2020-2021 Artist-in-Residence

Damien J. Wallace


Damien has performed with EgoPo in both last season's production of Buried Child and in the 2018-2019 seasons production of Master Harold and the Boys.  He currently hails as the Artistic Director of Lawrence Theatre Company, with which EgoPo has partnered this season.

Damien was formally trained under the tutelage of Lee Strasburg disciples, Ty Collins and Vernon Blackman, and holds a BFA Distinguished Honors degree in Theatre from Arcadia University. Damien is most known for his extensive work in the August Wilson century cycle. He was also in both the Philadelphia Theatre Company and People’s Light productions of Lynn Notage’s Sweat. Additionally, Damien appeared in the Arden Theatre Company’s productions of The Bluest Eye and The Legend of Georgia McBride.

Damien will act as a producing collaborator this season, creating and performing in Underground, directing Rockaby, and performing in Nocturne. 


In this tumultuous time, many people are hurting, confused, scared, and searching for examples of change that will resonate in their hearts and minds. After years of systemic racism and oppression, as always, the creative arts are playing an active role in leading the charge for social change of inclusion and equality. Over the past two seasons, I’ve worked with EgoPo Classic Theater as an actor, but now I embrace the opportunity to collaborate with them as a contributing creative artist in planning and producing a season that speaks to our current climate.

EgoPo has exhibited a willingness to break the safety of the Caucasian-controlled theatre community of Philadelphia with their progressive stance of inclusion and the recognition of talent that does not speak or look like them.  I applaud, support, and acknowledge this as genuine and without intent beyond attempting to elevate the forgotten and often neglected Philadelphia African American artist. My hope is that other companies will re-evaluate the role of the African American Artist, as well as begin to tell stories more reflective of our community at-large.  

As part of this season’s residence, I bring my role as artistic director of a small budding company, Lawrence Theatre Company, into these efforts. Founded by Derrell Lawrence in 2018, our company’s mission is to tell stories that reflect the Black community and to provide a safe place for development and the learning of all aspects of the creative process. This season’s co-producing partnership with EgoPo gives us the opportunity to collaborate with a more established organization, affording us access to a broader audience and expanded visibility.  I hope you will join us on January 22nd for the one-night virtual reading event.

I look forward to seeing you all this season as we share these stories from the depths of Isolation. Odobo!

Damien J. Wallace

Buried Child - Westerbeck - Carrot.jpg

Damien J. Wallace in Buried Child, 2019.
Photo by: Kylie Westerbeck.

Juspin "Jaz" Jones and Damien J. Wallace in "Master Harold" and the boys..., 2019.
Photo by: Kylie Westerbeck.