic and daring. Individual works have been inspired by history and biography (Poet In New York, 1997 and Anodyne, 2001), rock music (Mission to Mercury, 2000 and James Joyce is Dead and so is Paris: The Lucia Joyce Cabaret, 2003), American kitsch culture (Cafeteria, 1997), serendipity (Dig or Fly, 1996 and The Snow Queen, 1999), and fallen heroes (The Odyssey, 1995 and The Tragedy of Joan of Arc, 1998). In 2001, Pig Iron collaborated with legendary theatre director Joseph Chaikin (1935-2003) to create an exploration of sleep, dreams and consciousness (Shut Eye). In 2005, Pig Iron won an OBIE Award for Hell Meets Henry Halfway, an adaptation of Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz’s novel Possessed; in 2008, Pig Iron won a second OBIE for James Sugg’s performance in Chekhov Lizardbrain. In 2006, Pig Iron was named Theatre Company of the Year in the Philadelphia Weekly.

Pig Iron calls itself a “dance-clown-theatre ensemble,” with focus moving from character to space to contact with the audience. Individual pieces have been called “soundscape and spectacle,” “cabaret-ballet,” and “avant-garde shadow puppet dessert-theatre.”

About the Davis Performing Arts Center

Opened in November 2005 in the center of Georgetown University’s campus as the only building in Georgetown history designed specifically for arts education, the Davis Performing Arts Center is the academic home to the Department of Performing Arts and features two theatre spaces: the proscenium Gonda Theatre and the black box Devine Studio Theatre. The Davis Performing Arts Center season unfolds in intimate dialogue with the Department’s curricular offerings. In addition to mainstage theater productions, the Department sponsors numerous music and dance performances, workshops, readings, master classes, symposia, and guest lectures, placing students from the entire Georgetown community in regular contact with leading professionals from the US and beyond.