7 Secrets to Laughing More

We love stories that make us feel adventurous and bring a smile to our face. The modern equivalent to a classic like The Prisoner of Zenda is Marvel’s The Guardians of the Galaxy, a humorous adventure through a bold new world. Though Zenda may not have special effects budget of Marvel, it does have the dry wit and deep characters. So what’s the secret to laughing more? Well, come see Zenda, but if you need some ideas more at hand then here you go:

 

1. Laugh at Yourself.
A golden rule of comedy is that we are all fools. No matter who the character is, everybody plays the fool. In fact, in farce it’s always the character who takes himself the most serious who ends up the butt of the joke. We all know that person who thinks they are Batman, and they are no fun to be around 24/7. The remedy? Look at a cat video or two and remember you are not trapped in a morality play.

2. Spend time with funny people.
Simple fact: laughter is infectious. Therefore, spend time with friends and colleagues who make you smile and who make you feel good about being yourself. Is there really any need to explain more?

3. Use Technology
We have more information at our fingertips than any generation before us. Have we built this network of information on the secrets of the Pyramids? Well, yes actually, but the other thing we have dedicated this massive internet to is laughter. College Humor, Key and Peele, and a quick search of YouTube will put a smile on your face. Our suggestion? Search “That hurts Charlie.”

4. See A Show
Seriously. Philly is brimming with comedy. Hedgerow is producing an action adventure, but if you want to see stand-up then go see it live. Remember, laughter is infectious and if a comedian can make you laugh sitting alone at your computer imagine what a show can do with a room full of people. Be part of an experience.

5. Laugh all the way to the office.
We’re betting you have a smartphone, and if you do then you can listen to podcasts. Therefore, download one of the many podcasts that dedicate themselves to humor. Want something weird and funny? Try Last Podcast on the Left. Want something sporty and funny? Try Pardon My Take. Want something satirical? Try Welcome to Nightvale. 

6. Listen.
We all want to be funny, but as any improv comedian will tell you the secret to being creative is listening. At all moments in life odd things happen. Knowledge is limited. Stupidity is boundless. We all make fools of ourselves. We all say silly things. If we tune in to the world around us, it’s amazing what we will find.

7. Get to know the greats.
When time permits, watching a classic, funny movie is a sure-fire, fast-acting stress-buster. Though all of us have our own idea of what strikes us funny, with the help of On Demand, Netflix, Hulu and the old fashioned video store, most of us are never more than a few moments away from a funny, mood-lifting movie. For inspiration and hours of giggle-inducing ideas, take a look at Bravo’s Top 100 Funniest movies list  http://www.imdb.com/list/ZvEJPFwX1XA/

Enemies 20 Years in the Making

Actors David Bardeen and Brian McCann, both former Acting Apprentices at Hedgerow Theatre, return to play together for the first time in twenty years as political rivals in Lantern Theatre Companies Coriolanus, which closes April 16. 

David Bardeen, Brock D. Vickers, Brian McCann, and Adam Hammet in Lantern Theater Company’s production of CORIOLANUS. Photo by Mark Garvin.

“Everyone does a little of everything at Hedgerow,” says former Hedgerow Acting Resident David Bardeen. The tradition has continued two decades later as America’s oldest operating repertory theatre fills the stage with three acting apprentices in The Prisoner of Zenda.

 

Yet as one production begins, another one ends. Lantern Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed Coriolanus pulls into the bus stop, and with it are two former fellows who began their careers over two decades ago.

 

Actors Bardeen and Brian McCann met each other at the Hedgerow Farmhouse in Rose Valley, PA as Resident Acting Apprentices. This week, these two Philadelphia actors are closing their first show together, Coriolanus at Lantern Theatre Company, since their time at Hedgerow.

 

In Corioalnus, a war hero from a powerful family, Coriolanus seems destined to be elected consul under the guidance of his mentor Menenius, played by McCann  – but the people find his pride an unforgivable insult, and behind the newly elected Sicinius, played by Bardeen, tensions explode fracturing state’s governing elite and deprived masses.

