by Adam Rapp
After the pandemic shut down the end of our 2019-20 season and we began to re-boot and think about the upcoming year I became determined to think about the season as an OPPORTUNITY rather than as an obstacle. I was committed to not only producing, but creating memorable unforgettable events, not in spite of the obstacle but INSPIRED by them. After all, EgoPo survived Hurricane Katrina and came out it the other side a transformed artistic organization. Why not do it again.
As we planned this extraordinary season for EgoPo audiences, we looked to create four very different and innovative ways to experience live theater safely during a pandemic. Each would re-envision the very nature of theater, slowly adding more live interaction as vaccinations allowed. We began by connecting with audiences through the mailing of letters and art objects (Emily), then through social media (Underground), then audiences came to our backyards and peered in through our windows (Rockaby). Now we will finally share a space TOGETHER communicating through a car window.
I read Nocturne several years ago, and was absolutely devastated - never in my life had I been so shook by a play. Though it didn’t seem to fit EgoPo’s mission, I put it on my shelf hoping secretly I could direct it someday. At the start of the pandemic my mind went to drive-in theater, but I didn’t want to just use the form as a poor substitute for live theater. I wanted a play that would be BETTER, that would be woken up, by using the drive-in form. And then it hit me: in Nocturne cars are at the very core of the piece - they are the protagonists. What if we could amplify this extraordinary play by letting cars be the literal and figurative VEHICLE for performance?
Nocturne, for me, is about the incredible fragility of human life. I think about me 6-year old-daughter—one horrible misstep, or a driver looking the other way, and our lives could be destroyed in an instant. This year reminds us that this is true of all life. This year has been a reminder to celebrate this fragility, to see and value every breath. Our lives are magical and glorious...and are gone in a blink of an eye. Right now, I want to make theater that acknowledges this. I want us all to be more present with those we love.
Narrator - Walter DeShields
Father - Damien J. Wallace
Mother - Kirsten Quinn
Sister - Emilia Weiss
Red-Headed Girl with Grey-Green Eyes - Tasha Holmes
Ensemble - Kayla Bowe
Ensemble - Skyler Easterbrook
Ensemble - Kylie Westerbeck
Direction - Lane Savadove
Scenic Design - Dirk Durossette
Lighting Design - Andrew Cowles
Costume Design - Natalia de la Torre
Sound Design & Engineering - Chris Sannino
Props Designer - Dane Eissler
Stage Management - Jordan Chester
Production Management - Dane Eissler
Carpentry - Flannel and Hammer
Associate Direction - Damien J. Wallace
Sound Associate - Eddie Smith
Assistant Costume Design - Dane Eissler
Assistant Stage Management - Lydia Riddell
House Management Assistants - Gabrielle Hansson & Matthew Ortiz
Show Sponsors - Drs. Lisa & Glenn George
Originally produced by
American Repertory Theater, Cambridge MA
NOCTURNE is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC
Kayla Bowe (Ensemble) is excited to be making her EgoPo debut in Nocturne. She is going into her senior year at Rowan University as a Theatre Arts major with a minor in Psychology and a CUGS in Shakespeare Studies. Previous credits include #00 in The Wolves and Eurydice in Eurydice. She would like to thank everyone at EgoPo for giving her this opportunity as well as the cast & her family/friends for being supportive throughout the process. Much love!
Walter DeShields (Narrator) is an Artist and Educator born and raised in South Philly. Walter is recognized for his performance, education and public health career in Philadelphia. It is the nearly two decades in service, mentorship and educational leadership which are at the core of his work and values. As a theater and film actor, Walter is Co-founder and Co-Artistic Director for Theatre in the X; a professional theater company created in 2013 to provide residents of West Philadelphia and the Black community at large the opportunity to see accessible theater in their own neighborhood for no cost. Recent onstage performances include Buried Child, Beast of Nubia, Egoli, Sweat, and Swallowing Dark. In addition, Walter works as a Lead Facilitator and sexual health educator for a theater based sexual health intervention called BrotherSpeak with young black men in Philadelphia and as a Theater Professor at Drexel University.
Skyler Easterbrook (Ensemble) is extremely excited to be performing her first show with EgoPo Classic Theater. She is currently a junior at Rowan University and could recently be seen in their streamed production of The Wolves. She would like to thank all those involved in this show for making it such a rewarding experience.
Tasha Holmes (Red-Headed Girl with the Grey-Green Eyes) is an author and actress from Fredericksburg, Virginia implanted into Philadelphia, PA. During this time of the pandemic, Tasha has found creative ways to still perform via zoom theatre productions, including: In the End (as Emmy) with the University of Central Missouri Theatre Department; Why Are You Like This? (as Caller 4 & 8) and Night Witches (as Irina) with Pulley and Buttonhole Theatre Company; Freud and His Negro (as Beth) with Simpatico. Tasha directed the virtual production Awards Season with Pulley & Buttonhole Theatre Company. She was also in the Barrymore Nominated play The Beast of Nubia (as Mernieth) in 2019. Nocturne will be Tasha's return to in-person theatre in over a year and she is so excited to explore and share the story.
