EgoPo Classic Theater Partners with the Drexel University Department of Performing Arts to Present the Future of American Playwriting

EgoPo Classic Theater Partners with the Drexel University Department of Performing Arts to Present the Future of American Playwriting

During their John Guare Festival and the World Premiere of Guare's epic Lydie Breeze Trilogy, EgoPo Classic Theater is collaborating with Drexel University's Performing Arts Department for an evening symposium, Future of American Playwriting, Saturday, February 3 at 4 p.m. The panel will feature John Guare and local playwrights Jacqueline Goldfinger, Bruce Graham, and James Ijames. The panel is moderated by Broad Street Review Editor in Chief Wendy Rosenfield. The symposium will be held in the Stein Auditorium in Nesbitt Hall at Drexel University, 3215 Market Street. Tickets cost $10 and are available on www.egopo.org or by phone at 267-273-1414.

This symposium is part of EgoPo's John Guare Festival. In this insightful evening, audiences will get an in-depth look at playwriting from American Master John Guare. He is joined on the panel by local theatrical superstars Jacqueline Goldfinger, Bruce Graham, and James Ijames. Wendy Rosenfield is directing the conversation.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Philadelphians to hear from John himself about his unique style and meet the local playwrights who are helping to shape American theatre going forward," said EgoPo Artistic Director and Lydie Breeze Trilogy Director Lane Savadove.

John Guare received the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his plays The House of Blue Leaves, Rich and Famous, Marco Polo Sings a Solo, Landscape of the Body, and Bosoms and Neglect. The House of Blue Leaves, which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as Best American Play of 1971, received four Tony awards in its triumphant revival in 1986 at Lincoln Center. He wrote the lyrics and won a Tony for his book of Two Gentlemen of Verona, produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival, which also won the Tony for Best Musical of 1972. He collaborated with Milos Forman on the screenplay of the Czech director's first American film, Taking Off, which won the jury prize at the Cannes festival in 1971. His screenplay for Louis Malle's Atlantic City won the New York, Los Angeles, and National Film Critics Circle Award as well as an Oscar nomination. His series of plays on nineteenth century America, Women and Water, Gardenia, and Lydie Breeze, have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., London, and Australia. Yale Repertory produced Moon Over Miami in their 1988-1989 season. Six Degrees of Separation won the 1990 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, the Hull Warriner Award, and the Obie Award, and is published by Vintage/Random House. In London, Six Degrees of Separation opened at The Royal Court Theatre and transferred to the West End and was nominated for two Olivier Awards. Six Degrees has been produced in Australia, South Africa, Istanbul, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and Israel. The film version of the play, directed by Fred Schepisi, was released in December 1993. Mr. Guare's play Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, directed by Sir Peter Hall and produced by Lincoln Center at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in 1992, was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play, and is published by Random House/Vintage. Mr. Guare is a council member of the Dramatists Guild, the organization representing more than seven thousand playwrights, lyricists, and composers in America and Great Britain. He is co-editor of The Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. In 1989, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters elected him a member.