 

Bardeen and McCann often go out for the same roles, so it has taken more than twenty years in Philadelphia to work together again. Between 1993 and 1995, however, Bardeen and McCann worked alongside  each other and people such as current Producing Artistic Director Jared Reed, Rosemary Fox, Annemette Anderson, Heather Cunningham, Paul and Gay Kuhn, Susan Wefel, Cory Solar, Charles Lear, Sean and Kristin Walker, Jason Flannery, Kim Senior, and Elise Miller.

 

David Bardeen and Mary Lee Bednarek in Lantern Theater Company’s production of CORIOLANUS. Photo by Mark Garvin.

Though the years are a blur at this point for the duo, the two share distinctive memories of learning on the job, be it painting the house to shaving their head to play “Satan.”  From Agatha Christie to Moliere to Shakespeare to Aristophanes and everything in between the two actors performed in a gamut of material, which has benefited them greatly in their respective careers.

 

“We were all actors  but had to study some other discipline in theatre. I chose Scenic Design and painting,” said McCann. “They brought in specialists in their field to train us and it is a skill I am still using to this day. Hedgerow is where I really cut my teeth on the classics. I did my first Moliere there, we did Greek tragedy and comedy. Jared Reed was the first person I had informed discussions with about The Bard and that has remained and interest throughout my career.”

 

Each day began at 9 a.m. to discuss upkeep of the house and theatre, and every Friday night the company would have dinner together. A group of fresh faces and recent grads, as well as mid-career performers and professionals, the Hedgerow Company focused on developing the talents of actors and theatre artists and running one of the oldest theatres in America.

 

“It was a great learning experience right out of college,” said Bardeen,  “I’ve never cleaned so many toilets. I was the box office manager, started one of the first subscription drives, company manager for a time, and acted on stage constantly.”

 

Under the direction of Penelope Reed, the company worked to produce material year round. Much like today, every company member had duties in the house, kitchen, theatre, and in rehearsal and performance. Each fellow was there to learn and learn they did.

 

“Penelope was an amazing teacher, director, and mentor during my time at Hedgerow and taught me a lot about generosity of spirit, making big bold choices, and character development and details, “ said Bardeen. “I’m grateful to her for her constant support and love. I’m not sure I would still be an actor if not for her.  I probably would have gone to law school or something. Hedgerow gave me the confidence to pursue acting as a career.”

Now, the two have returned to the Bard, and the old friends have returned to old hat to add depth to the show.

“We are like ships in the night. I have had such Joy working with David again; we are much older but it feels as if we haven’t missed more than a month. We have fallen right back into our old familiar patter,” said McCann.

 

McCann and Bardeen’s relationship was a intricate part to their work on stage. Menenius is a slick talking politician who represents the noble families of Rome in the Senate and Sicinius is a newly elected representative of the people. With the history of Hedgerow under their belt, the two picked up where they left off and brought their past friendship to the forefront of their performances.

 

“When you have a history with someone, it can make the work better.  You have a respect and trust level that can allow deeper and (more importantly) quicker connections.  When you’re trying to mount Coriolanus in three weeks while performing other shows at night, and you’re exhausted, it can be invaluable.  I’m not going to speak for him, but I hope it’s the first of many,” said Bardeen.

 

Bardeen and McCann are not the only familiar faces to Hedgerow making an appearance in Coriolanus, as Leonard Haas as the politician Brutus, Kirk Wendell Brown as Cominius, Mary Lee Bendarek as Virgilia, and Brock D. Vickers as part of the Ensemble fill out the Lantern cast.

 

“It was an extraordinary time to be at Coriolanus on opening night and see so many strong Hedgerow actors playing together. Nothing like playing in ensemble to radiate the impact of connecting deeply. Opening night at Lantern was thrilling to see such an array of talent and generations of Hedgerow players soaring together,” said Director Emeritus Penelope Reed.
Coriolanus closes this Sunday April 16 at 2 p.m., but Hedgerow’s Zenda is in full swing running until April 30.  Check out this generation of Actin Apprentices now referred to as Fellows, Mark Swift, Allison Bloechl, and Josh Portera, as they fill out the stage and become the creators of tomorrow.

