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P A S T   S E A S O N S

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In a continuation of last season's journey, EgoPo followed the tarot deck's Fool into the natural progression from Isolations to Awakenings. This season was all about liminal states, about the space between hibernation and waking, and about profound change. This season asked how we can be heroes at this moment and allow Awakenings to become Transformations. And with a meta-wink, we awakened from the past two years to return to our postponed production, Curse of the Starving Class.

  • Alice: not your children's wonderland adapted from Lewis Carroll by Dane Eissler & Jenna Kuerzi, directed by Dane Eissler

  • Wine in the Wilderness by Alice Childress, directed by Damien J. Wallace

  • Life is a Dream, based on the play by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, created by Brenna Geffers & Felipe Vergara, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard, directed by Lane Savadove

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ISOLATIONS

2020-2021

In an unprecedented time of global shutdown, EgoPo wanted to create theater events that were both necessitated by the moment and also reflected our experience of living in it. Each piece re-examined the interaction between audience and performance, creating intensely intimate and radically socially-distanced theatrical events. This season also welcomed Damien J. Wallace as our Artist-in-Residence, as well as Lawrence Theatre Company as our Season Co-Producing Partner.

  • Emily created by Brenna Geffers, designed by Natalia de la Torre

  • UND3RGR0UND created by Damien J. Wallace & Dane Eissler, directed by Dane Eissler

  • Three OG's written and directed by Derrell Lawrence

  • Rockaby by Samuel Beckett, directed by Damien J. Wallace & Lane Savadove

  • Nocturne by Adam Rapp, directed by Lane Savadove

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SHEPARD COUNTRY

2019-2020

In 2017, theater lost one of its truly iconic American playwrights in Sam Shepard. He explored the mythological nightmare of the American dream and the nuclear family, exposing the buried nerves that allowed his work to explode into surreal fantasies and magnificent jazz-like areas. Instrumental in re-defining American playwrighting in the late 20th century, EgoPo felt it necessary to honor and celebrate his influential works with a season dedicated to him and his prolific career. ​

  • And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens... by Tennessee Williams, directed by Lane Savadove, co-produced with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival​

  • Buried Child by Sam Shepard, directed by Dane Eissler

  • Fool for Love by Sam Shepard, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard, directed by Lane Savadove (POSTPONED)

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Democratic elections in 1994 marked the end of Apartheid, a decades-long system of institutional racial segregation and repression in South Africa. It took heroic resistance from inside the country, as well as advocacy and boycotts worldwide, to change a system designed to benefit just 14% of the population. EgoPo honors this remarkable transformation with a presentation of some of South Africa's greatest works, as well as a presentation of Cape Town's Abrahamse and Meyer Productions.​

  • Company by Samuel Beckett, directed by Lane Savadove, co-produced with Rowan University's Department of Theater & Dance​

  • Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms by Abrahamse & Meyer Productions (Cape Town, South Africa)​, co-presented with Drexel University

  • A Human Being Died That Night by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, adaptation by Nicholas Wright, directed by Steven Wright

  • Three Sisters Two by Reza de Wet, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Censored: "Master Harold"...and the Boys by Athol Fugard, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Censored: Egoli by Matsemela Manaka, directed by Katrina Shobe, co-produced by Theatre in the X

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EgoPo celebrated its 25th anniversary with the world premiere of John Guare's masterwork, the Lydie Breeze Trilogy. An iconic American playwright whose career spans five decades, Guare's acclaimed works include House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, Landscape of the Body, and the movie Atlantic City. Guare has been a Pulitzer finalist, Oscar nominee, and Tony, Olivier, and Obie Award-winner. EgoPo was thrilled to welcome  John Guare as a collaborator for the season.

  • Two Gentlemen of Verona - In Concert adapted by John Guare & Mel Shapiro, lyrics by John Guare, music by Galt MacDermot, based on the play by William Shakespeare, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Lydie Breeze, Part I: Cold Harbor by John Guare, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Lydie Breeze, Part II: Aipotu by John Guare, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Lydie Breeze, Part III: Madaket Road by John Guare, directed by Lane Savadove

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RUSSIAN MASTERS

2016-2017

In many ways, Russia is our closest cultural sibling. Russian culture has generated some of the most influential art, literature, music, dance, and theater the world has ever known. American artists stand on the shoulders of their Russian cultural ancestors. ​The Russian people have traditionally celebrated their writers, treasuring them as public voices for their personal and political experiences, following them as they move the culture forward with or without government consent. EgoPo celebrates the Russian Masters for their theatrical contributions.

  • Delirium an adaptation of "The Brothers Karamazov" by Theatre O and Enda Walsh, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • The Nose adapted from Nikolai Gogol by Dane Eissler, music and lyrics by Dane Eissler and Tyler Garamella, directed by Dane Eissler
    The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, translation by Paul Schmidt, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Anna an adaptation of "Anna Karenina" by Brenna Geffers and the Ensemble, directed by Brenna Geffers

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The moment EgoPo chose last season's theme of American Giants, it was clear that this season should be dedicated to celebrating great female writers. For much of our history, women playwrights have had serious hurdles placed before them, and their contributions to the landscape of American theater have been largely ignored. In fact, the legacy of female playwrights in America is incredibly important, and their masterful explorations of humanity had - and have - a profound impact on our society.

