Hedgerow Theatre History

Main

Thomas Hutton builds the original grist mill.

1840

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

Antrim Osborne purchases the property

1878

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

Thomas and William Osborne enlarge the building.

1885

Boilers, steam engines and machinery were installed.

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

1901

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

January 1st Guild Hall is christened.

1904

Dr. Ruth Deeter joins Rose Valley chorus.

1920

Jasper Deeter visits Rose Valley from New York

1922

Jasper Deeter's First Plays at Guild Hall

1922

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

Jasper Deeter

1922 - 1972

Hedgerow Theatre Established

1923

"Candida" is the first Hedgerow Play

April 21 1923

Jasper Deeter directs Ann Harding in "The Master Builder"

1924

Hedgerow Company performs "The Emperor Jones"

1924

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

Jasper Deeter returns to Provincetown

1926

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

Broad Street Theatre Turnip Dinner

1926

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.

Hedgerow Reopens

1927

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

1927

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

Langston Hughes writed "Mulatto" at Hedgerow

1928

"Rancour" world premiere

1928

The Great Depression closes most theatres in Philadelphia

1929

Hedgerow Company continues to thrive growing their own food.

1929

Twelve plays were added to the repertory.

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

1930

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

1930

Libby Holman trains at Hedgerow

1930 - 1934

Holman is known as a Broadway actress and torch singer.

Othello opens with African-American actor Wayland Rudd

April 21 1930

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

Philadelphia's Lyric Series performed, Hedgerow debt dwindles.

1931

" 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 stars in "The Inheritors"

1932

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

1932

Hedgerow Company goes on 15 state tour.

1934

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

1934

Rose Schulman moves in as a resident company member.

1934

Henry Jones joins company

1935

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

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

1935

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

April 20 1935

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

1936

TIME Magazine writes article on Jasper Deeter's Hedgerow Theatre

1937

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

1938

200th performance of "The Emperor Jones"

1938

Dolores Tanner in Company

1938 - 1953

Richard Basehart joins Hedgerow Company

1938 - 1942

He played over 25 different roles.

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

February 1940

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

1941

Hedgerow becomes a 14 person partnership

1942

The Hedgerow Theatre School of Expresson is founded

1942

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

WWII forces half of Hedgerow to leave.

1943

Company Members take outside jobs to keep theatre running.

1943

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

1944

Hedgerow goes to NYC at Cherry Lane Theatre with four plays

1945

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

1946

Ralph Roseman joins company

1947

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

1947

Hedgerow's 25th Anniversary

1948

State Department films "The Hedgerow Story"

1948

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

1948

Lou Lippa Joins company as an apprentice at Hedgerow

1951

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

1951

Hedgerow gets air conditioning!

1952

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

1952

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

1953

Yvonne Vincic joins company from Carnegie Mellon

1954

Hedgerow ceases true repertory company operation

1956

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

1956

Hedgerow Theatre School of Expression moves to Rose Valley

1956

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

1957

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"

1958

Hedgerow Reforms to 3 week run productions

1959

Theatre of the Living Arts founded by Former Hedgerow members

1960

Celia Silverman & Jean Goldman

David & Bronia Wheel rent Hedgerow for Summer Series

1961

Grayson Hall Joins Company

1961

Grayson Hall later stared in Dark Shadows 1969-71

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

1962

Off Broadway series staged at Hedgerow

1963

First Philadelphia Revival of "The Iceman Cometh"

1963

Janet Kelsy makes Hedgerow Debut

1963

Rose Schulman directs world premier of "Prelude to France"

1964

Hedgerow's John Allen opens Freedom Theatre.

1966

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

Theatre historian Gail Cohen comes to Hedgerow

1967

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

1967

Dolores Tanner returns to help run Hedgerow

1968

Actor Stephen Lang makes debut in Othello

1969

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

1971

Bella Spewack began career at Hedgerow

1972

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

1972

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

1972

Jasper Deeter passes away

1972

Lynn Rigg's plays premier at Hedgerow

1972

Jasper Deeter Corporation formed

1972

Hedgerow's 50th birthday

1973

"Candida" was performed in honor of the 50 years

1973

People's Light and Theatre Company founded by Hedgerow Alumnus

1974

Music at Hedgerow Program begins

1975

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

1975

Gail Cohen receives National Endowment for the Humanities

1976

Bicentennial restoration and preservation begins

1976

Susan Wefel arrives at Hedgerow

1978

Keanu Reeves joins Hedgerow

1979

Janet Kelsey directs her first show at Hedgerow

1981

Dolores Tanner passes away

1982

Janet Kelsey takes over for Dolores Tanner

1982

June Prager assumes artistic control of Hedgerow

1984

Hedgerow is destroyed by arson

November 30 1985

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

1986

First fundraising dinner for rebuilding Hedgerow

1986

Moira Rankin continues fundraising to rebuild Hedgerow

1987

David Zum Brunnen begins to manage the Hedgerow Theatre

1987

June Prager resigns and The Troika take control

1987

Janet Kelsey, Susan Wefel and Yvonne Vincic take control.

Studio Theatre opens at Hedgerow House

1988

Rose Schulman passes away

July 1989

Moira Rankin & many others help Hedgerow to reopen!

December 2 1990

Penelope Reed Producing Artistic Director

1991 - 2013

Children's Theatre begins to be performed

1991

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

1992

David Zum Brunnen resigns

1992

Hedgerow Horizons begins

1993

Seating capacity at Hedgerow increases to 144

1995

Box office is changed to open wooden counter

1996

World Premier of the musical "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

1996

Association with Actor's Equity begins

1997

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

1997

Hedgerow Celebrates 75 years

1998

Volunteer Program is formalized under Arlene Callahan & Donna Walsh

1998

Zoran Kovcic becomes Hedgerow's General Manager

1998

Susan Wefel celebrates 20 years at Hedgerow

1998

Hedgerow takes "Don Juan" to Phiadelphia Plays & Players

1999

Hazel Bowers nominated for Barrymore Award for Lettice & Lovage

1999

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

2000

Two shows staged "In The Round"

2000

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

2000

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

2001

Jared Reed's adaptation of "Great Expectations:

2001

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

2002

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

2004

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

2004

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

2005

Ralph Roseman passes away

March 16 2005

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

2006

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

2006

William Penn Foundation Grant funds technology upgrade for Hedgerow

2007

Susan Wefel Celebrates 30th year at Hedgerow

2008

Hedgerow Celebrates 85th Season

2008

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

2008

The first "Nunsense" is performed at Hedgerow

2009

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

January 9 2009

Hedgerow's 2020 Plan in Launched

2010

New Parking Lot for Hedgerow is started

2011

10th Ray Cooney Farce staged "Two in One"

2011

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

2011

Jared Reed is appointed Artistic Consultant

2012

Hedgerow Celebrates it's 90th Birthday!

April 21 2013