Blog: The Adventure of a Lifetime

Hedgerow Sets Sail on the Odyssey Project

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Students from recent production of The Little Mermaid

Hedgerow Theatre School is looking for students who are daring enough to take the adventure of a lifetime, facing down mystical creatures and battling Greek gods, as it embarks on “The Odyssey Project,” a yearlong developmental workshop. During the three-part course, students 12 and up, including adults, will learn about Homer’s Odyssey, work together to create a performance piece based on the epic, and then present it on the historic Hedgerow stage.

At the core of this project is Hedgerow’s drive to train the creators of tomorrow. Since its foundation by Rose Schulman, Hedgerow Theatre School has sought to do more than train actors, but to also give its students skills that will help them in all areas of life as they learn to be independent thinkers, problem solvers and how to collaborate with others. Producing Artistic Director Jared Reed believes in teaching students how to “create for themselves” and “tell stories that have meaning to them.”

Under the guidance of teaching artist Penelope Reed and the Hedgerow Theatre Company, the students will take the tale of Odysseus’ 10-year journey home after the Trojan War and make it their own. Their creative voices and individual talents will drive the process of developing a multi-generational performance work that will incorporate all aspects of theatre.

The first part in the series, Ensemble Building and Storytelling, will take place during the fall semester on Saturdays from 3 to 6 p.m. from September 10 to October 29. During the eight-week course, the focus is on learning Homer’s story and the theatre techniques needed to adapt it into a play.

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Students from the recent production of Hairspray Jr.

The next step is Writing the  Play, held during the winter semester on Saturdays from 3 to 6 p.m. from January 14 to February 18. The students will take the  knowledge they learned during the fall and and write the script for their own unique play. They’ll choose which characters and scenes to use, whether it should be a drama or a musical fantasy, and craft the dialogue.

The last piece, Creating the Play, will take place during the spring semester, on Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. from March 11 to May 21. The students will cast the different roles, rehearse, design and help create sets and costumes, and perform their play.  

Students can participate in all three sessions, or choose any that best fit their interests. New students can join in any session. No student is ever turned away at Hedgerow because of need, so scholarships are available.

For more information or to enroll, visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org or call 610-565-4211. The classes will be held at the Hedgerow Farmhouse Studio at 146 West Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley (near Media).