Jacqueline Goldfinger's a playwright, storyteller and poet. She teaches playwriting at the University of Pennsylvania and is an Affiliated Artist at New Georges in NYC. Her plays include Babel(NNPN/Florida Studio Theater Residency), Bottle Fly (The National Theatre's New Work Studio/London, Wilma Theater's HotHouse, PlayPenn New Play Conference), The Arsonists (Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage, La MaMa, National New Play Showcase, Sewanee Writers Conference, Disquiet/Lisbon, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, Perseverance Theatre, Azuka Theatre, Capital Stage, Know Theatre, Benchmark Theatre, Thrown Stone Theatre), Click (Theatre Exile's X-hibition Series, Emerson Stage Residency, Drama League Residency, Westport Playhouse New Works, Kansas City Rep OriginKC New Works), Skin & Bone (Azuka Theatre, Bloomsberg Theatre Ensemble, Orlando Shakespeare PlayFest, Arden Theatre Writer's Room), Slip/Shot (Seattle Public, Flashpoint Theatre, PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark's Playwrights Week), The Oath (Manhattan Theatre Works, Acadiana Rep, Last Frontier Writers Conference), and The Terrible Girls(Azuka Theatre, NYC International Fringe Festival, San Diego Playwrights Collective). She won the Yale-Horn Drama Prize for Emerging Playwright, Smith Prize for Political Theater, Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play and Philadelphia Critics Award for Best New Play. She was runner-up for the Ryan Prize, received a Commendation from the McNally Award, and was nominated for the Weissberger Award and Blackburn Prize. Her work is published by Yale Press, Samuel French, Playscripts, and Smith & Kraus. She has worked on public art projects with Philadelphia Young Playwrights, FringeArts/Reading Terminal Market, Missing Bolts/After Orlando, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Bruce Graham is the author of 14 published plays: 13 with Dramatists Play Service and 1 with Samuel French. PLAYS: Burkie, Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar & Grille, Moon Over the Brewery, Minor Demons, Belmont Avenue Social Club, The Champagne Char lie Stakes, Desperate Affection, Coyote on a Fence (Winner of The Rosenthal Prize) According to Goldman, Something Intangible (winner of 7 Barrymore Awards including Best New Play) Any Given Monday (Barrymore winner for Best New Play) The Outgoing Tide (Joseph Jefferson Award, Best New Play) Stella and Lou, North of the Boulevard, White Guy on the Bus, Rizzo and Funnyman. Fully Accessible and The Happy F!@#$%G Blind Guy have been published in Best Ten Minute Plays of 2013 and 2014. His one man show The Philly Fan plays semi- continuously throughout the Philadelphia area. Graham recently returned to acting appearing as Ernie in Rumors, Eddie in Lost in Yonkers, Richard in Time Stands Still, Milt in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Artie in Hurlyburly and Arthur in Pterodactyls. He has received grants from the Pew Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation (Statuette Award Winner) the Rockefeller Foundation and the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. Along with Michele Volansky he is the author of the book, The Collaborative Playwright. Graham is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He teaches film and theatre courses at Drexel University and divides his time between South Philly and Elkton, Maryland with Stephanie.

James Ijames is a Philadelphia based performer and playwright. He has appeared regionally in productions at The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and People's Light and Theatre. James' plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre (NYC), Ally Theatre (Washington DC) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright's Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, The Gulfshore Playhouse, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre and Victory Garden. James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and he also won two Barrymores for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Superior Donuts and Angels in America and one Barrymore for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company. James is a 2011 Independence Foundation Fellow, a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ....Miz Martha and a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award. James is a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia's first playwright producing collective and a mentor for The Foundry. He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and resides in South Philadelphia.

EgoPo is a Philadelphia theater company founded by Artistic Director Lane Savadove, known for bold, innovative versions of classic dramatic plays. Celebrating its 25th season, EgoPo, whose name derives from the French for "The Physical Self," uses a dynamic vocal and physical style of acting to create immersive theatrical worlds. Winner of 2017 Barrymore Awards for Best Evolving Theater and Best Production for Chekhov's The Seagull, EgoPo has staged over thirty productions nationally in New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Chicago, and San Francisco; internationally in Indonesia and Croatia; and on National Public Radio.

The Drexel University Department of Performing Arts is a dedicated community of artists, faculty and staff committed to providing a quality education in dance, music, and theater. The Department looks to expand students' knowledge and skills through academic course work, rigorous technical training, experiences with professional artists, innovative community outreach, and outstanding performance opportunities. The Department of Performing Arts is home to the dance, music and theatre programs at Drexel, including a dance major and eight minors. It is also home to over 20 performing ensembles including the Drexel Co-Op Theatre Company. For more information, visit http://drexel.edu/performingarts.

Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik

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