Category: Artist Bio

Bios of our artists

Shaun Yates

Shaun is ecstatic to be back at his theatre home, Hedgerow. A native Texan, he has been performing in the Philly area for over five years. In that time he has enjoyed participating in numerous productions including A Christmas Carol and A Flea in Her Ear (Hedgerow Theatre); Star Wars: The New Musical Hope and Evil Dead: the Musical (Bootless Stageworks); and Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical and Assassins (The Eagle Theatre). Love and thanks to Mom, Dad, & Cris; and to you, theatre patron, for keeping the theatre alive. To find out what is next visit: http://www.shaunyates.com

Sarah J. Gafgen

Sarah J. Gafgen couldn’t be more delighted to be back at Hedgerow Theatre where she was seen on stage many times including as Kathy in Vanities.  Some other favorite roles include Annie Oakley (Annie Get Your Gun), Agnes Gooch (Mame), Joanne (Vanities),  Emma Goldman (Ragtime) and  Edith (Pirates of Penzance). Sarah has appeared on stage at The Walnut Street Theatre, Media Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre and Montgomery Theatre, among others. Thanks to Jared and the  Hedgerow family for the opportunity to be a part of this great event! Love to Carl, Mom and Dad.  www.sarahjgafgen.com

Carl Smith

Carl is a performer and teacher in the Philadelphia Area. A Texas native, he has been performing for over six years with such companies as Arden Theatre Co, People’s Light and Theatre Co, Storybook Musical Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Quince Productions, Live On Stage Productions, and Family Stages.  Regional credits include Mystery Of Irma Vep, Cinderella, Pride and Prejudice, Rent and Cyrano.  Love to God, Mom, Dad, Hus, Lee and his wife and partner in crime, Sarah.

Adam Altman

Adam Altman (Core Company Member) – Adam first appeared on Hedgerow’s stage as the title role in Uncle Vanya; he is incredibly pleased to be able to continue to work with this talented group of artists in this historic venue.  Adam’s first taste of acting was auditioning for the role of the lead kid (“Dylan” in the original sides) in the feature film Cop and a Half, starring Burt Reynolds.  Though Adam actually got a callback, he ultimately failed the screen test because they wanted him to “arrest” a fully-grown adult for jaywalking; 7-year-old Adam found this far too ridiculous and consequently couldn’t keep a straight face.  Much later, Adam became an Eagle Scout, attended college, and received purification in the fires of theme park entertainment. In addition to holding a BA in Theatre Performance from Seton Hill University, Adam also studied acting at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, and with Olivier, Tony, and Helen Hayes award winner Jane Lapotaire.  Adam is an Iron Age Theatre family member, having appeared in over 20 Iron Age productions.  Some other companies with whom Adam has performed include: the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Delaware Shakespeare, Inis Nua, Theatre Horizon, Lantern Theater, Tiny Dynamite, Commonwealth Classic, Shakespeare in Clark Park, Montgomery Theater, Delaware Theatre Co, Arden Theatre Co, and the National Constitution Center.  Adam lives in Glenside with his amazing wife Katie and their two sons Seamus & Lucius.

Susan Wefel

SUSAN WEFEL (Edith) a graduate of The School of Theater at Boston University and is a 38 -year veteran actress and company member of Hedgerow Theatre.  She has studied under Dolores Tanner, Rose Schulman, Janet Kelsey, Louis Lippa, and Penelope Reed.  Recent Hedgerow Roles include her critically acclaimed Shirley Valentine, Gaslight (Elizabeth), No Sex Please, We’re British (Mother), Pride and Prejudice (Mrs Bennett), Servant of Two Masters (Brigella),  and the annual A Christmas Carol, in which she has performed every year! Seen at Media Theater in The Addams Family, Les Miserables, Billy Elliot, To Kill a Mockingbird, Side Show and Romeo and Juliet. Winner of Broadway World Award 2016 for Best Supporting Actress of Philadelphia for portrayal of Grandma in Billy Elliot.

