Hedgerow Theatre History


Thomas Hutton builds the original grist mill.

First used as a grist mill, the building than manufactured bobbins.

Antrim Osborne purchases the property

Becomes wooden box manufacturer for shipping wool goods from the Ridley Creek

Thomas and William Osborne enlarge the building.

Boilers, steam engines and machinery were installed.

Architect William Price of Overbrook buys the mill and 80 acres.

Rose Valley and it's Arts and Crafts community is founded

January 1st Guild Hall is christened.

Dr. Ruth Deeter joins Rose Valley chorus.

Jasper Deeter

Jasper Deeter's First Plays at Guild Hall

Time By Susan Glaspell and George Cram Cook, Fame and the Poet by Lord Dunsay and Trifles by Susan Glaspell.

Jasper Deeter visits Rose Valley from New York

Hedgerow Theatre Established

"Candida" is the first Hedgerow Play

Hedgerow Company performs "The Emperor Jones"

Hedgerow Company performs The Emperor Jones with Paul Robeson at Walnut Street Theatre

Jasper Deeter directs Ann Harding in "The Master Builder"

Broad Street Theatre Turnip Dinner

Philadelphia's Sesquicentennial a summer of record heat and the acquirement of a $19,000 debt. The Company is forced to disband to earn the money.

Jasper Deeter returns to Provincetown

Jasper Deeter returns to Provincetown Playhouse to direct "Abraham's Bosom" by Paul Green

New York African-American cast plays " Abraham's Bosom"

"Abraham's Bosom" by Paul Green win's Pulitzer Prize for Best Play in 1926

Hedgerow Reopens

"Rancour" world premiere

Langston Hughes writed "Mulatto" at Hedgerow

Hedgerow Company continues to thrive growing their own food.

Twelve plays were added to the repertory.

The Great Depression closes most theatres in Philadelphia

Libby Holman trains at Hedgerow

Holman is known as a Broadway actress and torch singer.

"The Playhouse of the Western World" is added to Repertory.

Wharton Esherick designs the mountain set for " When We Dead Awake"

Othello opens with African-American actor Wayland Rudd

Rudd goes on to become an actor in the Soviet Union.

Philadelphia's Lyric Series performed, Hedgerow debt dwindles.

" Ten Nights in a Barroom", "Nellie the Beautiful Cloak Model", "Queen of Chinatown" and "Cast Up by the Sea" a huge financial success.

Ann Harding buys the Hedgerow Building for Jasper Deeter for $5,000

Ann Harding stars in "The Inheritors"

Rose Schulman moves in as a resident company member.

Frances Torchiana founds the Farm House so resident company members have a home.

Hedgerow Company goes on 15 state tour.

Rose Schulman directs "Engaged" by W.S. Gilbert on Hedgerow Tour.

Henry Jones joins company

In 1946 he played Dauphin opposite Ingrid Berman's "Joan of Lorraine" on Broadway.

"An American Tragedy" by Theodore Dreiser and Erwin Piscator premiers.

Worl Premier of Countee Cullen's " One Way to Heaven"

TIME Magazine writes article on Jasper Deeter's Hedgerow Theatre

Richard Basehart joins Hedgerow Company

He played over 25 different roles.

Dolores Tanner in Company

200th performance of "The Emperor Jones"

George Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman" ( 7:30 a.m.-12:30p.m.)

Logan Ramsey makes stage Debut as Bardolph in Henry IV Part 1

Stan Berenstain meets future wife attending a Hedgerow show (Berenstain Bears)

The Hedgerow Theatre School of Expresson is founded

Founded by Jasper Deeter and Rose Schulman. Famouse Philosopher Scott Nearing, a protege of Deeter, taught at the school.

Hedgerow becomes a 14 person partnership

Company Members take outside jobs to keep theatre running.

WWII forces half of Hedgerow to leave.

Miriam Phillips directs "Girls in Uniform" an all-female cast due to WWII

Hedgerow goes to NYC at Cherry Lane Theatre with four plays

Chekhov's "The Seagull" and "Uncle Vanya" added to repertory

O'Casey, Shakespear, Chekhov, Shaw, O'Neill and Glaspell featured

Ralph Roseman joins company

Brecht's " The Caucasian Chalk Circle" is played by Hedgerow

State Department films "The Hedgerow Story"

Hedgerow's 25th Anniversary

Jane Bowles premiers "In the Summer House" it later goes to Broadway

Lou Lippa Joins company as an apprentice at Hedgerow

Delores Tanner designs the set for "Man and Superman" by Shaw

Hedgerow gets air conditioning!

Hedgerow performs in Philadelphia. Builds theatre in Academy of Music foyer.

Yvonne Vincic joins company from Carnegie Mellon

Hedgerow Theatre School of Expression moves to Rose Valley

Paul Robeson & nearly 30 other African American Actors grace the stage by 1956

Hedgerow ceases true repertory company operation

Richard Morgan starts at Hedgerow while at Fr. Judge High School

He became a film editor for "Laverne and Shirley", "Happy Days" "Roots" and "Streets of San Francisco." He Also worked on "Murder She Wrote" and "Columbo."

