Blog by Brock D. Vickers
The month of June has came and went, almost. As we reach the end of another month, Hedgerow Theatre Company is in full Summer-Mode with The Servant of Two Masters in its final four performances, the summer farce Boeing-Boeing on its way, and summer camps starting with The Secret Garden.
Like Hedgerow, this has been a busy time for me: learning the part of Florindo and relishing every bare-chested moment of it, studying physical theatre with the Pig Iron Theatre Company, adapting the novel of The Hound of the Baskervilles for the fall Storyboard, and beginning a new project with Hedgerow friend Kittson O’Neill and Shakespeare in Clark Park’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona under the direction of KC MacMillan.
And this is what we do. We write. We play. We create. We produce. We play some more. And then, we do it all over again. At Pig Iron, the phrase is “Find the jeu,” jeu being Jacquos Lecoq’s word for “play.”
Since my time at Hedgerow, Jared Reed and Penelope Reed have encouraged creative growth by offering opportunities to create children’s theatre, build more dynamic characters, and learn from the best directors and actors in Philadelphia.
For 92 years now, Hedgerow has stayed true to Jasper Deeter’s mission of artistic growth. As we rap up this production of The Servant of Two Masters, a 400 year-old comedy adapted by multi-disciplinary artist (and currently my teacher) Aaron Cromie, we can see in this play all the things Hedgerow values: new works, a sense of play, bold choices, laughter, excellence, classics, farce, and a sense of bringing the audience and the actor together.
For those of you who have seen Servant, you know that everyone from Truffaldino to the Porter break the fourth wall, and welcome you into the action with quips. For those of you who have not seen the production, well, spoiler alert.
This show has been a true ensemble production from the start. We have laughed our way through the last four weeks of this production, finding new jokes and honing the original ones to make them sharper, using the audience as our greatest gift to find what is funny. With four more performances on the way, we the players, get four more chances to be with an audience and learn what makes them laugh.