The Ultimate Guide to Theatrical Comedy in 8 Steps

Hedgerow Theatre and adapter/director/actor Matt Tallman have come together to create the Barrymore Recommended comedy adventure The Prisoner of Zenda based on Anthony Hope’s classic tale and the musings of The 39 Steps and Bullshot Crummond. The show ahs been hailed as “heartfelt” and as “fun” as it is “adventurous.” Therefore, we wanted to share the top 14 things we kept in mind while creating this show:

1.Solid Source Material

  • Anthony Hope’s novel has been adapted for decades. The story gave birth to its own genre, and is a favorite of classic Hollywood. Even Futurama adapted an episode based around the story named The Prisoner of Benda. Like every theatre in America doing Hamlet and even the bard taking the story of the Prince of Denmark and putting his spin on it, you must start with a solid base.

2. Exaggeration

  • From the book “Comedy Writing Secrets,” exaggeration is a key component of comedy. “How does realism relate to exaggeration? As we accept poetic license, let’s accept a humor license that grants permission to expand on realistic themes with soaring imagination and unabashed metaphors…” Think Eddie Izzard bits or Robin Williams summing up golf. If you want to have fun with a classic tale, such as Bulldog Drummond, then roll up your sleeves and let the energy fly.

3. Emotion

  • This is straight from the horses mouth. Director and adaptor Matt Tallman was blown away by the heart of Hope’s novel. In fact, more important to him than the comedy was the story and the catharsis of the characters.  “There’s comedy, there’s fun, there’s memorable characters, but I was sold by the deeper human story that ran through the show…At the end of the day, having an emotional impact was key for me, “ said Tallman, “Zenda is different from other plays in its genre by virtue of the depth of the emotional life in it, which was inherent in the source material.  When we did a table read of my third draft and Jared Reed, Hedgerow’s  Producing  Artistic Director, was in tears at the end, I thought that was a good sign.”

4. Surprise!

  • From “Comedy Writing Secrets” a sourcebook for screenwriting comedy, “…surprise (is) one of the primary reasons why people laugh. It’s no wonder then that it’s also one of the primary building blocks for a successful joke…comedy is mentally pulling the rug out from under each person in your audience. First, you have to get them to stand on it. You have to fool them, because if they see you preparing to tug on the rug, they’ll move.”

5. Don’t Get Stuck to Your First Idea

  • Tallman wrote the Zenda with this thought in mind, “It’s better to fix than to create.” This simple thought gave Tallman the freedom to imrpovise and adapt the story to the people in the room. Many of the jokes and bits were suited to the actors, such as Allison Bloechl and Mark Swift. The novel was a starting point and Tallman’s adaptation was a base, after the first draft it was, “Let’s throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.”

6. Keep Your Audience Guessing

  • The idea of misdirection, a concept used by all writers who make readers believe they
    are going down one path and then lead them astray. In comedy, the setup of a joke provides direction and the punch line provides misdirection, which is why it goes at the end. Look for the illogical and keep playing with your ideas.

7. Find Something Worth Repeating

  • When an audience laughs, stay in the moment. We want to feel that feeling. We want to laugh, like this, more. Therefore, when you find a joke, repeat it. Stand-up comedians use callbacks all the time. Old vaudeville and Shakespeare jokes thrive on the rule of three. Comedy comes in 3’s, but also 5’s and 7’s. If you find a joke that works, use it, use it, use it.

8. Expose Yourself

  • Theatre is about vulnerability. We want to sympathize with the character. Classic characters such as Harlequinno, the classic Commedia troupe that serves as the basis for Bugs Bunny, work because we relate to them. The character is not some untouchable wit that has irony as armor, but a human who has flaws and problems., In Zenda, the problems are epic in scale: kingdoms, villains, and yes, love. The more we relate to the characters on stage the more we sympathize with their needs and wants, and once the audience sympathizes with your hero or heroine then you can they are ready to laugh.

