In 2022, River Rep Theatre presented, to great success, “Every Brilliant Thing”, a tour de force one-woman show about growing up with a mentally ill mother. The poignant, charming, and at times, painful, story was beautifully acted by Donna Jean Fogel and directed by Arthur Aulisi.
To kick off its 2023 season, River Rep will present the World premiere of the dystopian classic WE, opening Friday, July 28 at 7:00pm, with additional performances on Saturday, July 29 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, July 30 at 2:00 pm. Based on the banned book that inspired 1984, and hailed by Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) as “one of the most important dystopias of the twentieth century”, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s WEtransports us to the futuristic totalitarian society of OneState, ruled over by the all-powerful “Benefactor”. A visionary masterpiece of wit and black humor, WEis also a powerful, exciting, and vivid work of science fiction, whose message feels strikingly relevant. Adapted and directed by River Rep’s Christopher Peditto, with an immersive multimedia production design, and transportive electronic soundtrack, WEis a co-production between River Rep Theatre and Delaware Valley Opera, with support from River Rep’s Classroom Partnership Program with Homestead School, and the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Arts for Sullivan grant program.
In August, River Rep will present Leni’s Last Lament by Gil Kofman. A smart, insightful, hilarious, wild ride of a play in which controversial Nazi filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, preposterously poses as a misunderstood victim, as she attempts to justify and sanitize her notorious past. This ironic work is full of hard to believe insights into this provocative figure. The show (recently premiered Off-Broadway at the 2023 United SoloFest) will star OBIE Award winner actress Jodie Markell and is directed by “legendary downtown theater-maker” (Village Voice) Richard Caliban. Opens Friday, August 4 at 7:00pm, with additional performances on Saturday, August 5 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, August 6 at 2:00 pm.
The DVO is pleased to collaborate with River Rep artistic director Christopher Peditto, who has worked across the U.S., and internationally - beginning his career in Chicago's Off-Loop theater scene, as artistic director of igLoo Theatre, before moving to NYC, where he worked with (among others) Naked Angels, Shooting Gallery, Workhouse, MCC Theatre, and at HERE Arts Center. Noted directing credits include Lee's Breuer's A Prelude to Death In Venice (Chicago premiere, igLoo Theatre), and World premiere stage adaptations of John Fante's The Saga of Arturo Bandini (igLoo, Chicago), Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me (Currican, NYC) and Charles Bukowski's Pulp (SoHo Rep, NYC).
From 2000-2015, Peditto worked as a producer at HBO, creating original online content for HBO Films, HBO Miniseries and HBO Documentaries. He made his feature film directorial debut with Light and the Sufferer, starring Paul Dano and Michael Esper, which premiered at the 2007 Edmonton International Film Festival. Moving to Sarajevo, Bosnia in 2016, Peditto directed European premieres of Michael Ende's The Neverending Story at Sarajevo Youth Theater, and Warren Leight's Side Man, at Chamber Theater Sarajevo, in 2020. Peditto directed River Rep’s inaugural production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea at the Hurleyville Arts Centre, in 2022.
Peditto studied drama at Carnegie-Mellon University, and with Actors Studio co-founder Robert Lewis. He teaches acting at Homestead School in Hurleyville. His work has received support from the U.S. Embassy Sarajevo Cultural Grants Program, Illinois Arts Council, and NYSCA.
DVO offers a special thanks to River Rep and Homestead School for the loan of their lighting equipment for our summer season.