Man jumping in a way that makes him look like he is levitating

January Session 2023: Something From Nothing

"You can't make something out of nothing." It's a classic adage, but it flies in the face of most creative practice. Good art - especially good theatre - comes from the literal embodiment of a set of intangible ideas and inspirations. The trick, though, is: where to start?

In this two-week intensive, participants will learn the process of creating an ensemble-devised work of theatre through Pig Iron's tried-and-true creation processes. Participants will be given performance assignments: themes, stories, characters, even a piece of music that are launchpads for development as an ensemble. The playwriting and directing duties will be shared among the ensemble, and decisions will be made collaboratively. 

This devising workshop emphasizes generating original material, physicalizing characters and theatrical ideas, structuring group improvisations into finished pieces and the role music and rhythm play in theatrical creation. Participants will work on taking material developed through improvisation and turning it into pieces that are precise, full, exuberant, and moving. The workshop culminates in an invited showing of short original pieces created during the two weeks. 

Do you have an original work that has been brewing inside you? Does your ensemble need some new tools to unlock the creative potential for collaborative work? Do you miss having a daily practice that is generative, playful, and sustainable? Are you looking for a community of makers who want to spark new performance projects in the years ahead? If yes, this workshop will be an enriching two weeks that will lead to jump-starting the next chapter of your performance-making life. You don’t need a burning project to be part of the workshop, just a fire in your belly to buck the status quo, discover through movement, and sharpen your eye toward theatre that enlivens, enchants, and entices.

This workshop is led by Sarah Sanford who has been creating original work within Pig Iron since 2001 and on her own for just as long. Sarah is a core faculty within the UArts/Pig Iron Devised Performance Program. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades for her work, including a Haas Emerging Artist Award. She was the original director of Lightning Rod Special’s Underground Railroad Game which was named one of the Top 25 Plays of the last 25 years by the New York Times, in addition to winning an OBIE Award.



January 3rd-14th (no workshop on January 8) — 9:30AM - 4:30PM*
Public Showing on January 14th @ 3PM
*Select evenings will have additional rehearsal times for original pieces created during the workshop


Application Details

  • Application Cost: $20

  • Applications will be accepted until all spots are filled. All applicants will be informed within two (2) weeks if they are accepted.


Session Cost:

  • Apply by October 15 and pay in full (pending acceptance) by November 1: $800

  • Apply by November 15 and pay in full (pending acceptance) by December 1: $900

  • Workshop fee after December 1: $1000


Apply Here