 

Meet the Cast

ANNA MARIE SELL (Flavia, Antoinette, and Others) is happy to make her professional return to the Hedgerow Stage, after spending a summer as an intern once upon a time ago.   Favorite stage credits include Chapter Two (Jennie), A Wilder Christmas (Leonora/Harriet), The Hollow (Midge), Cyrano de Bergerac (Roxane), The Credeaux Canvas (Amelia), The Merchant of Venice (Portia), and Goodnight Soldier, a solo cabaret. On-Screen work: Redrum, NY Historical Society, and an Educational Series for Northwell Health. Proud member of Actors’ Equity. www.annamariesell.com
A brief Q & A with Anna:
What interests you most about this play and your role within this production? Why did you want to do this play? Why should it be done today?
I think this play raises the question, “what are you willing to do for love?”  I play two women who have very different perspectives about what love requires, and I’m both excited by and a bit scared of the challenge of bringing them both to life.
I wanted to do the show because it requires a lot – comedy, dancing, music, fighting, dialects, and emotional depth – it’s rare that one play, or one track within a play, requires so many different types of skill.  It also is a fun and complex process to turn a book into a stage production.  While the spirit of the novel and its story are intact, some characters have developed in ways that might surprise Anthony Hope.
The show is relevant because, cliché as it may be, the story of a hero learning how to be responsible and discovering his own potential never goes out of style.  Although the current political climate has changed a great deal since the first table read of this script, the questions of what kind of person should rule a kingdom and what national may cost are perhaps more relevant than ever.
What fascinates you about live theatre?
The opportunity to really live through things every single night – the risk and reward of having all of the fun, and all of the heartbreak, every show.  I love the magic that happens when a cast all agrees to jump off the cliff together.
 
What’s your favorite quote of from the play?
“Surprise!”

Why should an audience member come see this play?
I think, first of all, it’s going to be a fun night. We’re almost halfway through rehearsals and still amusing each other.  I also think it’s chance to really experience something richly human.  And swordfighting.  Definitely come for the swordfights.   

Emotion is the Heart of Melodrama

“It’s easier to fix than to create,” says director and adapter Matt Tallman of Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda running March 30 to April 30 at the historic Hedgerow Theatre. This swashbuckling, romantic melodrama from the early 1900s takes audiences through a zany and adventurous world of Ruritania, a house of cards full of political intrigue and dueling heroes.

“When Jared [Reed] first talked to me about it, he talked about an adaptation in the vein of The 39 Steps or Bullshot Crummond, which are big stories featuring small casts creating spectacle through theatrical ingenuity, it appealed to me,” Tallman continued, “when I actually read Anthony Hope’s novel, I was struck by the emotional journey undertaken by our hero, Rudolf Rassendyll.”

In Hope’s adventure novel, the King of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation. In order for the King to retain the crown his coronation must proceed. Fortuitously, an English gentleman on holiday resembles the monarch and is persuaded to act as his political decoy in an effort to save the unstable court.

Like 39 and Bullshot, Zenda pulls much of its comedy from the simple fact that so few actors play so many parts. Actors Mark Swift, Josh Portera, and Allison Bloechl will do much of the comedic lifting in this show, however, Tallman knew he could find laughs in the structure of fitting an entire kingdom into five actors. Fortunately Hope’s novel provided the depth and fleshed out characters necessary to tell an adventurous melodrama, and it was clear to Tallman from the beginning that the source material could do the “heavy lifting” on its own.

“Yes, it is a swashbuckling romance,” says Tallman. “There’s comedy, there’s fun, there’s memorable characters, but I was sold by the deeper human story that ran through the show.”

Emotions are essential to melodrama. The nature of the piece is a sensational dramatic story with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions of the audience. Bullshot Crummond plays on the antics of early spy novels. The 39 Steps satirizes heavily the film noir of the 1920s. Zenda, in its current form, is an homage to the days of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood and Captain Blood.

“I knew I had a limited number of actors, that the majority of them would be Hedgerow company members. and I knew Hedgerow’s physical space from having acted there in 39 Steps and directing Bullshot, so those things certainly influenced my writing,” said Tallman.

The challenge that interested Tallman was the approach to the material. Given the nature of the play, the madcap style of Monty Python and the wit of Mel Brooks, finding a balance between fairly broad comedy and sticking the emotional landing is what drew Tallman into the quest.

As for Tallman’s writing, he stuck to good ole fashioned trial and error as it “gives him permission to get down a draft that isn’t perfect.” Initially sticking close to Hope’s writing style, throughout the creative process Tallman found himself adjusting and playing with Hope’s structure in order to find a perfect balance of emotion and drama.

“My real entry point was when I thought of how I wanted to do the ending.  The very end of the novel as written had tremendous emotional impact on me, but wasn’t theatrical in a way that felt satisfying to me. But, before I sat down to write, I had an idea of creating a different ending that hopefully mirrors the effect the book has on me, and I hope will be impactful for audiences,” said Tallman.

