June 15 - 26, 2022 at URBN Center Annex Black Box Theater at Drexel University
Season Sponsorship by Pat Savadove
Show Sponsorship by Dr. Joel and Bobbie Porter
(in order of appearance)
TAYLOR……….......……Damien J. Wallace*
*Actors appearing by permission of
Actors' Equity Association
Set Designer...............................Dirk Durossette
Costume Designer...................Jamie Grace-Duff
Lighting Designer.......................Andrew Cowles
Sound Designer.........................Ava Weintzweig
Stage Manager........................Lyndsey Connolly
Covid Compliance Officer...............Zoe Gilmore
Assistant Stage Manager.................Triston Haq
Scene Shop...........................Flannel & Hammer
Production Manager.......................Dane Eissler
Lambs provided by Little Hooves Romneys
(in order of appearance)
Dawn McCall (Wesley) (they/them) is a sophomore Theatre Major at Rowan University, where they performed in Our Lady of 121st Street and Plum Bun. In Philadelphia, they most recently understudied for EgoPo's Wine in the Wilderness. Other previous productions include Matilda (Rudolpho) and Singin’ in the Rain (Don Lockwood). When they aren't performing, they spend their time writing. They are very excited for this opportunity to work with everyone.
Melanie Julian (Ella) (she/her) is happy to return to EgoPo after having performed with the company in The Women, The Diary of Anne Frank, Gint, The Assassination of Jesse James, Rockaby, as the character of Arkadina in the Barrymore-winning production of Chekhov’s The Seagull, and as the title character in The Lydie Breeze Trilogy by John Guare. She has been a full-time faculty member at Temple University’s Department of Theater since 2008. She has worked as an actor throughout the country, including: the Mondavi Arts Center, Soho Playhouse, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Penumbra Theatre, the Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Mauckingbird Theatre Company. Melanie is also the very proud mother of 7-year old Emmeline.
Kylie Westerbeck (Emma) (she/her) is incredibly grateful to be back performing with EgoPo Classic Theatre! Kylie is the Artistic Associate at Eagle Theatre in Hammonton, NJ where she runs the Theatre Education program. Recent EgoPo credits include Nocturne, The Lydie Breeze Trilogy, Company, and The Women. Other professional credits include: Banshee (Temple Uni.), Our Town (People’s Light), Witness for the Prosecution (BRT), and Lavender Life (Ultra V.). In addition to theatre, Kylie is an avid folk musician who has released two EP’s: Bellow and Summertime available on all major streaming platforms. Love to everyone involved in this production, and to my family from here, to Virginia, and beyond. www.kyliewesterbeck.com
Damien J. Wallace (Taylor) (he/him) currently serves as the Artistic Director of Lawrence Theatre Company. Previous EgoPo acting credits include UND3RGR0UND (a digital adaptation he co-created with Dane Eissler), Buried Child, and "Master Harold"...and the Boys. Damien is most known for his acting work in the August Wilson century cycle, as well as for his appearances in both the Philadelphia Theatre Company and People’s Light productions of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, Arden Theatre Company’s productions of The Bluest Eye and The Legend of Georgia McBride, and most recently in the World Premiere of James Ijames' Reverie at Azuka Theatre Company. As a director, Damien most recently directed Alice Childress' Wine in the Wilderness at EgoPo, as well as last season's Rockaby. Other directing credits include GoKash Productions’ Fences, Andre Jones’ Verbalized Ink with Rise and Walk Theatre Company, The Funeral (world premiere), Custody (world premiere), Do You Trust Your Best Friend, and Life Isn’t Fair at Lawrence Theatre Company. Damien holds a BFA in Theatre from Arcadia University.
Rob Kahn (Weston) (he/him) is extremely excited to return to EgoPo, having previously worked with the company as Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. Previous Philly area credits include: Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater; Kimberly Akimbo, Theatre Horizon; The Tempest, Act II Playhouse; Much Ado about Nothing, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; Measure for Measure, Three Sisters, Buried Child, Tartuffe, Temple Repertory Theatre.
Scott Rodrigue (Ellis) (he/him)
Taye Hopkins (Emerson) (he/they) is incredibly excited for his Philadelphia debut in EgoPo’s production of Curse of the Starving Class! He was last seen at Haddonfield Plays and Players for their production of Hallelujah Baby. Other appearances were in Evita (Ensemble) at the Grande Theater, as well as Head Over Heels (Ensemble), Dreamgirls (Tiny Joe Dixon/Frank/Jerry), Triple Threat Workshop’s production of Ragtime (Ensemble), The Road Company’s Grand Idol, In the Heights (Ensemble) at Cumberland Players, and Newsies (Romeo) at the Grand Theater. When he’s not onstage, Taye spends his free time testing the limits of his creativity through his original music and stories.
Jackson Brown (Slater) (he/him)
Lane Savadove (Director) is the Founding Artistic Director of EgoPo Classic Theater. He has directed over 40 productions locally, regionally, Off-Broadway, and on NPR. He is a TCG Leadership recipient, Independence Fellow, Drama League Directing Fellow, and Henry Luce Fellow, for which he served as the Resident Director of the National Cultural Center of Indonesia in Surakarta, Java, where he forged a company with Javanese artists. Notable productions: World premiere of John Guare’s Lydie Breeze Trilogy; Beckett’s Company (NPR, Philadelphia Fringe); world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ House Not Meant to Stand (Southern Repertory); dual version of Genet’s The Maids (Jean Cocteau Rep.); Wedekind’s Spring Awakening (Annenberg); Maeterlinck’s Bluebird (Mandell Theater). His production of Chekhov’s The Seagull won Philadelphia’s Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Production and Set, among six nominations. He is a Professor and Head of Acting and Directing at Rowan University.
