Letter from the

Season Curatorial Committee 

Dear EgoPo Audiences,


Philadelphian Alain Locke, an honors graduate of Central High, Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard, Professor at Howard University, and the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, founded a movement in the 1920s that would result in arguably the most creative era in American history.


“Locke saw art as a subtle and more powerful source of reform

that could begin a revolution by changing hearts”

-The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke


This season, we will celebrate the spirit and history of the Harlem Renaissance, an intellectual and cultural rebirth of Black culture, music, theater, art, literature, fashion, and scholarship. Locke’s vision was to build an aesthetic movement that would transform the image of Black Americans for the rest of the world by celebrating Black artists as creators of beauty and initiators of progressive change.

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Photograph of Alain Locke, circa 1912

Photographer Unknown, Public Domain

“His message was that all peoples, especially oppressed people, had the power

to remake themselves and refuse to be what others expected them to remain”

-The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke


This year, we partner with Theater in the X to celebrate the work of the Harlem Renaissance not only for the sake of entertainment, but also to encourage you to consider the issues we still face as a nation. What will be Alain Locke’s legacy? Will we carry on his optimism for an American society that thrives BECAUSE of the diversity of our cultural histories and perspectives? By presenting great literary works of the Harlem Renaissance, we honor the legacy of African American genius, and raise up the visibility of all Black Lives.


The word “renaissance” means “rebirth”. This year’s theme will give us all the opportunity to revitalize, regenerate and reawaken after three challenging years. We are hopeful that this season will also be a part of your own personal renaissance.


We begin in October with this year’s gala: A Harlem Renaissance Salon. We will eat, drink, debate, party and form new communities in decadent 1920s style at South Jazz Kitchen. In January we’ll head out to the Glen Foerd Estate to present the first ever theatrical version of Langston Hughes’ scathingly honest The Ways of White Folks. And then we’ll close out the year with the sweeping period epic Plum Bun by Philadelphia’s own Jessie Redmon Fauset at Christ Church - where Locke and his mother worshipped in the 1890s!


Last season asked us how we can become heroes of the moment and allow Awakenings to become Transformations. This “Renaissance” season completes this process of rebirth as we continue to reinvent ourselves, our society, and maintain our optimism for a better future.


We will see you at the theater!
EgoPo’s 2022-23 Curatorial Committee

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Dr. Lisa Bratton (she/her)

Season Dramaturg

Associate Professor of History, Tuskegee U

Walter DeShields (he/him)

Artistic Director, Theatre in the X

Damien J. Wallace (he/him)

Artistic Director, Lawrence Theatre

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Dane Eissler (he/they)

Associate Producer, EgoPo Classic Theater

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Lane Savadove (he/him)

Artistic Director, EgoPo Classic Theater