Pay Up by Pig Iron Theatre Company with The University of the Arts

By FringeArts (other events)

25 Dates Through Sep 22, 2013

Thursday, September 12 : 8:30pm performance followed by a post-show discussion moderated by Kenwyn K. Smith, PhD, professor of organizational behavior, University of Pennsylvania.

Friday, September 13 : 8:30pm performance followed by a post-show discussion moderated by Keith Chen, associate professor of economics, UCLA.


“In Pay Up, you are buying, you are choosing, you are getting cheated, you are winning the game. These kinds of emotions turn out to be much more potent than any fiction I can concoct.” Dan Rothenberg, director of Pay Up

"One of the few groups successfully taking theater in new directions." The New York Times


Step into a labyrinthine, choose-your-own adventure about buying and selling everything under the sun. Philadelphia's premier physical theater company re-imagines its 2005 show, post financial crisis style. Part circus, part laboratory experiment, part shopping experience, Pay Up is a pay-as-you-go race against the clock to pick what plays you want to see.

You are given plastic booties, five one-dollar bills, and led into all-white warehouse space that has been converted into eight experimental labs/performance rooms, along with hallways, a gathering space, and backrooms. With a loudspeaker announcing the rules, and at times breaking its own rules, you get six chances to choose one of eight shows, each costing $1. Enter a room, sit in a chair, put headphones on, and watch the show. Repeat. But, choose wisely and make sure you get there before the big buzzer goes off. Or else.


Past Festival shows: Zero Cost House (2012), Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2011), Cankerblossom (2010), Welcome to Yuba City (2009)


Director Dan Rothenberg Text and Original Sound Design Robert Quillen Camp Creative Producer/Associate Director Alex Torra Set Anna Kiraly Original Lighting Design Brian Lilienthal Lighting Matthew F. Lewandowski II Sound James Sugg Audio/Systems Design Mark Valenzuela Performers Anthony Adair, Caitlin Antram, Emma Arrick, Nia-Samara Benjamin, Rebecca Buckley, Corinna Burns, Benjamin Camp, Nathan Clemenson, Jess Conda, Dakota Demato, Emily Fernandez, Cody Freeman, Nick Gillette, Ben Grinberg, Veronica Hall, Lauren Harries, Dan Higbee, Makoto Hirano, Richard Mitchell, Tara Norman, Arielle Pina, Shannon Renninger, Amanda Schoonover, Nick Schwasman, Martha Stuckey, Alex Torra, Dito van Reigersberg, DeVante Wells, Shari Williams, John Yazzo, Alice Yorke


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 theaters in England, Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Romania and Germany. The body of Pig Iron's work is eclectic and daring. 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. Pig Iron calls itself a “dance-clown-theatre ensemble,”  and their focus moves 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.” Pig Iron has a hard time sitting still.


Pay Up has been funded in part by The University of the Arts, and by the Strike While the Iron's Hot Initiative, a matching gifts campaign made possible by the Wyncote Foundation and dedicated to bringing more of Pig Iron's work to Philadelphia audiences in 2013–2015.


Festival Executive Producers David & Linda Glickstein

Festival Producers Tobey & Mark Dichter, Lisa Roberts & David Seltzer, Marty Tuzman/Jenkintown Building Services



All sales are final. Ticket exchanges are for 2013-14 Annual Members only. Memberships are $65 for one and $100 for two. For more info and to become a Member, call the Box Office at 215.413.1318.

E-Tickets: There are no tickets to pick up. All tickets are sent to you as a link in an email. Tickets are required at the door and need to be scanned before entering. Bring your ticket as a print-out or display the QR code on your mobile device.

No late seating: Entry is not guaranteed after the start time.

Mailing Address

140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.) Philadelphia, PA 19106