Month: May 2016

Theatre School: The Bard and The Dream

WideEyedStudiosHedgerowLittleMermaid2015FinalHigh-10At Hedgerow Theatre School, we put on a lot of musicals. In fact, you could even say that musicals are what the theatre school is known for. All year long, Hedgerow offers children’s performance classes that culminate in the performance of a musical. Some past favorites have been The Little Mermaid, High School Musical, Charlotte’s Web, and A Little Princess; however, this spring season, Hedgerow Theatre School is taking a different route. On June 4th, we are scheduled to perform one of Shakespeare’s classics – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The show is directed by Penelope Reed, featuring music and choreography training brought in by outside artists. Hedgerow fellow Allison Bloechl even stepped in for a bit to help choreograph some stage combat. Our young actors have been working hard for ten weeks in order to hone their skills and really get the show ready to be performed. We look forward to getting to show off our creation in just a week.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream tells the tale of a variety of characters whose lives are brought together by outlandish circumstances. Titania and Oberon are Queen and King of the fairy kingdom and in addition to their usual royal tasks, they have been faced with an important predicament. The couple is engaged in a custody battle over a human boy who was put under their care after the death of his mother. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, another family is dealing with its own familial problems. Theseus is the Duke of Athens, Greece, and Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons, is his lover. Egea is Hermia’s father, and she wishes for her daughter to marry Demetrius. However, Hermia is in love with Lysander, and is fighting for the right to marry him instead. Hermia’s best friend Helena is in love with Demetrius. Things could seemingly work out between the couples, if only the boys could make up their minds about which girl they love. Unbeknownst to all of this, a group of obtuse actors are in the forest as well, preparing for the premiere of their play. The actors are under the leadership of Peter Quince, although outgoing diva Nick Bottom believes it should be otherwise. Due to his misbehavior, he comes in contact with fairy Puck and his henchmen, who are known for causing trouble. The three groups interact and interweave throughout the story, only complicating things further. Will the problems of the forest be resolved? Well, you’ll have to come see the show to find out!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed twice on June 4th, at 11 o’clock in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. Tickets are $10 a person and can be bought online or at the door. Both performances are at the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. Come out to support our show, and to experience the chaos between our cast of crazy characters!

By Gabby Harrison

Podcast: Comedy Comes in Threes

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Zoran Kovici and Josh Portera

Shaun Yates, Mark Swift, and Josh Portera make up a core of the current Hedgerow Theatre Company, and in The Servant of Two Masters these three comedians bring the laughs to a new level. In this weeks podcast, these three gents play with the form and keep the entertainment light as they jaunt off topic all through the interview.

Podcast: Two Masters of Comedy

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Artistic Director Jared Reed and our Truffaldino in his one man Christmas Carol.

In this week’s podcast, director and adaptor Aaron Cromie and our Truffaldino Jared Reed sit done before rehearsal to talk about the inner workings of commedia. Enjoy these two masters of comedy talking about the art of laughs.

Blog: Hedgerow Serves Up Laughter

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Allison Bloechl and Josh Portera from Bullshot Crummond

The Servant of Two Masters Serves Up Laughter at Hedgerow

Hilarious chaos will abound on the Hedgerow Theatre stage when The Servant of Two Masters gets to work from May 26 to June 26 in director Aaron Cromie’s world premiere adaptation of the Carlo Goldoni classic farce.

Can a man serve two masters? Can Truffaldino eat enough food? In the end, all the couples are married, but God save us if we get there. Artistic Director Jared Reed, a Juilliard graduate with a degree in acting, plays Truffaldino, joined by members of the Hedgerow company who take it on the chin, the nose, the ear, and every place a shtick can land. They’re directed by Aaron Cromie, who helmed the critically acclaimed Or, this winter and has adapted the original Goldoni. He promises the show will include weddings, confusion about who’s who, and occasional food fights as Truffaldino strives to eat his way through each crisis that arises.

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Reed from his Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

The title character is Truffaldino, a servant who has an insatiable appetite, so he is always hungry. Hoping to be able to double his daily food allotment, he takes a second job, giving him access to eat twice at each meal. He works for Beatrice, who arrives in Venice disguised as her brother Federigo, who lost his life defending her honor against her lover, Florindo. She hopes to thus be able to collect the dowry of her brother’s fiancee, Clarice, who has since fallen in love with another man, Silvio. In the meantime, Truffaldino gains employment with Florindo, and shuttles back and forth between assignments, given messages for the “boss,” although he’s never sure which one they’re for. The escalating effect of the misunderstandings lead to multiple comical complications before all is resolved. Italian playwright Goldoni (1707-1793) created a new form of comedy by taking the best elements of the improvised style of commedia dell’arte (literally comedy of the profession) and adding witty dialogue in longer, more complete stories. Commedia dell’arte was primarily short scenarios with stock characters, featuring love triangles, mistaken identities and disguises. It was the source of slapstick, with lots of physical comedy and an actual “slapstick” used to create a slapping sound. 

Goldoni first wrote The Servant of Two Masters in 1746. His original version was based on improv, but he revised it to make more complex characters and had it printed in 1753. It retains, however, many of the traditional characteristics of its origin enhanced by clever wordplay; in other words, lots of physical comedy and ongoing silliness.

 

 

Podcast: Two New Servants

Meet two new amazing actors in this week’s podcast, Madalyn St. John and Sarah Knittel. These two will bring smiles to your face in the upcoming production of The Servant of Two Masters, opening May 26.

MStJohnMadalyn St. John (Clarice) is making her Hedgerow debut! Past roles include Minnie Fay (Hello, Dolly!, Media Theatre), Rosemary Pilkington (How to Succeed…, Candlelight Theatre) and Rosaline (Love’s Labour’s Lost, Phila. Shakespeare Theatre).

 

 

 

 

Sarah Knittel (Smeraldina) is also Knittel_Sarahmaking her Hedgerow debut, and is a freshly minted graduate of Pig Iron Theater Co.’s School for Advanced Performance Training and Medicine, Sarah’s recent credits include: Autopia (Penthouse Pet) with Hella Fresh, Animal Farm (Snowball/Benjamin) at Luna Theater,Confessions of Plate and Shoe with Smokey Scout, Ondine (Bertha) in the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, and Two Noble Kinsman (Queen, etc.) at Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre.

Short Stack Contemporary Showcase at Hedgerow June 1

Hedgerow Theatre will present a Contemporary Short Stack Showcase on Wednesday, June 1. The showcase will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be performed by Penelope Reed’s adult ensemble acting class.

The evening will feature a program of short one-acts, including  “Sorry Wrong Number” by Lucille Fletcher; two monologues from Edgar Lee Master’s “Spoon River Anthology”; a scene from Nancy Beckett’s “The Women Here Are No Different”; a scene from Willy Russell’s “Shirley Valentine” and three new 10-minute scripts written by Margie Royal, “Edna’s First Webcast”, “Script Murders” and “The Disir”.

Performers will include: Cathy Baum, Barbara Bibby, Annette Brandolini, Janean Clare, Michael Huhn, Juliet Grey Kelsey, Leslie Norton and Susan Wefel.

Performances are at Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, Pa.

The evening is pay-what-you will; donations are welcome.
Performances are at Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA.

For more information, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.hedgerowtheatre.org.