Kirsten Quinn (Mother) is thrilled to be back working with EgoPo Classic Theatre after appearing in the Barrymore Award Winning Overall Production of The Seagull (2017-2018 Season; She was part of the Barrymore nominated ensemble). Kirsten holds an M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburgh (Acting) and is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Community College of Philadelphia. She has also performed in plays at the Wilma, the Lantern, The Irish Heritage Theatre, IRC, Isis Productions, PAC, Seagull Productions, InterAct, The Eagle Theatre, The Eternal Spiral Project (founder), New City Stage, Montgomery Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, City Theatre of Pittsburgh, Shakespeare in the Schools, Luna Theatre, Shakespeare at the Powel, and many others. Kirsten won the Phindie Critics’ Award for Best Actor for Molly Sweeney (2016-2017 Season). She is also the recipient of two Bronze Telly Awards. Next up, Dermot Bolger’s The Holy Ground (The Irish Heritage Theatre) as well as ‘Night Mother (Isis Productions) and New Electric Ballroom (IRC).
Emilia Weiss (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her EgoPo debut! She is currently a sophomore Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting at Rowan University. Her previous credits include The Wolves (#11), Urinetown (Little Becky Two-Shoes), and Failure: A Love Story (Ensemble). Emilia would like to thank Lane, the cast, and the production team for such a wonderful experience.
Damien J. Wallace (Father/Associate Director) holds a BFA degree in theatre from Arcadia University and currently serves as the Artistic Director of Lawrence Theatre Company, EgoPo’s co-producing partner this season. Some of his directorial credits include GoKash Productions’ mounting of August Wilson’s Fences and Andre Jones’ Verbalized Ink with Rise and Walk Theatre Company. With Lawrence Theatre Company, Damien’s most notable credits include World Premiere plays by Derrell Lawrence, The Funeral and Custody and the remounting of the hit stage plays Do You Trust Your Best Friend and Life Isn’t Fair. Later this spring, Damien is scheduled to direct the award-winning play The Brothers Size for South Camden Theatre Company. Damien also directed countless children productions as The Artistic Director for Strawberry Mansion High School’s Drama Guild, and served as the resident playwright and director for the St. Gabriel’s DeLaSalle High School for adjudicated youth drama program as a member of Interact Theatre’s educational program in conjunction with Philadelphia Young Playwrights. With EgoPo, Damien recently co-directed Samuel Beckett's Rockaby and co-created and performed in EgoPo’s virtual production of UND3RGR0UND, and was also seen in last season's production of Buried Child and in the 2018-2019 season production of “Master Harold”...and the Boys. As an actor, 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 Nottage’s Sweat, and Arden Theatre Company’s productions of The Bluest Eye and The Legend of Georgia McBride.
Kylie Westerbeck (Ensemble) is incredibly grateful to be back performing with EgoPo Classic Theatre! Recent EgoPo credits include 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
Adam Rapp (Playwright) has been the recipient of the Herbert & Patricia Brodkin scholarship, two Lincoln Center Le Compte De Nuoy Awards, a fellowship to the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, the 1999 Princess Grace Award for Playwriting, a 2000 Roger L. Stevens Award from The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, a 2000 suite residency with Mabou Mines, the 2001 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, Boston's Elliot Norton Award and was short-listed for the 2003 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. His plays include Nocturne (A.R.T., Off-Broadway at NYTW), Ghosts in the Cottonwoods (Victory Gardens; The Arcola, London), Animals and Plants (A.R.T.), Blackbird (The Bush, London; Pittsburgh City Theatre; Off-Broadway with Edge Theater), Stone Cold Dead Serious (A.R.T., Off-Broadway with Edge Theater), Finer Noble Gases (26th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, Off-Broadway at Rattlestick), Faster (Off-Broadway at Rattlestick), Trueblinka (Off-Broadway at the Maverick Theater), Dreams of the Salthorse (Encore, S.F.) and Gompers (Pittsburgh City Theatre; The Arcola, London). His first anthology of plays, Plays by Adam Rapp, is published by Broadway Play Publishing. His new collection of plays, Stone Cold Dead Serious: And Other Plays, is available in a trade edition by Faber & Faber. His first feature film was Winter Passing, starring Ed Harris, Will Ferrell, and Zooey Deschanel, which he wrote and directed for Stratus Films. He is the author of the young adult novels Missing the Piano (Viking/HarperCollins), The Buffalo Tree (Front Street/ HarperCollins), The Copper Elephant (Front Street/HarperCollins), Little Chicago (Front Street), 33 Snowfish (Candlewick Press) and Under the Wolf, Under the Dog (Candlewick Press), for which he was recently short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Recent directing credits include his plays Train Story at The Cherry Lane and the Off-Broadway premiere of Blackbird, which was nominated for two Drama Desk awards. Projects include the graphic novel Decelerate Blue for the new imprint First Second, the adult novel The Year of Endless Sorrows, published by Farrar Strauss & Giroux, and his play Essential Self-Defense. A graduate of Clarke College in Dubuque, IA, Rapp also completed a two-year playwriting fellowship at Juilliard. He currently lives in New York City where he is the resident playwright for Edge Theater Company. He was born in Chicago and raised in Joliet.
