A man stares at a fake head across a chess board

January Session: Something From Nothing

UPDATE: 3/12/24
We are not currently accepting applications for our 2025 January Session. Applications will open Summer 2024.


Creatio ex nihilo. This Latin phrase for "creation out of nothing" is embodied in one of Pig Iron's signature intensives.

In this two-week workshop, participants will learn the process of creating an ensemble-devised work of theatre through Pig Iron's tried-and-true generative exercises and creation approaches. This devising workshop emphasizes developing 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. 

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 3-13 
  • Each day will be 9:30AM-4:30PM with a one hour lunch break.
  • *Select evenings will have additional rehearsal times for original pieces created during the workshop: 4:30-7:30 on 1/5, 1/10, 1/11, 1/12
  • There will be no workshop session on Sunday, January 7th
  • Public showing on January 13 @ 3PM


Application Details

Apply here.

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
  • Payments after December 1: $1000



Work-Study Positions

Pig Iron is able to offer two facilities work-study positions for this workshop that come with a one-third tuition reduction. Duties involve preparing the studio and lounge spaces for use each day and require some availability in the hour before and after the listed workshop hours. If you are interested in applying for one of those two positions, please send a short paragraph to workshops@pigiron.org explaining how the work-study position and accompanying tuition reduction would benefit you. You must complete a workshop application and apply by email for the work-study position by November 15 to be considered. Decisions will be made by December 1.