October 18 – November 11
1st Preview: Thursday, October 18 at 7:30 pm
Opening Night Friday, October 19 at 7:30 pm
Closing Matinee Sunday, November 11 at 2 pm
TICKETS AND TIMES CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE
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 (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 (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!
MICHAEL FUCHS (Dr. Bradman in Blithe Spirit) is a Philadelphia-based actor who has appeared at Hedgerow in No Sex Please, We’re British and Radio Mystery Plays, and at Media Theatre in 1776 and Romeo and Juliet. In the Berkshires, he recently acted on Shakespeare & Company’s mainstage in Merchant of Venice, directed by Tina Packer, and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Michael has also appeared in New York and Boston in Comedy of Errors, Company, and Blood Wedding, among others. Michael was originally trained at HB Studio in New York, and has studied locally at Hedgerow and the Walnut Street Theatre. Michael worked for many years in senior roles on Wall Street, suspending his acting career, and is blessed to have rejoined the great love of his life, the theater. What a joy to work with Carly, and to share the stage with Jared, Penny and this fabulous cast!
STACY SKINNER (Mrs. Bradman in Blithe Spirit) is delighted to be returning to the Hedgerow stage where she has previously been seen in Hamlet (Gertrude), Sense and Sensibility (Mrs. Dashwood), The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Emily Inglethorpe), and Communicating Doors (Ruella). Other recent credits include: My Name is Asher Lev (the Women) at the South Camden Theatre Company, Much Ado About Nothing (Don John), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Princess of France), both with Shakespeare in the Summer, co-produced by White Pines Productions and Pulley and Buttonhole Theatre. Stacy holds degrees in both Theatre and Speech-Language Pathology. Many thanks to this outstanding cast and crew with whom she is delighted to work and to her ever faithful family. Next up: A Christmas Carol right here at Hedgerow followed by The Savannah Sipping Society (Randa Covington) at the South Camden Theatre Company.
“We live in an age of ideals” – Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s madcap farce continues to delight audience more than a century after its premiere at the St. James Theatre in 1895. Like Wilde, the play is the embodiment of British dandyism.A flamboyant comedy of manners full of mistaken identities, secret engagements, and non-existent lovers, The Importance of Being Earnest is celebrated for its scintillating dialogue and witty repartee.
Earnest combines a labyrinthine of a plot and the most eccentric witty characters ever written, including the infamous Lady Bracknell.
The play is based on two young men, Jack Worthing, an upright citizen, and his friend Algernon Moncrieff, a witty lustful chap. In order to escape his conservative lifestyle, Jack creates an alter-ego, Ernest, which allows him to escape his boring life and be a man about town with Algernon.
In order to woo Jack’s ward Cecily Cardew, Algernon turns up at his friend’s estate pretending to be Ernest, but Jack is courting Lady Bracknell’s daughter Gwendolen Fairfax also under the name. When the ladies arrive to fight for Ernest’s attention and the “Ernest’s” to claim their ladies affection, only a senile maid and an old handbag can save the day.
From the play’s effervescent beginnings in Algernon’s flat to its hilarious denouement in Jack’s estate, this comedic masterpiece keeps audiences titillated from start to finish.
“Brilliant, inventive, witty and–when performed–absolutely hilarious, Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, is a landmark in the history of Western theater, and probably that writer’s greatest achievement.” –Thoughtco.com