Jordan Chester (Stage Manager) is very excited to be stage managing again after a year on break! Rowan University Design/Tech, class of 2020. Previously worked with Eagle Theatre, InterAct Theatre, and South Camden Theatre Company. Much love to Dane, Lane, the cast and lovely design team/crew for this experience. Millions of hugs and kisses to Courtney and Stubby.
Andrew Cowles (Lighting Designer) has designed over 200 productions around Philadelphia for such companies as Simpatico Theater Project, Theatre Horizon, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Company, Curio Theatre Company, Center City Opera Theater, South Camden Theatre Company, Cabaret Red Light, Rutgers University, Arcadia University, & Penn State. Currently he is the resident lighting designer for Enchantment Theatre Company. Barrymore nomination: The Brothers Size (Lighting Design) with Simpatico Theatre Project. Thank you Lane for this challenging artistic endeavor. Love to Lauren.
Natalia de la Torre (Costume Designer) is a freelance costume designer, draper, and scenic painter in Philadelphia. Regional work: People's Light and Theater Company, Lantern Theater Company, Arden Theater, Interact, Azuka, Inis Nua, Simpatico, Ego Po, Act II Playhouse, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Johnny Showcase, Team Sunshine, Almanac Dance Theater, RevShakes. Educational: Upper Darby Summer Stage, Arcadia University, Rowan University, Ohio University and Drexel University. Training: MFA in Production Design, Ohio University. She/Her/They/Theirs. www.nataliadelatorre.com
Dirk Durosette (Set Designer) 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.
Dane Eissler (Production Manager/Props Designer/Assistant Costume Designer) creates “cleverly visceral, vulgar, and delicious” theatre and visual art. With a BA in Theatre Arts from Rowan University, Dane has worked in Philly with B.R.A.T. Productions, Azuka Theatre, Going Viral Festival, and EgoPo Classic Theatre. In Chicago, he co-founded and served as Artistic Director for the multidisciplinary performance collective, A Dead Whale Productions. He also worked with Theatre-Hikes, Living Room Vauntgardia, Rough House, Women of the Now, The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre, Windy City Performs, John Clancy’s Little Pharaoh Enterprises, Megan Stalter’s Freak Fest, and The Annoyance. Dane recently moved back to Philadelphia to serve as Associate Producer at EgoPo, where he has also directed (UND3RGR0UND, Buried Child, The Nose; co-directed Stairs to the Roof; and associate directed John Guare’s Lydie Breeze Trilogy), performed (Medvedenko, Barrymore-winning The Seagull, and Jude, Lydie Breeze, Part III: Madaket Road), and production designed (And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens... – as part of Philly Fringe and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival – and Rockaby). He has served as Guest Artist at Rowan University multiple times: assistant director for They Slice the Air and Dracula, and directed Act Without Words I, Catastrophe, Play, and his own adaptation of The Lost Ones as part of Breath: a Samuel Beckett festival. www.daneeissler.com (he/him)
Flannel & Hammer Scene Shop (Carpenter) is a Philadelphia based business. The company was founded by Lauren Tracy (Flannel) and Joe Daniels (Hammer). With over 10 years’ experience and 100 productions under their (tool) belts they have the knowledge and skills to bring any scenic construction to life. Additionally they make custom home storage solutions and offer event management services. Check out our website for more information: www.flannelhammer.com
Chris Sannino (Sound Designer/Engineer) is a Philadelphia based sound designer, musician, and engineer. Proud to be back with EgoPo, Chris also contributes to a number of musical groups including Philly rock band Nipper. Chris’ design work has been featured in part with Wilma Theater, Theatre Exile, Juniper Productions, Hedgerow Theatre, FringeArts, New Georges, Curio Theatre, BRAT Productions, Orbiter 3, Team Sunshine Performance Corp, and 1812 Productions among many others. More at www.ChrisSannino.net!
Lane Savadove (Director) is the Founding Artistic Director of EgoPo Classic Theater, now in its 27th season. He has directed over 40 productions locally, regionally, Off-Broadway, and on NPR. 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, Phila Fringe, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival); 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 2017 production of Chekhov’s The Seagull won Philadelphia’s Barrymore Awards for Best Production and Set, among six nominations. He is a Professor and Head of Acting and Directing at Rowan University.
1812 Productions, Bauder Audio Systems, Inc, Jacqui Beachum, Kieth Beard, Bearded Ladies Cabaret, David Cimetta,
Deliverance Evangelical Church, Jamie Grace-Duff, Gaelyn Kelley, Julia Majerscak, Philly Aids Thrift, Susan Rabatin,
Rowan University Department of Theatre and Dance, and Bob Rush