Aaron Oster

AARON OSTER (Sound Designer) has been a sound designer, director and dramaturg in Minneapolis, and in the Philadelphia Area since 2003.  He has designed for many local companies, including Inis Nua, EgoPo, Theatre Ariel, Simpatico, Luna Theater and Flashpoint. This is his second show with Hedgerow, following Around the World in 80 Days. He is an adjunct professor of theatre at Rutgers Camden and West Chester University, and occasionally at Drexel. Thanks to Lindsay, Eliana and Gavi.

Penelope Reed

​PENELOPE REED,(Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit), studied with founder Jasper Deeter before Carnegie Tech (BFA in acting) and Marquette University (MA in speech and directing). As leading actress at the Milwaukee Repertory, McCarter and Hedgerow theatres, Penelope for decades has chosen to weave together acting, teaching, directing, civic service (e.g. Rose Valley, Rotary Club, Delaware County Historic Society), and administration (e.g. Alverno College, Lawrenceville School and Hedgerow). She loves her “ladies” (from Blanche Dubois to Eleanor of Acquitaine).  However, her favorite role is watching Hedgerow’s growth as a dynamic regional force.  Penelope will receive the Philadelphia Barrymore Lifetime Achievement Award at the Merriam Theatre on October 30th.  Special thanks to generations of theatre goers, practitioners, supporters and family members who kept Hedgerow going. To Artistic Director Jared and my Zoran who has devoted decades of excellence in all areas of the theatre. Finally to Sebastian and Quentin, who fill us with wonder.

Jennifer Summerfield

Jennifer Summerfield (Ruth in Blithe Spirit) is excited to combine two of her favorite things, theatre and martinis, in her first Noel Coward production. She is a frequent guest artist at Hedgerow and has previously appeared here in Uncle Vanya, Macbeth, Hamlet, and Dracula, among others. Other recent productions: Sense and Sensibility (People’s Light,) Hedda Gabler (Laurel Tree Theater,) Dancing at Lughnasa (Curio Theatre). She is a graduate of Smith College and the Neighborhood Playhouse, where she learned how to repeat things, and is cofounder of Laurel Tree Theater. She will be seen next in two one-woman shows: her touring production of The Yellow Wallpaper at Historic Waynesborough in November and Mary Shelley in January at the Rosenbach Museum and Library.

Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell (Costume Designer Blithe Spirit) is a freelance costume designer in the Philadelphia area, Second Draper at the Walnut Street Theatre, Wardrobe Supervisor at the National Constitution Center, and is delighted to return to Hedgerow to design The Blithe Spirit. Recent design credits include: The Prisoner of Zenda, Gaslight (Hedgerow), The Comedy of Errors (Delaware Shakespeare Festival), Zombie in Love (WST) and The Producers, Hairspray, The Rocky Horror Show (Livingston Theatre Company). Many thanks to the amazing cast and crew, and to all of the wonderful people at Hedgerow!

Carly L. Bodnar

CARLY L. BODNAR (Director of Blithe Spirit) is a director, teaching artist, producer, and sometimes actor. She is thrilled to be back out at Hedgerow after working as the Associate Director on their Uncle Vanya. Carly is the Co-Artistic Director and founding member of ReVamp Collective, a Philadelphia based feminist theatre company. For the past three years she has directed for ReVamp and most recently directed the world premiere of Jimmy Gorski is Dead.  Carly’s other credits include; directing Sarah Treem’s A Feminine Ending, chorus director for Shakespeare in Clark Park’s Coriolanus, directing multiple staged reading and directing for multiple play festivals. Carly received her BA in Theatre from Temple University with a minor in Art History. Next up Carly is directing Stephen Sondheim’s Company at La Salle University, Kelly McCaughan’s one woman show Catholic Guilt, and Shelli Pentimall Bookler’s All the Dead Biddles. www.carlylbodnar.com