  • The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman, directed by Adrienne Mackey

  • The Women by Clare Boothe Luce, directed by Lane Savadove, co-produced with Rowan University's College of Performing Arts

  • Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, directed by Brenna Geffers

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AMERICAN GIANTS

2014-2015

Connected by the promise of the American Dream, this season's playwrights are certainly heralded as three of our country's most important and influential artists.​ Is the American Dream still achievable, or is it a failed promise? How do we find greater meaning in our work and in our lives? If class barriers make the dream unachievable for some, is it unachievable for all? What does it mean to be an American, a patriot, a citizen? What is - and what should be - our American Dream today?

  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Stairs to the Roof by Tennessee Williams, co-directed by Lane Savadove and Dane Eissler, co-produced with Rowan University's College of Performing Arts

  • The Hair Ape by Eugene O'Neill, directed by Brenna Geffers

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IBSEN FESTIVAL

2013-2014

Considered the father of modern drama, Henrik Ibsen is the first playwright to delve into psychology as well as focus on spiritual longing. One of the first to explore surrealism, he stripped the façade off our personal lives to reveal the secret reality of what happens behind closed doors. Because of his powerful and personal characters, Ibsen is the most performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare. EgoPo gave audiences a fresh look at Ibsen, crafting his work to feel fully relevant as well as deeply moving and entertaining.

  • A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, adapted and directed by Brenna Geffers

  • The Lady From the Sea by Henrik Ibsen, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Gint adapted by Romulus Linney from "Peer Gynt", directed by Lane Savadove

America is an important and challenging community to define. Through the lens of the American Vaudeville Era, EgoPo explored the DNA of American culture. From the touring shows of the 1880s to the birth of Broadway in the 1920s, our beliefs and values continue to be shaped by this formative era. No matter our ethnicity, religion, sexual preferences, or political sensibilities, EgoPo celebrates what brings us together during a year of American tribulation.

  • The Assassination of Jesse James created and directed by Brenna Geffers

  • The Phollies sponsored by Bobbie and Joel Porter

  • The Life (and death) of Harry Houdini created and directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin: An Unfortunate Melodrama adapted by Lane Savadove and Glenn Odom from Harriet Beacher Stowe, directed by Lane Savadove, choroegraphed by Paule Turner

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JEWISH THEATER

2011-2012

EgoPo celebrated a landmark five years in Philadelphia since Hurricane Katrina by presenting a rarely seen theatrical genre, Jewish Theater. All audiences were fascinated by the rich myths and faith of an ancient and diverse culture. As Philly has journeyed with EgoPo and their adventurous traditions, audiences joined us on a journey into Jewish traditions, creating a deeper connection to their own traditions, ultimately helping them see the world in a wholly new way.

  • The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, adapted by Wendy Kesselman, directed by Lane Savadove

  • An Evening on the Other Side an intimate fundraising party at the home of Madame Blavatsky and the historic Theosophical Society

  • The Golem a world premiere ensemble creation, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • A Dybbuk by Joachim Neugroschel, translated from S. Ansky, adapted by Tony Kushner, directed by Lane Savadove

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The infamous​ French theater theorist, Antonin Artaud, changed the face of Western theater with his ideas for a "Theater of Cruelty". He craved a theater that threw off the falsity of daily life and exposed the human soul in all its glory and shame. He imagined a theater as a profound ritual that envelops and transforms audiences. This season was full of daring, beautiful, ambitious, and fiercely honest events that took audiences onto an uncensored journey into Artaud's crazed, violent, and awe-inspiring vision.

  • Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Artaud Unbound film and radio scenarios by Antonin Artaud, in collaboration with B.R.A.T. Productions

  • Hell based on the novel by Henri Barbusse, adapted by Lane Savadove and Ross Beschler, directed by Lane Savadove

  • EgoPo Salons staged readings, workshop productions, and more...

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SAMUEL BECKETT

2009-2010

Recognized nationally for innovative productions of Beckett's work, EgoPo was eager to produce a season dedicated solely to one of the greatest writers to have ever lived. EgoPo's highly inventive staging of Beckett's Company was a critical hit in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, and was named "Best Production of the Year" by Backstage. Beckett's work, often considered bleak and depressing, to EgoPo, is a gorgeous affirmation that our lives have meaning simply because we choose to wake up each day.

  • Company by Samuel Beckett, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Endgame by Samuel Beckett, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Sideshow Series produced by the Jacob Burns and Herbert and Rosalie Goldberg Family Foundations

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EXPRESSIONISM

2008-2009

Upping the ante from last season, EgoPo dove into a genre very close to their hearts: Expressionism. Associated with rich and dream-like landscapes, Expressionist pieces play with perception from a deeply emotional and visceral play. This season celebrates two of the most influential Expressionist dramas in history: Woyzeck, which inspired Alban Berg's opera and Werner Herzog's classic film, and the Holy Grail of theater, Bluebird, noted as EgoPo's largest ever theatrical event to date.

  • Woyzeck by Georg Büchner, translation by Nicholas Rudall, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Bluebird based on the play by Maurice Maeterlinck, adapted and directed by Lane Savadove, presentedby Drexel University's Mandell Professionals in Residence Project

  • Expressionism Reading Series

This season marked the first full season in Philadelphia for EgoPo Classic Theater, and there was no better playwright to begin their tradition of themed seasons with than the great Tennessee Williams. In homage of their former home of New Orleans, they started their season with Vieux Carre, a memory play set in the French Quarter, featuring a live jazz band. A rare opportunity to see Williams' final play followed, with a chilling production of Something Cloudy, Something Clear

  • Vieux Carre by Tennessee Williams, directed by Lane Savadove

  • Something Cloudy, Something Clear by Tennessee Williams, directed by Brenna Geffers

  • Tennessee Williams Reading Series

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