Selected Projects

Franklin’s Secret City

PIG IRON, 2021

FRANKLIN’S SECRET CITY is an iPhone app-adventure for two players aged 10-100. Part game, part audience created performance, part audio experience, Franklin’s Secret City is an alternate universe of secret societies, hidden technologies, and inventions that border on magic, all hidden within Philadelphia’s historical sites and artifacts. Script and Concept by Dan Rothenberg and Robert Quillen Camp, Original Music by Rosie Langabeer and Josh Machiz, UX Design / Lead Developer Lisa Szolovits, Sound Design by Robert Quillen Camp, UI Design by Yichan Wang, Directed by Dan Rothenberg. 


photo credit: Owen Carey

Our Ruined House

PETE, 2019

OUR RUINED HOUSE is fake political history perfomed by inauthentic lovers. How can we understand the crisis in which we find ourselves if we don’t know what’s really happening? Called a “glorious colossus of the bizarre,” Our Ruined House imagines a collapsing domestic world constructed for surveillance featuring giant octopuses, bootleg copies of The Hunt for Red October, and the philosophy of Donald Rumsfeld. 


photo credit: Owen Carey

How To Learn

PETE, 2018

HOW TO LEARN examines the relationship between education, privilege, and knowledge in a provocative performance piece inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s lectures on education. A richly detailed immersive sound environment subverts the traditional lecture form and provides the backdrop to a narrative that juxtaposes the banalities of contemporary academic life with a surreal and affecting exploration of its secret counterpart in the imagination.


Procedures for Saying No

PETE, 2016

Procedures for Saying No is an ensemble-driven theater piece, inspired by Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” and Moby Dick, that interrogates the protocols of the contemporary white-collar office to unpack the deep fears that underpin our most trivial activities. As a group of workers face ecological collapse and are forced to claim their office as a living space, they race to invent more and more procedures, finally leading to a recognition of themselves as both more and less than human. Funny and brutally sad, Procedures places its audience inside a fully built-out office, and provides a set of tasks and procedures for them to complete, replicating the boredom of empty work while punctuating it with fleeting moments of meaning. PRESS & SLIDESHOW 

Love and Information

by Caryl Churchill
Lewis & Clark, 2016

In Love and Information, Caryl Churchill asks us to consider whether the idea of information can adequately represent our experience of being in the world. Employing her trademark formal inventiveness, Churchill considers these ideas from dozens of perspectives, creating the theatrical equivalent of the barrage of status updates, shares, and notifications that have come to characterize daily life in an “information economy.” Perhaps Churchill also implicitly asks us to consider what it means to make live theater in a culture that is defined by digital consumption. In this production, presented in a “reverse round” of museum display boxes,  we recognized the traditional communitarian rhetoric that often surrounds theatrical practice and at the same time called it into question. In a formally disjointed play like this, what do we share with one another? Or is our experience, even of something that we all do together, radically particular to each one of us?

Pay Up

Pig Iron, 2005-2013

Part circus, part laboratory experiment, part shopping experience, Pay Up is an environmental work, a warehouse of unusual commerce consisting of eight “chamber pieces” about handling cash. By forcing its audience to make hard choices about what to see and when, Pay Up interrogates the ways we spend (or waste) money, and more importantly, the ways we spend (or waste) time. Barrymore Award Nominated for Best New Play, 2006.

All Hands

Hoi Polloi, 2012

All Hands investigates the seductive power of secret societies, channeling and reconfiguring archetypes of violence and communal fraternity and sorority. Created by Alec Duffy’s Hoi Polloi Company (Three Pianos) with a large ensemble of performers, music by Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812), choreography by Dan Safer (Witness Relocation) and an immersive set design by Mimi Lien (An Octaroon). 


Chekhov Lizardbrain

Pig Iron, 2007-2010
OBIE Award, 2009
New York Times 10 Best of 2008

An amalgam of Russian tragicomedy and contemporary brain science in which a lonely, mildly-autistic botanist conjures up a parade of unsettling and comic recollections in an attempt to shape his fractured memories into a comforting fiction.


The Group

Dodeska, 2008-2009

The Group is a satirical performance piece for small audiences wearing headphones who are invited to journey inward to connect with their inner something-or-other. Guided by a charasmatic leader (Ryan Eggensperger), audience members discover that underneath the absurd humor -- including songs by Alec Duffy (Three Pianos) -- lie profoundly disturbing questions.  


Exit the King

by Eugène Ionesco
Lewis & Clark, 2015

The absurdist playwright Eugène Ionesco wrote the witty, raucous, and ultimately deeply moving play Exit the King in 1962 after suffering from a serious illness in his middle age. He wrote that the illness and the fear that it provoked prompted him to see if “one could learn to die.” More than anything else, Exit the King is his attempt to come to grips with the inevitability of death. But it is at the same time a play that celebrates life, delighting in all of its ridiculousness, preposterousness, and fragile beauty.