Artist Profile: PigPen Theatre Co.

You may remember that a few months ago- right here on our blog- we posted a review of our 4th annual benefit “Growing Up- Reaching Out.” And in that review, we briefly highlighted a thirty minute set performed by friends of Arts For All, PigPen Theatre Co. The entire show was, of course, entertaining. But among the three and four minute solos and duets, this unique hybrid of acting, folk music, and puppetry definitely stood alone.

The performance was instantly captivating. Before a word was spoken or a step was taken, the tiny theater was bursting with rousing instrumental folk music. Lights came up on the darkened stage, and dramatic shadows and props set the mood for an intensely emotional- yet heartfelt and simple- half hour theatrical journey. I was immediately fascinated and catapulted back into my childhood memories of The Bremen Town Musicians, Aesop’s Fables, and Br’er Rabbit.

After this short but sensational show from these talented young men, my curiosity was definitely piqued, and I wanted to learn more (and hear more! And see more!). I took to the interwebs to do my research; and boy, was I even more impressed! These gifted (and good-looking!) guys hail from around the United States and Europe, and each brings their own unique experience to the table in their work. Chance brought the seven together at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in the fall of 2007; and by the fall of 2009, PigPen Theatre Co. was born. Since then, they’ve graduated and found their way to the Big Apple where they’ve toiled with aplomb and have been received with praise. Last year, the New York Times published a wonderful introduction of the guys, TimeOut New York wrote them a shining profile, and the Huffington Post deemed them among the best theatre of 2011. This unique troupe uses their blend of live music, puppetry, movement, and lighting effects to tell fables and stories that are witty, funny, heartfelt, and everything in between. Only a few months ago, these gifted gents launched their debut album “Bremen,” and the folksy selections they shared with our audience last Sunday proved that they are- as The Boston Herald said- a phenomenon. The group recently became the first in history to win the Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years running, and we were honored to share the stage with them!

Be sure to check out the new album if you aren’t already a fan- they’re sure to be the Next Big Thing!

~The Arts For All Team

PigPen Theatre Co.- The Music <– Click to listen!!!

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