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Events Love Unpunished

Love Unpunished

Pig Iron Theatre Company
Co-Presented by Swarthmore College

September 3-September 11

2021 Fringe Festival

1 hr


Philadelphia Film CenterMap

Pig Iron Theatre Company reprises its starkly unsentimental, hypnotic movement-theater work about the moments just before the collapse of the World Trade Center. Set on twenty feet of escape stairs, this mostly-wordless piece asks audiences to contemplate the mundanity and confusion of evacuees who wonder: is this an emergency or is this a drill?

Waiters, traders, administrators, custodians, secretaries, bike messengers—the denizens of any metropolitan skyscraper—move from panic into a ghost world of memory and loss. Some are unconcerned, some are in shock, others run for their lives. Love Unpunished draws from a simple palette of movement to open up the unreal space between life and death, a space of tenderness that lies within catastrophe.

Love Unpunished originally premiered during the 2006 Fringe Festival, and with the 20-year anniversary of the Towers’ collapse arriving on the heels of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Pig Iron returns to this contemplative, deceptively simple piece. Without any direct reference to the World Trade Center, Love Unpunished invites audiences to contemplate the simple, distinctive movement of bodies descending stairs, evacuating, confused about when to panic and when to stay calm.

Health & Safety

Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event. For the safety of audiences, artists, staff, and our greater community, you must be fully vaccinated to attend this event. Fully vaccinated means two weeks after your second dose. You will be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering the venue. Accepted forms for proof of vaccination include: a physical vaccine card with your name on it or a digital photo of your vaccine card on a cell phone. Please plan accordingly.

Masks must also be worn for the duration of the performance.


The William J. Cooper Foundation, Swarthmore College
Independence Foundation
Puffin Foundation West

Original support for Love Unpunished was provided to Pig Iron Theatre Company by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.

Festival Executive Producers: Bill & Joyce Kunkle


$30 general
$15 students/25-and-under
$2 FringeACCESS
Member discounts available


Prince Theater
1412 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

About the Artists

The mission of Pig Iron Theatre Company is to expand what is possible in performance by creating rigorous, unusual, ensemble-devised works.

Founded in 1995 as an interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron has created over 30 original works and has toured to festivals and theatres in England, Scotland, Poland, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Italy, Romania, Sweden and Germany, among others, with stops at the Under the Radar Festival, the Humana Festival, TR Warszawa, Woolly Mammoth, Dance Theater Workshop, and the Tokyo Performing Arts Market. The many creative residencies that have incubated the company’s work include Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Public, La Jolla Playhouse, the Orchard Project, EMPAC, and the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities.

Pig Iron has no “house style,” and the company has made a name for itself with creations that range from site-specific works to hybrid cabarets to works of clown-theater and of visual spectacle. Notable collaborators include legendary director Joseph Chaikin; composers Troy Herion and Cynthia Hopkins; playwrights Toshiki Okada and Will Eno; and ensembles such as the Crossing, Contemporaneous, Sweden’s Teater Slava, and the indie rock band Dr. Dog. Pig Iron’s current core company is Mimi Lien, Jenn Kidwell, Mel Krodman, Dan Rothenberg, Dito van Reigersberg.

The company has won two OBIE Awards, and has been nominated for 2 Helen Hayes awards and 39 Barrymore Awards, winning 10. Pig Iron’s staging of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (2011) was nominated for ten Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, winning four, and enjoyed sold-out performances at Philadelphia Theater Company and later at Abrons Art Center in NYC (2013). Pig Iron has been named Theatre Company of the Year by Philadelphia Weekly and Philadelphia City Paper.

In 2011, Pig Iron launched a 2-year graduate program in physical and devised theater at a new home in North Philadelphia. In 2015, the company partnered with University of the Arts to offer both a Graduate Certificate and an MFA in Devised Performance.

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