EgoPo Classic Theater Announces Cast of LYDIE BREEZE TRILOGY
EgoPo Classic Theater celebrates its 25th Anniversary with the 2017-18 John Guare Festival. As the centerpiece of the season, the company is presenting the world premiere of Guare's Lydie Breeze Trilogy. This three-part American epic can be experienced in three ways: as a three-part series spread over three months, a three-night marathon, or a one-day (nine-hour) marathon with built in meal breaks. The performances of these modern American classics begin January 31, 2018 with Part I, and will run through May 6, 2018. All performances of the Lydie Breeze Trilogy will be held at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American Street. More information about the Trilogy, tickets, and information about the company can be found online at www.egopo.org.
The cast for Lydie Breeze stars EgoPo regulars Melanie Julian (The Seagull, The Women, Jesse James) and Ed Swidey (The Seagull, Death of a Salesman, Uncle Tom's Cabin) as the title character and Amos Mason, as well as Charlie DelMarcelle(Waiting for Godot) as Joshua Hickman, and David Girard as Dan Grady in his EgoPo debut. Dito van Reigersberg, of Pig Iron and Martha Graham Cracker, will join the Trilogy in Part III as the mysterious English actor, Jeremiah. EgoPo welcomes back AnDrew Carroll (Anna, The Seagull), Kristie Ecke (The Women), Dane Eissler (The Seagull), Mark Knight (The Seagull),Shamus Hunter McCarty (Anna, Machinal, The Hairy Ape), Kristy Joe Slough (The Nose) and Kylie Westerbeck (The Women), and is delighted to be joined by Nathan Foley, Hannah Gold, Jeffrey Hyman, Savannah Jackson, Emily Kaye Lynn, James Mercer, Frank Nardi Jr., Amanda Jill Robinson, Grant Struble, Jahzeer Terrell, Clara Weishahn, and David Strattan White in their EgoPo debuts.
Building this large multi-disciplinary ensemble required an intensive, five-month audition process. Director Lane Savadove, Playwright John Guare, and Composer Cynthia Hopkins, held multiple callbacks and music auditions in order to assemble a multi-talented cast of actors who are also skilled vocalists, instrumentalists, and movers. This winter, they will participate in a training week together, working in EgoPo's signature physical style, expanding their vocal training, and coming together as a cohesive ensemble before embarking on the four-month creation and performance of this world premiere.
The Lydie Breeze Trilogy is the pinnacle of John Guare's work. EgoPo is proud to be presenting the world premiere production right here in Philadelphia, more than 35 years after the publication of the first Lydie Breeze play. Guare is working closely with Savadove to edit his past writings devoted to the life and legacy of Lydie Breeze, in order to complete the trilogy as the single theatrical experience it was meant to be. Guare will be in rehearsals to help guide the process, working closely with the cast and artistic team as they tell the story of the Breeze family from the age of Nantucket whaling, through Civil War battlefields, to the creation (and destruction) of an American utopian community, and the dawning of the 20th century. Guare's trilogy traces the greed, violence, and repressed sexuality that can permeate American culture, while proposing a new vision for American idealism. The watery panorama of set designer Marketa Fantova, along with the haunting original music of Obie Award-winner Cynthia Hopkins, played by a cast of 25 actor/musicians under the music direction of Jay Ansill, will take audiences on a journey through this fantastical American landscape.
John Guare's plays include The House of Blue Leaves (NY Drama Critics Circle Award); Six Degrees of Separation (NY Drama Critics Circle Award; Olivier Award, Best Play); Landscape of the Body; Two Gentlemen of Verona (TONY Award); and A Free Man of Color (Pulitzer Prize finalist). He wrote the script for the film Atlantic City (Oscar nomination, Venice Film Festival Best Film). He is the recipient of the 2003 PEN Master Dramatist Award; the 2004 Gold Medal in Drama, American Academy of Arts and Letters; and the 2005 Obie Sustained Excellence. He has taught playwriting at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, NYU and Juilliard. He is the co-editor of the Lincoln Center Theater Review.
Cynthia Hopkins is an internationally acclaimed musical performance artist, her work has been honored with many awards, including a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award, a 2015 Grants to Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2007 Alpert Award in Theater. She also works as a performer and composer for hire, most recently appearing at the Bushwick Starr and before that at BAM. For her contribution to Big Dance Theater's Another Telepathic Thing, she received a 2001 Bessie award for composition and a 2000 OBIE award for performance.
Major support for the Lydie Breeze Trilogy has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
About EgoPo Classic Theater
EgoPo Classic Theater is a non-profit theater company committed to revitalizing the great classics of theater and literature. We strive for virtuosity in vocal and physical performance in order to create innovative and provocative theatrical events.
EgoPo is ambitious in the scale of the plays it presents, staging modernist and avant-garde classics that are often under-produced because of their cast size and technical demands. EgoPo produces yearlong festival seasons that focus on a single playwright or theatrical genre. Each season is designed as a single journey in which we guide audiences through mainstage productions, a special performance event, interactive audience engagement events, and an annual Gala, all themed to the season. The result is a deep immersion into a single theatrical genre. The ultimate goal is to make exciting and challenging theater that provides audiences multiple levels of engagement with the opportunity for an in-depth experience.