WINGS OF PAPER: EgoPo’s Rockaby

“When isolation generated by external public health measures (put upon by the Pandemic), met EgoPo’s experimental presentation of Beckett’s ten minute solo piece, Rockaby, “Isolation” focused on a singular perspective, made more frightening and devastating contextualized by the current climate. The efforts of EgoPo’s staff and production team served as a defiant example of theatre’s relevance and undeniable importance during a long hiatus of Coronavirus related closures. Perhaps the only completely safe way to see a live performance in Philadelphia, and be a performer with a live audience, this solution provided comfort in the reassurance of theatre’s perseverance, though with dark, yet thought provoking performance material.

The production, designed by Dane Eissler, appeared to be a well-loved entryway room, adorned with twinkling lights, a glittering doll house, and abandoned letters skewed about the windowsill addressed to loved ones, but perhaps never sent.

Her vocal quality regressed as her eminent death grew nearer towards the play’s end, which amplified the devastating nature of the piece. With sound design by Chris Sannion, the music of a lullaby awakened the piece signifying birth and new life, which paralleled the bleach pre-recorded language pouring through my headphones that told the story of woman who peered out of her window for days on end, never met with eyes staring back at her.

In respect to Vicks’ performance, I found her to be utterly captivating, to the extent in which I found myself struggling to listen to the audio as I was so focused on her eyes. I felt how eager she was to connect, though somehow, I felt that she accepted that it was never to come.

With so many virtual performances and the absence of large, in-person audiences, EgoPo’s innovative production concept provided a reminder of this art form’s purpose, how valuable human connection is and why theatre is the raging fire that has persisted through centuries of hardships.”


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