From behind a row of giant concrete pipes, two hazmat-suit-clad figures approach a group of furry-robe-wearing sunbathers.
A large-scale work of visual theatre inspired by urban infrastructure and its effect on the human body.
“When I see a huge refinery, with its vast and intricate system of metal pipes, tanks, catwalks, I feel inexplicably emotional. Why do these structures evoke in my body such a deep-seated feeling of pleasure and despair?”—Mimi Lien
Refineries, dams, and wastewater treatment plants tower over us and sprawl beneath us. These massive works of infrastructure seem almost anti-human in their complexity and scale—like machines that run themselves—but they are the beating hearts that allow a city to function.
A world premiere by Pig Iron Theatre Company and award-winning designer Mimi Lien, Superterranean is a new work of visual theatre driven by Lien’s fascinations with urban infrastructure acting in concert with the human body.
On the outskirts of an unknown city, massive structures emerge from the murk. Here, nine performers embody our hunger for permanence, our dreams of utopia, and the melancholy contemplation of our skin, our organs, and our deepest urges.
Superterranean will premiere September 5-15 in the 2019 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Scenic Designer / Creator Mimi Lien 
Director Dan Rothenberg 
Assistant Director Shayna Strype 
Performers Jenn Kidwell, Melissa Krodman, Dito Van Reigersberg, Tony Torn, Saori Tsukuda, Evelyn Chen, Chelsea Murphy, Isaac Calvin 
Dramaturg Geoff Manaugh 
Choreographer Rosie Herrera 
Lighting Designer Barbara Samuels 
Sound Designer Lea Bertucci 
Costume Designer Olivera Gajic 
Props Master Alicia Crosby 
Associate Scenic Designer Colin McIlvaine
Mimi Lien is a designer of sets and environments for theatre, dance, and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is a company member at Pig Iron Theatre Company, an artistic associate at the Civilians, resident designer at BalletTech, and co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. She was named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow, and is the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction.

Superterranean has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Photos by Jauhien Sasnou.

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