Throughout the process Tallman found himself reaching back to the “depth” of the story. The book has humor, romance, adventure, and a human story that has the potential to be very moving.

“At the end of the day, having an emotional impact was key for me, “ said Tallman, “Zenda is different from other plays in its genre by virtue of the depth of the emotional life in it, which was inherent in the source material.  When we did a table read of my third draft and Jared Reed, Hedgerow’s  Producing  Artistic Director, was in tears at the end, I thought that was a good sign.”

Adult ticket prices are $34, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under, as well as students, are $20. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. For reservations or more info, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley (near Media).

Vibrations of a Good Story

What constitutes a good story? Good acting? A great arc? A strong protagonist? A compelling antagonist? A witty sidekick? A laughable fool? For centuries man has been writing and creating tales. Be it the master works of Chekhov or the eye of Kubrick, our obsession with drama and spoken word spans all of man’s history.

Remember the days of yesteryear when vaudeville burned the microphone with witty banter? Or when suspense played on the minds ability to fill in the void? Return to those days of mystery and laughter from the ole towering General Electric Radio at Hedgerow Theatre Company as it presents a new Storyboard series of Radio Mystery Theatre: Theatre for the Mind.

Homer filled our dreams with the spoken word and created heroic odysseus and influential gods. Shakespeare’s use of language in unparalleled in evoking human emotion and thought through speech. These masters of the spoken word turned language into music.

Our ear and brain are acutely tuned to create truth from this barest of experience. For years, this power of sound  was capitalized on by one of the most revolutionary tools of its era, the radio. Men such as Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Braun (yes, that one) put their focus on the technology and a boom occurred from use of frequency to the standardization of the radio from submarines to homes.

Today, podcasts are reinvesting in the power of headphones open our imagination to the sound of great voices. However, for a generation Amos & Andy, Suspense!, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Jack Benny, and The Adventures of Superman filled the airwaves and made great language king.

Drama, comedy, and variety could be found at all hours of the day, next to news and advertisements seeking to reach the masses. From the late 1800s to the 1960s radio was creating the “theatre of the mind.” Tales such as Three Skeleton Key were being produced with writers like Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald fueling their plots.

The radio powered the sounds of vaudeville, American folk music, and Red Rider.  By 1944 over 30 million U.S. homes had 57 million radio sets. However, by 1949 nearly 4 million TV sets were produced and the stories that filled audiences ears and minds moved to the new medium.

Now, Hedgerow brings the “Theatre of the Mind” back to life. Bringing mystery, adventure, and comedy, Hedgerow presents a new Storyboard series, “ The Radio Mystery Plays,” featuring the voice talents of the Hedgerow Theatre company.

Running March 10 to the 19, this show will put human voice and the imagination back in the driver’s seat.

Sonya’s Chekhov

Jennifer Summerfield is excited to make her Chekhov debut with such a wonderful team of artists. She’s appeared in several productions at Hedgerow, including Macbeth (Lady Macbeth,) Hamlet (Horatio,) “Don Quixote” (Dulcinea,) Dracula (VanHelsing,) and Gaslight (Bella.)  She is a graduate of Smith College and the Neighborhood Playhouse. www.jennifersummerfield.com 
Who do you play? Tell me a little about them.
I play Sonya, who, together with Uncle Vanya, runs the country estate where the play is set. Without us, the estate would be in ruins.
Where did you study theatre?
I studied theatre at the Neighborhood Playhouse in Manhattan.
What fascinates you about live theatre?
I love that no two people will ever approach a role in the same way, so you could perform the same play in twelve different productions and it would always be new because of what the other actors bring to their characters. I love that constant sense of discovery.
What interests you outside of theatre?
I love to travel.
Who’s your favorite writer? Why?
I’ve always been drawn to Charlotte Bronte because of the complex inner lives of her characters. I’ve always felt a deep connection to Lucy Snowe in “Villette.” And having grown up in Wyoming and those wild, open spaces, I always imagined myself on the moors with the Brontes.
Why did you want to do this play? Why do you think it should be done today?
I’ve wanted to perform Chekhov for years, ever since I was in school, and have never had the opportunity until now. So, thank you, Jared Reed, for making this possible. There’s no greater “actor’s playwright” than Anton Chekhov. He created complicated characters who often don’t know their own motivations and sometimes feel things their words contradict. I can’t describe how satisfying it is to research and develop these lives on stage. It’s a gift.
Why does Chekhov matter as a writer? 
When Chekhov was first performed in Russia, theatres had no idea how to stage his plays and performed them with the overblown theatrics they were accustomed to. Audiences were perplexed and even angered by them. And then the Moscow Art Theatre came along and understood the naturalistic way Chekhov wrote and the pace and build of his plays. We owe our modern theatrical tradition to him.
What’s your favorite quote of Chekhov’s?
Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.
Why should an audience member come see this play?
The play is a work of art and is peopled with characters you’ll recognize from your own life. Also, the acting is superb.