Jasper Deeter makes cameo in "The Blob"

Hedgerow Reforms to 3 week run productions

Theatre of the Living Arts founded by Former Hedgerow members

Celia Silverman & Jean Goldman

Grayson Hall Joins Company

Grayson Hall later stared in Dark Shadows 1969-71

David & Bronia Wheel rent Hedgerow for Summer Series

Janet Kelsey & her daughter Penelope Reed begin to study with Jasper Deeter

Janet Kelsy makes Hedgerow Debut

First Philadelphia Revival of "The Iceman Cometh"

Off Broadway series staged at Hedgerow

Rose Schulman directs world premier of "Prelude to France"

Hedgerow's John Allen opens Freedom Theatre.

Freedom theatre was the region's principal African American Theatre.

Philadelphia Bulletin names Hedgerow Theatre School "most famous stage school"

Theatre historian Gail Cohen comes to Hedgerow

Dolores Tanner returns to help run Hedgerow

Actor Stephen Lang makes debut in Othello

Actress, director, writer Marian Seldes performs as Constance in The Celebration

Jasper Deeter Corporation formed

Lynn Rigg's plays premier at Hedgerow

Jasper Deeter passes away

Christopher Fry & Robert Earl Jones (James Earl Jones' father)

Katherine Hepburn's brother Richard's "Behold Your God" premier

Bella Spewack began career at Hedgerow

"Candida" was performed in honor of the 50 years

Hedgerow's 50th birthday

People's Light and Theatre Company founded by Hedgerow Alumnus

Yvonne Vincic directs her first play "The Prisoner of Second Avenue"

Music at Hedgerow Program begins

Bicentennial restoration and preservation begins

Gail Cohen receives National Endowment for the Humanities

Susan Wefel arrives at Hedgerow

Keanu Reeves joins Hedgerow

Janet Kelsey directs her first show at Hedgerow

Janet Kelsey takes over for Dolores Tanner

Dolores Tanner passes away

June Prager assumes artistic control of Hedgerow

Hedgerow is destroyed by arson

First fundraising dinner for rebuilding Hedgerow

Hedgerow performs at Widner University, where a second fire occurs.

June Prager resigns and The Troika take control

Janet Kelsey, Susan Wefel and Yvonne Vincic take control.

David Zum Brunnen begins to manage the Hedgerow Theatre

Moira Rankin continues fundraising to rebuild Hedgerow

Studio Theatre opens at Hedgerow House

Rose Schulman passes away

Moira Rankin & many others help Hedgerow to reopen!

Children's Theatre begins to be performed

Penelope Reed Producing Artistic Director

David Zum Brunnen resigns

Penelope Reed is appointed Producing Artistic Director of Hedgerow by the Board

Hedgerow Horizons begins

Seating capacity at Hedgerow increases to 144

World Premier of the musical "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

Box office is changed to open wooden counter

Janet Kelsey comes out of retirement for "Arsenic & Old Lace"

Association with Actor's Equity begins

Susan Wefel celebrates 20 years at Hedgerow

Zoran Kovcic becomes Hedgerow's General Manager

Volunteer Program is formalized under Arlene Callahan & Donna Walsh

Hedgerow Celebrates 75 years

Hazel Bowers nominated for Barrymore Award for Lettice & Lovage

Hedgerow takes "Don Juan" to Phiadelphia Plays & Players

Jo Twiss nominated for Barrymore Best Actress for "Dancing at Lughnasa"

Two shows staged "In The Round"

Ralph Roseman's last time directing: "The School for Wives"

Jared Reed's adaptation of "Great Expectations:

Penelope & Jared Reed play mother and son in "The Glass Menagerie"

Zuhairah's "Sojourner" receives Barrymore nomination for Best Actress

"The Lives of Bosie" is staged funded by Philadelphia Theatre Initiative

Meg O'Brian Barrymore nominated for Best Lead Actress in "The Miracle Worker"

Hedgerow Wins Barrymore for Best New Play for "The Lives of Boise"

Ralph Roseman passes away

Philadelphia Mag. awards Hedgerow "Best of Philly-Funky Find, Del. Co."

"Radio Gals" directed by Micki Sharpe goes on tour for Open Air Theatre

William Penn Foundation Grant funds technology upgrade for Hedgerow

"Kafka in the Hedgerows" a new play based on the founding of Hedgerow is mounted

Hedgerow Celebrates 85th Season

Susan Wefel Celebrates 30th year at Hedgerow

The first "Nunsense" is performed at Hedgerow

Thanks to Bruce Momjian, Hedgerow takes a private tour of the Whitehouse

Hedgerow's 2020 Plan in Launched

Corey Hodge builds stone walls for Hedgerow as his Eagle Scout Project

10th Ray Cooney Farce staged "Two in One"

New Parking Lot for Hedgerow is started

Jared Reed is appointed Artistic Consultant

Hedgerow Celebrates it's 90th Birthday!