Letter from the Artistic Director
Lane Savadove, EgoPo Artistic Director
Last year, as a global society, we went underground. We hibernated. Now in various stages of reemerging, it is critical that we recognize and nurture the changes that occurred during this hibernation. The natural progression from Isolations to Awakenings is part of nature. These moments of cyclical transition are opportunities to transform and evolve as individuals and communities. This pattern shows up throughout mythology (Eurydice, Luke Skywalker, Dorothy), and the ones who can embrace the change become heroes.
The gnostic spiritual journey of the Fool from the Tarot deck starts with birth and moves through childhood and parenting, lovers, and the conquering of worldly concerns to reach adulthood. Halfway through life, the Fool comes upon a crisis, needs to change, and their world is turned upside down (Hanged Man), leading them into the underworld (Death), where they must grapple with darkness and profound upheaval (The Tower) before remerging to face life anew (The Star, The Moon), finally completing a process of rebirth (The World), resulting in a new person, a new society. Then the journey starts all over again. Life.
As theater artists, we have tried to document and narrate this journey as it has occurred: after all, we are the storytellers of our own lives. Last season, from a place of isolation, we reached out through the mail (Emily) and through social media from the Underground. We then invited you to peek through our windows in Rockaby, and risk opening your car doors in Nocturne. This period of ISOLATIONS was a time for sleep, introspection, and store-housing fuel for the steps ahead. We gestated, and now it is time to wander carefully outside. As we journey, let us be cautious but not fearful. It’s a new landscape out there, but change is intrinsic to nature.
EgoPo initiates our own Awakening process starting this fall in a beautiful open-air tent along the Delaware River. In Alice, our adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved novel, a child inherits an unsafe adult world and must seek out a new identity apart from society’s norms and expectations. In January, we move our performances inside for the Philly premiere of Wine in the Wilderness. Alice Childress’ play, set in the Harlem race riots of 1964, is about an artist awakening to the humanity and power of his model, a Black woman who is ready to walk off her limiting pedestal. Life is a Dream, the preeminent classic of the Spanish Golden Age by Calderón, questions perceived realities – can we dream up alternate realities and begin to live within them? Finally, we travel the Fool’s cycle and return to the play we were about to open when theater came to a global halt. Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class returns next spring, addressing the challenges of breaking the lineage of violence that is often passed down through families. What does it take to truly change in our lifetime?
This season is about liminal states, about profound change, about the space between hibernation and waking. This season asks how we can be heroes at this moment and allow Awakenings to become Transformations – embrace the change!