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Events The Path of Pins <br>or the Path of Needles

The Path of Pins
or the Path of Needles

Josephine Decker + Pig Iron Theatre Company

September 16 - October 2

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September 16 at 6:45pm

September 17 at 6:45pm

September 18 at 6:45pm

September 20 at 6:45pm

September 21 at 6:45pm

September 22 at 6:45pm

September 23 at 6:45pm

September 24 at 6:45pm

September 25 at 6:30pm

September 27 at 6:30pm

September 28 at 6:30pm

September 29 at 6:30pm

September 30 at 6:30pm

October 1 at 6:30pm

October 2 at 6:30pm

2022 Fringe Festival

75 min


Rigby MansionMap

NOTE: the Sunday, Sep 25 performance has been canceled due to rain.

Welcome, pregnant one, to our sunset reality. Here at the edge of day and night, awake and asleep, we fall through the veil. Walk quickly. Hide the garlic in your pocket. You found your way here, but can you find your way back out? Will these whispers protect your unborn child from the curse?

Visionary writer and filmmaker Josephine Decker (Shirley, Madeline’s Madeline) joins forces with Pig Iron Theatre Company (Superterranean, Love Unpunished) for a dark fairy tale about the terrors, joys, and deep uncertainties of pregnancy. Inspired by Maria Tatar’s research on the history of fairy tales, this immersive performance explores the complex decisions that mothers, fictional and real, must make about their children’s lives. This new work brings Decker’s singular vision into conversation with Pig Iron’s 20-year investigation with site-specific and immersive theater.

Each audience member becomes “The Pregnant Dreamer,” seeking to evade a curse on their unborn child by choosing their own path through Rigby Mansion and its grounds. Interactive scenes — weaving contemporary dance, physical theater, and performance art — unlock secret knowledge and whispers of terror. All bodies are welcome; come prepared to wander.


PERFORMANCE NOTE: Much of the performance installation is outdoors on uneven ground. Some audience members will be invited to sit down outside on grass or dirt. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothes that can get dirty. Patrons with limited mobility can be accommodated; please call 215.413.1318 or email ahead of your performance night so we can provide proper support. If there is light rain, performances will still occur; please bring an umbrella.

“Daring, transgressive”The Philadelphia Inquirer


Concept and Direction: Josephine Decker
Co-Director: Dan Rothenberg
Text by Josephine Decker in collaboration with the ensemble

Scenic Design by Maiko Matsushima
Lighting Design by Tuçe Yasak
Sound Design by Tina Hanae-Miller
Costume Design by Alicia J. Austin
Dramaturgy by Sally Ollove
Ensemble: Jessica Almasy, Sanchel Brown, Miranda Calderon, Ching-I Chang, Anisa George, John Maria Gutierrez, Courtney Henry, Alex Tatarsky

Swings/Understudies: Meagan Kimberly Smith, Jacinta Yelland

Content Considerations

This performance contains references to family violence and to termination of pregnancy. This performance is not suitable for children.

Health & Safety

Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event, and masks must be worn for the duration of the performance. Audience members will be asked to show proof of vaccination before the event. Both digital and physical proof of vaccination are accepted. Please plan accordingly.


$37 general
$15 student and 25-and-under
$2 FringeACCESS

Tickets go on sale to FringeArts Members on Friday, August 5, and to the general public on Monday, August 8.

Not a member? Join now! FringeArts Members also receive 20% off tickets and additional perks!


Major support for The Path of Pins or the Path of Needles has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support from the Charlotte Cushman Foundation.

  NEA logo

Festival Executive Producer: Carol Beam
Festival Producers:
Chris Deephouse, Donna Hunt, Ed & Anne Wagner
Festival Co-Producers: Bill & Joyce Kunkle


Rigby Mansion
523 Church Ln
Philadelphia, PA 19144

About the Artists

Josephine Decker (Concept/Writer/Co-Director) is an award-winning writer, director, and filmmaker whose work tends to bend the space between imagination and reality. Her feature Shirley won Sundance 2020’s U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Auteur Filmmaking. Her feature Madeline’s Madeline, scripted through a devised process with ten actors, played Sundance, Berlinale and scores of festivals worldwide, was nominated for Best Picture at the IFP Gotham Awards and for two Independent Spirit Awards. She explores collaborative storytelling via directing TV, documentary-making, performance art, VR and teaching. Her latest film The Sky is Everywhere (A24, Apple, released spring 2022) was a New York Times Critic’s Pick.

Dan Rothenberg (Co-Director) is one of the founding artistic directors at Pig Iron Theatre Company, where he seeds artistic collisions and new approaches to performance. He works closely with ensembles of actor-creators who co-create (“devise”) Pig Iron’s work. An OBIE- and Barrymore-winning director and writer, his work ranges from large scale visual theater to hybrid clown pieces and concerts. Outside of Pig Iron, he has directed at Bowerbird, Play Company (NYC), and the Acting Company (national tour), and received commissions from the Kimmel Center and Tiwary Entertainment Group. Recent collaborations include work with acclaimed Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada, Emmy-winning composer Troy Herion, and MacArthur “Genius” Mimi Lien. USA Artists Fellow (2010); Penn Program in Environmental Humanities Artist in Residence (2017).

Pig Iron Theater Company has been creating interdisciplinary performances in Philadelphia since 1995. Now a national leader in the movement of alternative theater makers, the company has created over 33 original works and has toured to festivals and theaters in 15 countries on four continents, with stops at the Humana Festival, Under the Radar Festival, TR Warzawa, La Jolla Playhouse, and the Tokyo Performing Arts Market. The OBIE Award-winning company has
been nominated for more than 35 Barrymore Awards, winning 10. During the pandemic, the company pivoted to digital work with an acclaimed Zoom adaptation of their collaboration with Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada, Zero Cost House, and an interactive two-player iPhone app called Franklin’s Secret City. The company recently launched a Digital / Film / Interactive initiative, with support from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, to explore how their devising
methodology can be applied in the digital arena. Since 2015, Pig Iron has partnered with University of the Arts to offer both a Graduate Certificate and an MFA in Devised Performance, training the next generation of adventurous makers of hybrid performance.

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