New Leadership Announced At EgoPo Classic Theater
EgoPo Classic Theater in Philadelphia announces the hiring of Associate Producer, Dane Eissler, and Managing Director, Katrina Foy, arriving in July at the start of the 2019-2020 "Shepard Country" Festival Season, joining founder and Artistic Director Lane Savadove in leading the organization. Foy succeeds Shayna Freed as Managing Director, who served in the role since 2015. Eissler is the first in the Associate Producer role, marking a time of growth and opportunity for EgoPo's future.
"We are thrilled to welcome Katrina and Dane into the leadership of EgoPo. They bring with them a strong history with cutting Edge Theater producing and will help us to continue to envision a theater that connects personally with each audience member. We are doubling down on our commitment to radical hospitality that allows our theater to envelop audiences in our storytelling and to make the classics into vibrant, accessible, and surprising new creations," comments Savadove.
A graduate of Rowan University's theater program in New Jersey, Eissler is no stranger to EgoPo or to Savadove. He has worked regularly between Philadelphia and Chicago, focusing on the creation of new and compelling multidisciplinary works, as well as bold adaptations of classic plays as performer, director, and producer. At EgoPo, he co-directed the Philadelphia premier of Stairs to the Roof, performed as Medvedenko in the Barrymore Award-winning production of The Seagull (Outstanding Production), associate directed John Guare's The Lydie Breeze Trilogy while additionally performing in Part Three: Home, and helped remount the immersive sensory adaptation of Beckett's Company at both Philly Fringe and the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival. In Philadelphia, he also worked with Azuka Theatre, BRAT Productions, and FringeArts, as well as Rowan University's Department of Theatre & Dance as an alumni guest artist. In Chicago, he has worked with Theatre-Hikes, Living Room Vauntgardia, Rough House, Women of the Now, The Whiskey Rebellion Theatre, Windy City Performs, Little Pharaoh Enterprises, and The Annoyance. Dane is also a co-founder of the multidisciplinary pop-up collective A Dead Whale Productions, which he also proudly serves as Artistic Director.
"I'm elated and grateful to be returning to Philadelphia and EgoPo in this new and exciting capacity. I've been working with Lane and EgoPo for years now, and it feels so fulfilling to join an artistic family that has been such a formative part in my artistic growth. To be able to continue producing theatre, a passion I didn't realize I had until I began working in Chicago - especially with such a bold and courageous company - is thrilling. It's especially thrilling to be able to produce alongside collaborators like Lane and Katrina; not only do we all share similar professional aspirations and views, but we all click on a personal level so well. So much quality work gets done when it is done with joy, and I truly believe we're going to create some incredible works together here at EgoPo," says Eissler.
Foy, a South Jersey native, joins EgoPo after most recently completing her Master's in Arts Administration at the University of Connecticut. Foy brings a background of both performance and management to EgoPo, having received her Bachelor's in acting from Ithaca College. She has performed with companies such as Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, FL, the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY, and Connecticut Free Shakespeare in Bridgeport, CT. She is also the former and founding Managing Director of Brooklyn-based Gia Forakis & COMPANY, a technique-based ensemble organization, and is a former Associate Producer for Mainspring Arts Cooperative in New York, who served as Executive Producers for Tectonic Theater Project's Uncommon Sense presented at the Sheen Center in the Fall of 2017.
"I am thrilled to be joining the leadership team at EgoPo," says Foy. "It has always been really important to me to be in roles where I would be able to be alongside, if not directly involved in, the artistic process since my interests and passions are all-encompassing in terms of what it takes to put great theater on the stage. With Dane and Lane, I felt that I had found a team that I connected with immediately and a vision that I could wholly support. The idea of hospitality, both on and off the stage, for artists and patrons alike, is fundamental to how I work. Lane's commitment to the same is evident, and I'm looking forward to taking all that Shayna and Lane have set in motion and moving the needle forward incrementally and sustainably."
Both Eissler and Foy will begin at the start of EgoPo's 2019-2020 season, "Shepard Country," dedicated to the late, great, and prolific Sam Shepard who passed in 2017. Shepard, arguably one of the greatest American Playwrights of our century, is a winner of ten Obie Awards, the Pulitzer for Best Drama (Buried Child, 1979), a Drama Desk Award for Best Play (Lie of the Mind, 1986), and two Tony Nominations (Buried Child, True West). As an actor, he was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (The Right Stuff, 1983).
As previously announced, Eissler will direct the season's first production of Shepard's, Buried Child, running October 23 - November 10. EgoPo regular, Brenna Geffers, will then take on Fool for Love for a run February 5 - 23, followed by Savadove's direction of Curse of the Starving Class playing March 25 - April 2nd.
The season will first kick off with a bonus show at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival of the Philadelphia premiere of Tennessee Williams' one-act, And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens, produced in partnership with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, where the production will have its subsequent run later in September.
For more information on the season, please visit egopo.org.