What do Ed Harris, Sam Shepard, Sam Rockwell and Philadelphia’s own Jered McLenigan all have in common? This February, McLenigan (prev. seen in EgoPo’s Marat/Sade) joins the list of legendary men who have filled “Eddie’s” shoes in Sam Shepard’s love story, Fool for Love. EgoPo Classic Theater will produce this perfectly timed production of the Pulitzer Prize-finalist and Obie Award-winning drama during this love-focused month.
Fool for Love features the talent of four Philadelphia favorites. In her EgoPo debut, Julianna Zinkel plays “May” to McLenigan’s “Eddie”. Last seen on the Wilma Stage in Dance Nation, Zinkel joins the ranks of iconic women, including Kathy Baker, Kim Basinger, and Nina Arianda, that have braved the stark hotel room in the desert to survive the desperation of her tragic love.
Rounding out the cast are Theatre Exile Founder, Joe Canuso, and EgoPo veteran, Steven Wright. Audiences will be welcoming back Canuso to the Philadelphia stage for a rare acting gig: he too was also last seen in EgoPo’s Marat/Sade. Wright, an EgoPo alum of Marat/Sade, Hairy Ape, and Death of a Salesman, returns to EgoPo’s stage after serving as season curator for EgoPo’s 2018-19 Theater of South Africa season. The play will be directed by EgoPo resident director, Brenna Geffers, whose production of Three Sisters Two was nominated for two 2019 Barrymore Awards, including Outstanding Costume Design by Natalia dela Torre, a member of the Fool for Love production team.
Fool for Love is the second play of EgoPo’s 2019-2020 three-play Shepard Country season, in celebration of the late, great Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard. Fool for Love begins previews February 5th and 6th and opens Friday, February 7th. The show runs three weeks, closing on Sunday, February 23rd. Tickets start at $32. Performances are at the Latvian Society Theater on 7th and Spring Garden.
Fool for Love
Love and loathing. Desire and disgust. This is the eternal dance that Eddie and May are powerless to escape. Bound together by a pact from their youth, the two lovers chase each other across the desert, meeting in hotel rooms like atomic particles destined for collision. Fool for Love, the 1984 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and winner of the Obie Award for Best New Play, offers a searing portrait of the annihilation wreaked on others in the name of love.
Hilton Als of The New Yorker writes that Fool for Love is “not so much about coupling as about the deep impulses that keep people together even when they’re apart.” (2015) Shepard claims to have written this play as a direct result of his own fall into love with actress Jessica Lange.
Shepard directed the world premier production of Fool for Love at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco – where he was also playwright-in-residence – on February 8, 1983. The production starred Ed Harris and Kathy Baker. In 1985, Shepard and director Robert Altman adapted the play for film, which starred Shepard himself alongside Kim Basinger, Harry Dean Stanton, and Randy Quaid. The 2014 Williamstown Theatre Festival production, directed by Daniel Aukin and starring Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell and Tony-winner Nina Arianda, transferred to Broadway later that same year.
On Geffers’ interest in directing EgoPo’s production:
Fool For Love is one of those scripts that lingers in the back of your mind for a long time. There is an intensity to the story that is both thunderously chaotic, but also painfully quiet. The connection between all of the characters is so specific and so delicate underneath all of the pain. It is the kind of script that is different depending on the four people on stage. I can’t think of four actors I would want to tackle this play with more. Each is relentlessly specific with their character work. They are exactly the kind of artists with whom you want to roll your sleeves up and dig into a meaty text.
The artistic team for EgoPo’s Fool for Love includes Philadelphia designers Chris Bratek (Set), Tim Martin (Lights), Natalia Dela Torre (Costumes), Chris Sannino (Sound), Matt Basen (Props), and Flannel & Hammer (Technical Director).
Previews begin February 5th, with Press Opening on Friday, February 7th; the show will run three weeks, closing on Sunday, February 23rd at The Latvian Society Theater, 531 North 7th Street, 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.
Philly Theatre Week tickets*: $30, February 6th-16th. On sale starting January 9th. To purchase: www.phillytheatreweek.com
*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.
The Latvian Society Theater
531 N. 7th Street
Previews: February 5-6
Press Opening: February 7
Runs: February 7-23
Wednesday, February 5 at 7pm, Thursdays-Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays February 15th and 22nd at 3pm, Sundays at 3pm.
*Appearing Courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association
Director: Brenna Geffers
Set Designer: Chris Bratek
Lighting Designer: Tim Martin
Costume Designer: Natalia Dela Torre
Sound Designer: Chris Sannino
Prop Designer: Matt Basen
Fight Choreographer: John V. Bellomo
Vocal Coach: Melanie Julian
Stage Manager: Jamel Baker
Technical Direction: Flannel & Hammer
Master Electrician: Eric Baker
Scenic Charge: Lauren Sellers
Associate Producer: Dane Eissler
Managing Director: Katrina Foy
Artistic Director: Lane Savadove
About EgoPo Classic Theater
EgoPo Classic Theater is a Philadelphia-based, non-profit theater company committed to revitalizing the great classics of theater and literature. Founded in 1991 by Artistic Director, Lane Savadove, EgoPo strives for virtuosity in vocal and physical performance in order to create innovative and provocative theatrical events.
EgoPo’s uniqueness is found in its season structure, which curates year-long festivals that focus on a playwright or theatrical genre and are designed as a journey guiding audience members through mainstage productions and special events all themed to the season. The result is a deep immersion into a richer and more visceral experience for our community of audience members.
Winner of 2017 Barrymore Awards for Best Evolving Theater and Best Production for Chekhov’s The Seagull, EgoPo has staged productions nationally in New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Chicago, and San Francisco; internationally in Indonesia and Croatia; and on National Public Radio.