A typical day at the Pig Iron School might include working on the timing and physical control of a handstand, collaborating on translating a movement of a Shostakovich Symphony into movement, tackling the performance problem of representing violence onstage, and preparing for a public showing of a clown piece about the end of the world. By design, APT rejects the traditional separation of artistic disciplines within theatre, asking a student to wear many hats at once. At times, students scour the flea markets and inexpensive clothing shops for costume items and objects; at times, students use their time off to work out the precise choreography for a group creation. Students are trained to work as well-rounded theatre artists with skills in performing, directing, design, writing and theatre management
Though APT Studio Practice classes will take up only four to seven hours a day, the School is intended to be an immersive experience that is as much about the physical and ensemble training taught by the faculty as it is about transforming the way in which the students see the world. The rigor of the classroom work naturally extends beyond the walls of the school and into the friendships and deep artistic relationships that are at the core of collaborative work. We intend that the ideas about performance taught at APT will permeate students’ daily lives, creeping into shared dinners with colleagues, sessions of collaborative work outside of class, and group outings to nearby state parks, movies, drag cabarets, and musical performances.
That being said, some students also elect to seek part-time work to supplement their tuition and living expenses. This will be easier for Certificate students than for MFA students who will have additional coursework at UArts during the program.
Students at APT have a very different artistic experience from students in a typical university program. There are few papers to write, and there is a reduced emphasis on theoretical discussion. Rather, the school turns philosophical questions into physical and dramatic answers; the goal is not merely to generate great ideas, but to translate great ideas into arresting performance.
Nurturing collaborations is the primary focus of APT’s curriculum and activities, which in turn provides the seeds for life-long artistic partnerships and brilliant, innovative performances.