EgoPo Classic Theater to Stage World Premiere of ANNA This Spring
Playwright and Director Brenna Geffers brings literature's greatest heroine to new life with the help of a wandering theater troupe armed with a collection of rickety antiques and instruments. They perform the story, set in the shifting landscape of Imperial Russia, to seek refuge from their own unsettling world. You are invited on their journey, and Anna's, as they travel together toward the story's unavoidable end.
Anna previews March 29-30 and opens Friday, March 31. The show runs three weeks, closing on Sunday, April 16. 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 final production of EgoPo's Russian Masters Festival is the World Premiere of Anna. Literature's greatest heroine comes to new life in this new adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, written and directed by Brenna Geffers (Delirium, Machinal, The Hairy Ape). In Anna, this sweeping Russian epic is transformed into a make-shift travelling show by a wandering theater troupe armed with a collection of rickety antiques and instruments. They perform this story, set in the shifting landscape of Imperial Russia, to seek refuge from their own unsettling world. You are invited on their journey, and Anna's, as they travel together toward the story's unavoidable end.
Leo Tolstoy and Anna Karenina
Considered by many to be the quintessential author of realist fiction, Tolstoy's is best known for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, giants in more ways than one. Both of our preceding Russian Masters, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov, looked up to Tolstoy, along with a long list of writers and philosophers from Virginia Woolf to Gandhi. The child of aristocrats, Tolstoy had a moral and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, becoming a Christian Anarchist and a pacifist. Anna Karenina was written during this time, and published in installments in The Russian Messenger. Russia was undergoing major changes during this period. The abolition of serfdom, new conversations about women's rights, reforms within the judicial system and local governments, and the waning power of the old aristocracy, were all coming to a head under Alexander II. With Anna Karenina, Tolstoy captured a broad cross-section of life in Russia as the world changed around them.
Anna features an ensemble anchored by a core of EgoPo regulars with a history of collaboration: Carlo Campbell (Machinal, The Hairy Ape), Andrew Carroll (The Seagull, The Hairy Ape - Provincetown Tour), Colleen Corcoran (Machinal, The Hairy Ape, Lady From the Sea), Maria Konstantinidis (The Hairy Ape, Jesse James, Uncle Tom's Cabin), Shamus Hunter McCarty (Machinal, The Hairy Ape - Provincetown Tour), Lee Minora (Machinal, The Women, The Hairy Ape), and Amanda Schoonover (The Hairy Ape, Jesse James), joined by Arlen Hancock (ReVamp Collective, Scranton Shakespeare Festival, Tribe of Fools) making his EgoPo acting debut after doing the fight choreography for Delirium, our season opener.
Director Brenna Geffers is joined by Aaron Cromie (Set Design), fresh off of his role as Sorin in EgoPo's The Seagull, Dominic Chacon (Lights), Natalia de la Torre (Costumes), and Joe Wozniak (Props).
Anna will be staged at the Latvian Society Theater (531 North 7th Street, Philadelphia). Previews begin March 29, with Press Opening on Friday, March 31; the show will run three weeks, closing on April 16. Schedule: Wednesday March 29 at 7pm, Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays-Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays April 8 and 15 at 3pm, Sundays at 3pm. 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
Pictured: Colleen Corcoran. Photo by Dave Sarrafian.