Astrov’s Vanya

Producing Artistic Director and Dr. Astrov in the Barrymore Recommended Uncle Vanya, Jared Reed answers a few questions about legendary playwright Anton Chekhov and Vanya. Reed is a Julliard trained actor and has been a part of Hedgerow Theatre for the majority of his life in one way or another.
What fascinates you about live theatre?
The connection between actors in front of an audience. There is nothing like it. It’s why theatre is so powerful. You can’t hide. The baring of one’s heart in public (so much different than letting a camera peer in).
What interests you outside of theatre?
My Children. Being a father changed my life and the way I see the world.
Who’s your favorite writer? Why?
In Russians: Chekhov, his ability to see people. Vladimir Nabokov, use of language. Dostoeyevsky, his moral center.
Why did you want to do this play? Why do you think it should be done today?
It’s wonderful for us as a Theatre Company to work on Vanya because Chekhov is one of the great dramatic writers, one of the great writers of all-time, and you have to be working at your best to meet him.
Why does Chekhov matter as a writer? 
He shows us that people don’t change – we still feel and process and laugh and cry over the same wonderful and absurd things
Why should an audience member come see this play?
To experience life that is funny at the same time it is sad, and the sad makes it funny, as the fact that you laugh makes it sad

Humanity as It Is

Enter the provocative world of master playwright Anton Chekhov’s Russia as tension and secret ignite into comedy at Hedgerow Theatre in Uncle Vanya, February 9 to March 5.

Vanya and his niece, Sonya, have toiled for years to keep the family estate going, when Sonya’s father, retired Professor Serebryakov, returns with his new wife Yelena. All work comes to a halt as buried resentments and forbidden feelings resurface. Vanya thematically focuses on the idea of a “wasted life,” as each character is consumed by lethargy and regret over their unsatisfactory lives; however, through Chekhov’s wit the dialogue is both pointed and comic.

Under the direction of Barrymore Recommended director of On the Verge Kittson O’Neill, Producing Artistic Director Jared Reed steps into the role of Serebryakov with his mother Penelope Reed as Maria along with an all-star Philly cast including Adam Altman as Vanya and Jennifer Summerfield as Sonya.

“It’s wonderful for us as a theatre company, because Chekhov is one of the great writers of drama and you have to be working at your best to meet him…He shows us that people don’t change – we still feel and process and laugh and cry over the same wonderful and absurd things, and to experience life that is funny at the same time it is sad, and the sad makes it funny, as the fact that you laugh makes it sad,” said Reed.

A founder of both the modern short story and modern prose drama, Chekhov was intimately acquainted with nineteenth-century provincial due to the debts amassed by his father. He became a tutor and writer in order to support himself, ultimately choosing to study medicine. Throughout his life Chekhov would have two loves, famously quipping that medicine was his lawful wife, while literature was his mistress.

“Chekhov is always relevant. His characters are like us in every possible way, with love, and sorrow, and caring. Chekhov is unmatched when it comes to showing us humanity, as it is,” said Reed.

Though he would not live to see it, Chekhov died of tuberculosis in Germany in 1904, he would transform the modern theatre. Chekhov’s plays use indirect action, focusing on understatement, broken conversation, off-stage events, and absent characters as catalysts for the dramatic action of a realistic play.

Adult ticket prices are $34, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under, as well as students, are $20. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. For reservations or more info, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley (near Media).