DEATH OF A SALESMAN, THE HAIRY APE & STAIRS TO THE ROOF Set for EgoPo's 2014-15 American Giants Festival
EgoPo announces their 2014-15 American Giants Festival devoted to three of America's theatrical giants and their examination of the American dream. EgoPo's season includes Arthur Miller's iconic Death of a Salesman, Tennessee William's fantastical Stairs to the Roof, and Eugene O'Neill's expressionistic The Hairy Ape.
2014-15 American Giants
EgoPo carries on their tradition of producing annual themed festival seasons. This year, they explore the promise of the American Dream through the work of three of America's greatest playwrights: Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Eugene O'Neill. Throughout the season, EgoPo will examine what the American Dream means today; is it still a possible reality or a failed promise? In today's environment, how do we find greater meaning in our work and lives? If class barriers deny the Dream for some, is it denied for all? EgoPo will investigate these questions by honoring the legacy of these significant playwrights, crafting dynamic and provocative performances that deeply resonate with the America of today.
Death of a Salesman
EgoPo's season will begin with Arthur Miller's classic, Death of a Salesman. In a distinctive staging that extends the typical Broadway vision, EgoPo's production will honor Miller's roots which were the source for his iconic script. Audiences will venture to a diverse working-class neighborhood in 1940's Brooklyn, into the home of the Loman family, to attend Willy's Shiva. Artistic Director, Lane Savadove, will faithfully craft Miller's tragic tale of a fractured family and a man whose American dream does not match his American reality.
Miller was the son of Jewish immigrants who successfully worked their way up in the world from Poland, to the lower east side garment industry, creating the country's 2nd largest women's coat manufacturer. Then the Miller family lost it all in the Depression, retreating across the bridge to Brooklyn. As a teenager he worked, like his uncle and father, as a salesman. Savadove faithfully pays tribute to Miller's working class background and Jewish roots in his production that explores and critiques our capitalist system.
EgoPo is thrilled to welcome back Ed Swidey, from last year's GINT and Lady from the Sea, to portray the iconic Willy Loman. Like the originator of the role, Lee J. Cobb, Swidey is a huge powerful presence giving Willy a long way to fall.
EgoPo's production is a perfect launch for 100th Birthday celebrations of this great American playwright, as Salesman received its world premiere right here in Philadelphia in 1949 at the Locust Street Theater.
Death of a Salesman will be staged at The Latvian Society. Previews begin October 22nd, with Press Opening on Friday October 24th; the show will run three weeks, closing on November 9th.
Stairs to the Roof
American Giants will continue with Tennessee Williams' rarely-seen early play, Stairs to the Roof. Part fantasy, part political invective, part romance, part Broadway celebration; this extraordinary play is unlike any Tennessee Williams you've seen before.
A young Williams' wrote this "prayer for the wild of heart who are kept in cages" while working in his father's shoe factory in St. Louis. The story examines the inner-life of a young office clerk who dreams of freedom and a higher purpose in life. He secretly wages war against workers' slavery to the clock and the de-humanization of industrial America. He finds a magical escape, a secret stairs to the roof of his office, which begins his journey from the ordinary to seek an extraordinary life.
Artistic Director, Lane Savadove, will direct this ode to the youth of the Great Depression told through the vision of today's millennials, graduating into debt and no job prospects, caught in a clash of promise and innovation in a struggling economy, aching with disappointment.
Stairs of the Roof will be staged at The Latvian Society. Previews begin February 11th, with Press Opening on Friday February 13th; the show will run three weeks, closing on March 1st.
The Hairy Ape
American Giants will conclude with O'Neill's The Hairy Ape. Considered the first great American playwright, Eugene O'Neill was one of the first writers to focus on characters who live on the fringe of society and struggle internally with their own hopes and dreams.
The Hairy Ape will submerge audiences into the underbelly of a luxury ship, into the world of a coal stoker, Yank. His sense of identity is completely shattered when a chance-encounter with a rich heiress allows him to see himself through her eyes. The proud laborer comes to the stark realization that he is an outsider, that class barriers have stolen his sense of humanity and belonging. He seeks to find his place in the world, but finds that he can't break the barriers that separate him from society.
The severe clash between progress and humanity will be brought to life under the direction of Brenna Geffers. Geffers will bring dynamic visuals and powerful stage images to O'Neill's expressionist masterpiece.
Stairs of the Roof will be staged at The Latvian Society. Previews begin April 8th, with Press Opening on Friday April 10th; the show will run three weeks, closing on April 26th.
EgoPo has pledged to increase accessibility by reducing ticket prices to $25 for all performances, with $10 advanced student and artist tickets. This initiative has been made possible with the support of the Wyncote Foundation. EgoPo's seasons are designed to be fun year-long journeys that can only be experienced at one of our Subscription levels. Subscriptions are just $60 and are now available online at www.egopo.org or by phone at 267-273-1414. Memberships are also available for a VIP experience and help to support EgoPo's unique programming.