Water for Elephants
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PigPen Theatre Co.

Music & Lyrics

PigPen Theatre co. began creating their unique brand of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since performed, produced, and licensed their original plays in New York City and all over the world — earning them critic’s picks from The New York Times, Time Out New York, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, and many more, ranking them in the top ten theatrical events of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. They were the first group to win the NYC Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years in a row (2010/11) and have gone on to win IRNE (2012, 2015) and Jeff Awards (2014) for their theatrical productions. In 2016, Sir Trevor Nunn invited PigPen to be a part of his first American acting company for a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles. PigPen’s debut album, “Bremen,” was named #10 album of the year in The Huffington Post’s 2012 Grammy preview sending PigPen on tour playing to sold-out crowds across the country. American Songwriter premiered their follow-up EP, “The Way I’m Running,” in 2013 while the band was playing a series of concerts that became one of the most popular residencies of the past decade at the legendary Schuba’s Tavern in Chicago. In 2015, PigPen released their sophomore album, “Whole Sun,” performed at Mumford & Sons’ return to the Gentlemen of the Road Festival and made their feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep. In 2018, PigPen announced that they are creating two stage musicals based on beloved novels: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (in partnership with Universal Theatrical Group) and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (in collaboration with Rick Elice). The Tale of Despereaux world premiered at The Old Globe in the summer of 2019 and transferred to Berkeley Repertory Theatre to close out the year. 2021 saw PigPen premiere their interactive theatrical experience, The Phantom Folktales, aboard Richard Branson’s groundbreaking cruise line, Virgin Voyages. That summer also marked the beginning of their three-year residency as artists and curators at New York City’s newest and most unique public park: Little Island.

Sara Gruen
Rick Elice
pigpen