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A Symbolist SEAGULL to Play EgoPo Classic Theater This Winter

Konstantin Gavrilovich Trepleyev invites you to join him for a performance starring Nina Zarechnaya as the Universal Soul, performed at the estate of Russia's famed actress, Arkadina Nikolayevna. Arrive lakeside as the full moon rises. Champagne Optional. Nature and eternity await.

On February 3, EgoPo Artistic Director Lane Savadove transports you to a summer evening party in this Symbolist approach to Chekhov's iconic Seagull. Mystical, beautiful, and heartbreaking, this theater classic is a moving portrait of the yearning for human connection. Arrive lakeside, drink in hand, a guest of our young writer/director as he attempts to invent a new form of theater for our private audience. Seagull previews February 1-2 and opens Friday, February 3. The show runs three weeks, closing on Sunday, February 19. Tickets start at $25. Performances are at the Latvian Society Theater on 7th and Spring Garden.

EgoPo carries on their tradition of producing annual themed festival seasons. This year, they celebrate the influence of the Russian Masters. Russia is, in many ways, our closest cultural sibling. Russian art, literature, music, dance and theater have heavily influenced the American Theater. Naturalism, Expressionism, and Surrealism in theater, as well as psychological and physical acting, all have their roots in the Russian avant-garde. At this moment of political mistrust, EgoPo will highlight the shared cultural roots we have with the Russian people by bringing new, innovative approaches to tackle classic texts from Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, and Nikolai Gogol. Russian writers and dramatists have been the country's activists and dissenters for centuries, moving the culture forward with or without their government's consent.

The Russian Masters Festival continues with Anton Chekhov's iconic Seagull. Mystical, beautiful, and heartbreaking, this theater classic is a moving portrait of the yearning for human connection. Arrive lakeside, drink in hand, a guest of our young writer/director as he attempts to invent a new form of theater for our private audience. You'll be transported to a summer evening party in this Symbolist approach to Chekhov's masterpiece. Artistic Director Lane Savadove (The Women, Death of a Salesman, Gint) directs, with Thom Weaver (Machinal, The Hairy Ape) returning to EgoPo for combined Set and Lighting Design.

Born in Taganrog, Russia, Anton Chekhov was a physician as well as a writer. He is known for his short stories, such as "The Steppe" and "The Lady with the Dog," as well as his plays, including The Seagull, Three Sisters, and Uncle Vanya. Writer Maxim Gorky said, "No one understood as clearly and finely as Anton Chekhov, the tragedy of life's trivialities, no one before him showed men with such merciless truth the terrible and shameful picture of their life in the dim chaos of bourgeois every-day existence."

Symbolist theater seeks to depict the world as experienced in our unconscious. Symbolism addresses the tectonic plates of our psychic lives, using dreamlike, poetic language and movement to convey often existential themes, as opposed to direct narrative. The Seagull opens with a Symbolist play by Konstantin, who is attempting to break away from his mother's theatrical forms and style. The audience for EgoPo's Seagull becomes the audience for Konstantin's play as director Lane Savadove merges the two realities, embracing Konstantin's search for truth and beauty through new forms of art. The production is in debt to Maurice Maeterlinck (Bluebird, Pelleas and Melisande), the father of Symbolist theater, and the model for young Konstantin's writing.

Seagull features EgoPo regulars Ed Swidey (Death of a Salesman, Gint, Uncle Tom's Cabin) as Trigorin and Melanie Julian (The Women, Gint, Jesse James) as Arkadina. EgoPo is excited to welcome back AnDrew Carroll (The Hairy Ape - Provincetown Tour) and Anna Zaida Szapiro (Death of a Salesman) as the young leads, Konstantin and Nina. They are joined by Philadelphia favorites Aaron Cromie, Eric Kramer, Kirsten Quinn, and Mark Knight, along with debuts from Stephanie Iozzia, Dane Eissler (creator/director of EgoPo's The Nose), and Nick Ware.

The artistic team for EgoPo's Seagull includes prolific Philadelphia designer Thom Weaver (Set and Lights), Rita Squitiere (Costumes), Lucas Fendlay (Sound), and Emily Shuman (Props).

Seagull will be staged at the Latvian Society Theater. Previews begin February 1, with Press Opening on Friday, February 3; the show will run three weeks, closing on February 19 at The Latvian Society Theater, 531 North 7th Street, Philadelphia. Tickets: Wed-Thurs: $25, Fri-Sun: $32, Opening Night: $35 at www.egopo.org or by phone at 267-273-1414. Standard ticketing fees apply.


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