Mission & Core Values
EgoPo Classic Theater reimagines and transforms classic theater and literature into living breathing stories that communicate the experiences of all human beings. We redefine and expand the idea of classics by reintroducing diverse works that that have been omitted from the canon and re-bodying and re-voicing familiar works so that they are filtered through our contemporary perspectives. We begin with a deep commitment to the essence of the original texts and reawaken them through radically innovative and physically dynamic stagings to create unforgettable theatrical events.
Artistic Director Lane Savadove started EgoPo in 1993 as a theater company, as well as an acting method designed to bring emotional depth and physical commitment to classic literature. Since that time, EgoPo has staged over 50 productions regionally, nationally, and internationally. EgoPo has been based in Philadelphia since 2005, celebrating 14 years of working with Philadelphia artists as a part of the city’s theatrical renaissance.
Since coming to Philadelphia, EgoPo has become known for boldly reinvented classics. The company is ambitious in the scale of the plays it presents, staging modernist and avant-garde works that are often under-produced because of their cast size and technical demands.
EgoPo’s stagings are either world premiere adaptations or unique new visions of classics. This includes: world premiere retellings of the Jewish myth, The Golem, a re-visioning of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House featuring a single 14-year-old actress to tell the story, The Assassination of Jesse James told as a dime store novel, featuring an all-female cast, and 2018's world premiere production of the 10-hour epic Lydie Breeze Trilogy.
EgoPo produces unique themed seasons to take the audience on in-depth explorations, including mainstage productions, a shorter-run performance event, and a themed site-specific Gala. Themes of the past have focused on a single playwright (Williams, Beckett, Ibsen) or genre (American Vaudeville, Expressionism). By devoting an entire season to one theme, EgoPo is able to provide cultural context for the work, deepen the audience’s engagement with that work, and introduce audiences to rarely produced plays alongside re-imaginings of well-known classics. EgoPo has been recognized nationally for this model, presenting at the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) national theater conference and appearing in American Theatre Magazine.
EgoPo has been consistently honored critically and inside the industry. In 2017, EgoPo was awarded the June and Steve Wolfson Award for Best Evolving Theater, as well as the Barrymore awards for Best Production of the Year, and Best Set Design for staging Chekhov’s The Seagull, among a total of 11 nominations.
“A major achievement by a company that is notable for its bold, intellectually bracing work.”