Directors, Casts and Productions
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.
We are honored to have Richard Pearson Thomas join us as the Music Director and Pianist for The Gift of the Magi! Mr. Thomas is a renowned pianist and composer. His works have been performed by the Boston Pops, Covent Garden Festival, Sydney Opera House, Houston Grand Opera, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Banff Centre, Portland Opera, and before the U.S. Congress by artists such as Audra McDonald, Sanford Sylvan, Lauren Flanigan, John Muriello and Kurt Ollman. His works include operas, chamber music, cabaret and songs.
Among his operatic works are: The Nero Show! (a quasi-operatic vaudeville cabaret show); A Wake or A Wedding ; Parallel Lives; and Ladies in a Maze.
As a pianist, Mr. Thomas has concertized with singers and chamber musicians worldwide and we proudly welcome him to the DVO family.
Coming soon: an interview feature with the General Director, Carol Castel, about her vision for the future of the Delaware Valley Opera.
We are proud to announce that Eileen Hampshire Mackintosh has been named Chorus Master of the new Delaware Valley Opera Chorus. The Chorus is a vital part of opera, and we invite all interested singers to contact us for information on how to join.
In addition to performing in opera performances during the Summer Festival, the Chorus will also perform great chorus works from opera and other repertoire in their two Choral Concerts, scheduled for April and December of 2011.
Please contact the DVO Chorus Master here for more information or to arrange an audition.
“The Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was seen as the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was seen as the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects. Music has a way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces inside our hearts and souls, and helping us figure out the position of things inside us… Music allows us to move around those big invisible pieces or ourselves and rearrange our insides so that we can express what we feel, even when we can't talk about it… This is why music matters.”