Two actors perform in Pig Iron's Zero Cost House.

Los Angeles Workshops

NOTE: Pig Iron's LA workshops have been cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19. We hope to reschedule them for sometime later this year. If you have any questions, please email


Dan Rothenberg, co-founder and co-Artistic Director of the OBIE Award-winning Pig Iron Theatre Company, will teach two workshops in Los Angeles in April of 2020. 

Experiments in Presence

5 sessions:  
Tuesday, 3/31 | 10am-1pm 
Wednesday,  4/1 | 10am-1pm
Thursday, 4/2 | 10am-1pm 
Tuesday, 4/7 | 10am-1pm 
Wednesday, 4/8 | 10am-1pm

Timing is Everything

2 sessions:  
Wednesday, 4/1 | 2:30-5:30pm
Thursday, 4/2 | 2:30-5:30pm


The Lyric Hyperion
2106 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Workshop Descriptions

Experiments in Presence: Lecoq, Chaikin, Okada
Dan Rothenberg, co-founder and co-Artistic Director of the OBIE Award-winning Pig Iron Theatre Company, will teach a 5-session workshop for performer-creators in Los Angeles, CA.

Drawing from his encounters and collaborations with theater visionaries Jacques Lecoq, Joe Chaikin, and Toshiki Okada, Rothenberg will dig into performer presence and play. This workshop brings together touchstones from a two-decade investigation of performance style that bridges experimental, clown-based, and cabaret-based techniques. What is the muscle that allows contact with the audience? How does the performer shape the attention of the audience? How does an ensemble create a style—a complete performance world? Working with improvisation, writing-on-your-feet, and ensemble sensitivity, Pig Iron’s co-founder will lead participants through a series of provocations that are expansive, joyful, and demystifying.

Rothenberg trained with Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and Pig Iron’s roots are in Lecoq’s work with masked, physical performance and clown. In 1999, legendary director and founder of the Open Theater Joseph Chaikin directed and developed Shuteye with Pig Iron—from which emerged a new pedagogy called “Ordinary-Extraordinary.” Then in 2011, Pig Iron collaborated with award-winning Japanese writer-director Toshiki Okada whose self-conscious writing and unique physical performance style have made him a sensation at festivals across Asia and Europe.

Timing is Everything: A Workshop in Theatrical Measures
If timing is a muscle, how do you give it a work out? Timing is Everything introduces performers and directors to Dan Rothenberg’s approach to rhythm on stage: rhythm in time and rhythm in space. What is underneath the comic “rule of threes”? How long is too long? What is a “satisfying” measure or a “complete” bit? This workshop takes performers through a series of experiments to train the body of the performer and the eye of the director in how to use duration and patterns to hold the audience’s attention.

Who are these workshops for?

Restless actors seeking a new approach; clowns and comic performers looking to deploy their skills in unconventional ways; creators of original performance work.

To Apply

Send resume to along with a paragraph about your experience and ambitions as a performer/devisor.

A Little More Context

Dan Rothenberg has directed almost all of Pig Iron’s original performance works, including the OBIE Award-winning Chekhov Lizardbrain and Hell Meets Henry Halfway. Pig Iron’s work has toured to 14 countries, with notable stops at the Humana Festival, Under the Radar, the Traverse (Edinburgh), Woolly Mammoth, TR Warszawa, and the Tokyo Performing Arts Market. Dan has also directed three critically acclaimed premieres by Toshiki Okada for the Play Company in NYC, a national tour for the Acting Company, and collaborations with the Berserker Residents, Bowerbird, and Sweden’s Teater Slava. Dan teaches physical theater and a unique pedagogy called “Measures” at the Pig Iron/UArts MFA Program. Pew Fellowship (2002); USA Artists Knight Fellowship (2010).

Jacques Lecoq (1921-1999) was a pioneer of physical acting training, with a focus on mime, clown, and masked performance. Starting from his early days as a physical education teacher, Lecoq began to focus his interests on sharpening the bodies and movements of actors. After eight years in Italy, Lecoq returned to Paris in 1956 to open his own school. Lecoq’s research and teachings have had a profound effect on contemporary theatre, bringing the body to the forefront of theatre training, rather than intellectual exercises of the mind. Artists such as Ariane Mnouchkine and Simon McBurney, as well as Pig Iron’s founders, studied at the school and incorporated his notions of physical presence into their work.

Joseph Chaikin (1935- 2003) was an American actor and director who took the experimental theatre world by storm during the 1960s. Like his European contemporaries (Jerzy Grotowski, Peter Brook), Chaikin and his company The Open Theatre explored new modes of theatre-making through a highly collaborative process between performers, writers, and himself. Productions like “The Serpent” (1969) mixed radical themes with spiritual elements that confronted audiences worldwide and proved the power and creative potential of performance ensembles rather than siloed artisans.

Toshiki Okada (1973 - ) is a Japanese writer and director. He is the founder of the contemporary theatre company “chelfitsch,” which has toured throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas, with stops at the Kunsten Festival (Belgium), Festival D’Automne, Centre Pompidou, among others.  He is known for connecting verbal and physical expression through hyper-colloquial Japanese and distinct movement choreography.  His plays have been translated into several languages, and Samuel French has published two volumes in English.  Recent commissions include JACK Theater in Brooklyn, three seasons at the Munich Kammerspiele, and collaborations with theaters in Thailand and Korea.