Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS Comes to EgoPo in June

Performances run June 15-26, 2022.

CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS Comes to EgoPo in June

Closed by the impending COVID-19 pandemic just days before opening in 2020, EgoPo's long-awaited production of Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class awakens as the grand finale of their latest season. Originally part of the company's 2019-2020 season of plays devoted to the works of the late, great Sam Shepard, Curse is now the capstone to EgoPo's Season of Awakenings & Transformations, which looks at how our world might return from its collective isolation.

Curse of the Starving Class, the final play of EgoPo's 2021-2022 Season of Awakenings... and Transformations begins previews June 15th and 16th and opens Friday, June 17th. The show runs two weeks, closing on Sunday, June 26th. Tickets start at $32. Performances are at the URBN Center Annex Black Box Theater at Drexel University on 34th and Filbert St in Philadelphia.

"Last season we focused on making work from both an actual and metaphorical place of Isolation - our plays were delivered through the mail, social media, backyard windows, and car windshields. This season we examine the awakening process: how do we come out of our isolations and return to the world, as a society, as individuals, and as a global community? For EgoPo, a meaningful conclusion to this awakening process is our return to the show that had been put to sleep like in a fairy tale - the set, the props were left where they were for months and then put into cold storage. As artists, it is exciting, rewarding, and terrifying to return to that moment and to finish our artistic venture. After Hurricane Katrina, EgoPo spent almost 2 years preparing for our re-awakening. This spring we will proudly do it again. We see a deep value in celebrating the resilience of theater while surfing the tide of transformation that the fates have brought our way" says EgoPo's Founding Artistic Director, Lane Savadove.

Curse of the Starving Class follows the Tate family, who are on the brink of emotional and financial ruin as each family member plans a desperate escape. Ella plots with a smarmy real estate agent, while husband Weston holes up at the local bar, and 13-year-old Emma dreams of a life of crime. Meanwhile, son Wesley tries desperately to hold the house together, and the family's lamb takes the brunt of it all.

Referred to by Shepard as his most autobiographical play, Savadove's production of Curse of the Starving Class examines the pernicious and explosive nature of generational trauma. A rural California kitchen, designed by EgoPo veteran Set Designer Dirk Durossette, sits as an island amongst a dark and looming forest of barren trees, a visual metaphor for a home that is threatened to dissolve into an unsafe psychological landscape.

"Curse of the Starving Class is the pinnacle of Shepard's family quintet of plays that dissect the seemingly ideal American family model. In Curse, we are particularly interested in how violence and rage are passed down through the generations like a curse. How does a family's unfulfilled need for love turn into desperation, and then into fear and violence, and then get encoded in our psychic and physical DNA. Our production is a visceral and expressionist journey into the experience of a family in tumult," says Savadove.

Curse of the Starving Class, winner of the Obie Award for Best New American Play, is renowned for the theatrical challenges it presents: a blown out door, real cooking on stage, a plethora of artichokes, and a live lamb are just the tip of the iceberg in this shocking play. With the theatrical and immersive flair for which EgoPo is known, this play is sure to break the envelope of expectations.

Curse of the Starving Class features a powerful roster of Philadelphia and EgoPo veteran actors. Rob Kahn (The Diary of Anne Frank) returns to Philadelphia theater after 8 long years, starring alongside EgoPo veteran Melanie Julian (The Seagull, Lydie Breeze, Rockaby), newcomer Dawn McCall who makes their professional theater debut as Wesley, and EgoPo veteran Kylie Westerbeck (Lydie Breeze, The Women, Company) as Emma. Featured roles include EgoPo regular Damien J. Wallace (Master Harold, Buried Child, UND3RGR0UND) as Taylor, and Scott Rodrigue (Plays & Players) as Ellis, Taye Hopkins (The Grand Theater) as Emerson/Sergeant Malcolm, and Jackson Brown as Slater in their EgoPo debuts. The play also features some very special wooly guest stars from Little Hooves Romneys across the bridge in Moorestown, NJ.

The artistic team for EgoPo's Curse of the Starving Class includes Philadelphia designers Dirk Durossette (Set), Andrew Cowles (Lights), Jamie Grace-Duff (Costumes), Ava Weintzweig (Sound), Avista Custom Theatricals (Properties), and Flannel & Hammer (Technical Director/Scene Shop).

Curse of the Starving Class, the final play of EgoPo's 2021-2022 Season of Awakenings... and Transformations begins previews June 15th and 16th and opens Friday, June 17th. The show runs two weeks, closing on Sunday, June 26th. Tickets start at $32. Performances are at the URBN Center Annex Black Box Theater at Drexel University on 34th and Filbert St in Philadelphia.

Tickets*: Wed-Thurs: $32, Fri-Sun: $36, Champagne Opening: $39, Student/Industry: $12, ACCESS Philly**: $2. To purchase tickets, go online at www.egopo.org or call 267-273-1414.

*Ticketing fees apply to all orders, excluding ACCESS.

**Call 267-273-1414 to reserve ACCESS tickets. ACCESS card and photo ID required. ACCESS Cardholders may use their card at EgoPo for just $2, thanks to ACCESS Philly, a city-wide initiative led by Art-Reach. For more information, visit www.art-reach.org/access.


Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid theatre goer in Philadelphia? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.




Related Articles View More Philadelphia Stories


More Hot Stories For You