Lane Savadove Directs The Women in Philadelphia

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Mary Lee Bednarek, center, stars as Sylvia, surrounded by the ensemble. Photo by Dave Sarrafian.                  
Directing alumna Lane Savadove ’01 is bringing the Broadway classic The Women back to life this season. His production, at the Latvian Society Theater in Philadelphia, runs through March 30th as part of EgoPo Classic Theater’s 2015–16 season.

The Women, Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 comic masterpiece, satirizes marriage through the eyes of an all-female cast. “We want to show women in three dimensions,” Savadove said on the company website. The Women “is an entire play about awful women. … It’s not a critique of the women themselves, but what traditional marriage can do to women’s interactions.”

The production opened this month to strong reviews. “Forget the 1939 movie,” Philadelphia Magazine raved. “This deconstructed, provocative production will have you thinking about the play as never before.” DC Metro Theatre Arts wrote that “EgoPo’s production will give you cause to think about society’s view of women, and women’s view of themselves, both then and now.”

EgoPo Theatre’s productions seek to re-energize and reinterpret classics of theater and literature. The company has chosen to honor women playwrights all season, featuring The Women, The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman and Machinal by Sophie Treadwell.

The Women previewed in Philadelphia in 1936, then opened three weeks later on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The play was adapted for the screen twice, once in a 1939 film directed by George Cukor and starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell, and again in 2008 in a film directed by Diane English and starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Meg Ryan and Annette Bening. The story was also adapted into a 1956 musical comedy starring Joan Collins.

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