Dirk Durossette (Set Design) has been designing scenery and teaching design, and drawing and rendering for the theater for the past 15 years in and around the Philadelphia region. Off-Broadway scene designs include: The Outgoing Tide and Any Given Monday. He has designed for Amaryllis Theater Company, Azuka Theater (Barrymore Nomination, Skin and Bone), Act II Playhouse (Any Given Monday, World Premier), Enchantment Theater Company (National Tour, Harold and the Purple Crayon), Theater Exile, 1812 Productions (First Day of School, Philadelphia Premier), Delaware Theatre Company, EgoPo, Freedom Theater, Flashpoint Theater, InterAct Theater Company, Lantern Theater (Barrymore Nomination, Skylight), Luna Theater, Theater Horizon, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, MumPuppetTheatre, Portland Opera (Maine), The Wilma Theater (Leaving, Associate Designer; American Premier), Temple Theaters, Temple Opera Theater, University of the Arts, Drexel University, Lawrence University (Wisconsin), Peabody Institute (Baltimore), West Chester University, Villanova University, and The University of Memphis.
Jamie Grace-Duff (Costume Design)
Andrew Cowles (Lighting Design)
Ava Weintzweig (Sound Design) (they/them) originally from Baltimore, MD, is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist, with focuses in Acting, Sound Design, and Front of House work. Some of their favorite productions include Carroll County Fix (Azuka Theatre), Is Edward Snowden Single? (Single Carrot), The Wolves (Temple University), Stop Kiss (Trapdoor Theatre Company), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Carver Center). This is their first show with EgoPo. To learn more about Ava’s work, you can view their portfolio at weintzweig.wixsite.com
Avista Custom Theatricals (Properties) owned by Jennifer Burkhart and Amanda Hatch, was founded in 2007. Avista specializes in prop construction, upholstery, drapery and other soft goods construction, and maintains a 10,000 square foot rental warehouse in Norristown. Avista’s prop master and design work has been seen locally at Opera Philadelphia, Azuka Theatre, Drexel and Temple Universities, Mauckingbird Theatre, EgoPo Classic Theater, Theatre Exile, Inis Nua Theater, and Kimmel Center Education Department. Avista is especially grateful to be back in the theater scene this year, after 18 months of sewing face masks and dog accessories! Welcome back, Philly theater! www.avistacustom.com
Lyndsey Connolly (Stage Manager)
Dane Eissler (Production Manager) (he/they) is a theater-maker and visual artist. He currently serves as Associate Producer for EgoPo. He has directed, designed, and performed with EgoPo for 8 years, most recently co-adapting, directed, and scenic designing this season's Alice: not your child's wonderland. Other EgoPo credits include co-adapting/directing UND3RGR0UND, directing Buried Child, adapting/directing The Nose, co-directing Stairs to the Roof, production designing Rockaby and the Philly Fringe hit And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens..., associate directing and performing in The Lydie Breeze Trilogy, and playing Medvedenko in the Barrymore-winning production of Chekhov's The Seagull. In Chicago, he co-founded the multidisciplinary popup collective A Dead Whale Productions, which he serves as Artistic Director, while also working with Living Room Vauntgardia, Rough House, Women of the Now, The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre, The Annoyance, and Megan Stalter's Freakfest. www.daneeissler.com
Sam Shepard (Playwright) (he/him) had his first New York plays, COWBOYS and THE ROCK GARDEN, produced by Theatre Genesis in 1963. For several seasons, he worked with Off-Off-Broadway theatre groups including La MaMa and Caffe Cino. Eleven of his plays have won Obie Awards including CHICAGO and ICARUS’S MOTHEr (1965); RED CROSS and LA TURISTA (1966); FORENSIC AND THE NAVIGATORS and MELODRAMA PLAY (1967); THE TOOTH OF CRIME (1972); ACTION (1974); and CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS (1976). Shepard was awarded a Pulitzer Prize as well as an Obie Award for his play BURIED CHILD (1979). FOOL FOR LOVE (1982) received the Obie for Best Play as well as for Direction. A LIE OF THE MIND (1985) won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award in 1986 and the 1986 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Play. A revived BURIED CHILD under the direction of Gary Sinise opened on Broadway in April 1996 and was nominated for a Tony Award. KICKING A DEAD HORSE (2007) and AGES OF THE MOON (2009) both received their world premieres at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. KICKING A DEAD HORSE transferred to The Public Theater in New York and to the Almeida Theatre in London, and AGES OF THE MOON received its US premiere at Atlantic Theater Company in 2010. Shepard’s latest play, HEARTLESS, premiered in 2012 at Signature. Shepard wrote the screenplays for “Zabriskie Point”; Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas”; and Robert Altman’s “Fool for Love”, a film version of his play of the same title. As writer/director, he filmed “Far North” and “Silent Tongue” in 1988 and 1992 respectively. As an actor he has appeared in the films “Days of Heaven”, “Resurrection”, “Raggedy Man”, “The Right Stuff”, “Frances”, “Country”, “Fool for Love”, “Crimes of the Heart”, “Baby Boom”, “Steel Magnolias”,” Bright Angel”, “Defenseless”, “Voyager”, “Thunderheart”, “The Pelican Brief”, “Safe Passage”, “Hamlet” and, most recently, “Don’t Come Knocking”, also co-written with Wim Wenders. In 1986, Shepard was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1992, he received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy, and in 1994, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
Steven Rishard, Tyler Elliott, Ross Beschler, Cameron Del Grosso, Brandon Castillo, Mackenzie Trush, Ariel Liudi Wang, Matt Basen, Chris Sannino, Edward Smith, Melody Wong, Eileen O'Brien