For Bruce and Christine Momjian of Newtown Square, a chance encounter has lead to a 13-year tradition for the holidays at Hedgerow Theatre.
“After moving into our house in 2002, we hired a gentleman from our church to repaint the interior,” recounted Christine. “It was his tradition to attend A Christmas Carol at the Hedgerow each year, and he very generously gave our family tickets as well.”
For the gentlemen who gave the Momjians the tickets, he has now seen them in the show every year since.
“We were hooked. That got Matthew interested in acting on stage versus movies. He auditioned for a children’s show during the summer of 2003, and was cast in ‘Snow White and the Little People’. From then on, we have done so many shows at Hedgerow,” including Charles Dickens’ masterpiece.
Christine and Bruce homeschool their children, so for them they look for opportunities where they can combine learning opportunities and practical application for their children.
“Our children have learned so much from their Hedgerow experience – they’ve learned about who they are, what they can do with their voice, how to work with others, how to be on time, follow a script, be responsible, recover from failure, and understand a character.”
All six of the Momjians, Matthew, Luke, Peter and Catherine along with Bruce and Christine, participate, or have participated in the production. For them, the heartwarming story of Dickens classic tale of the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable, selfish miser whose heart is transformed after he is visited by a series of spirits on Christmas Eve, brings them together and remind them of what Christmas is all about.
“It brings part of the Christmas message to others. It is fresh with each show. When I read the Bible, I may have read a passage many times, but each time I notice something new. It’s the same with this show.”
Catherine enjoys the family atmosphere of Hedgerow. For the Momjians A Christmas Carol, and the subsequent shows their family has participated in such as A Little Princess, has allowed them the opportunity to get to know some of the fellows, and perhaps be a support and blessing in their lives.
“It is wonderful to be able to do something all together. This story allows us the ability to do that. One year our four children were the Cratchit children. Matthew (Peter), Luke (Ned), Peter (Tiny Tim), Catherine (Dorrit), and I was Mrs. Cratchit.”
Executive Director Penelope Reed says, “Our program is guided by four core values: company-based storytelling, creativity and critical thinking, professional performance, and kindness in community. Catherine and her family bring such joy to the Hedgerow company – it’s like family inside of family.”
Now a vital part of the Hedgerow Theatre Company, the Momjians have moved participate in more than just the annual re-telling of Scrooge. Bruce is just finishing a stint on the board of directors, and both parents have volunteered in seemingly every capacity, both on and off stage.
“It is a blessing to do something as a family. Our kids don’t do team sports, but the Hedgerow is something we can all get involved in as a family.”