Tag: 80

Finding the Jeu of Jules Verne

When asked how you play multiple colorful characters in the upcoming Summer Farce Around the World in 80 Days actor Sarah Knittel said, “Find the jeu.”

Knittel is a graduate of the Pig Iron School of Physical and Devised Theater and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  She appeared in last summer’s The Servant of Two Masters (Smeraldina), and has worked with Automatic Arts, Hella Fresh, Untitled Eva Steinmetz Project, Pig Iron, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, and Philadelphia Shakespeare. She is the 2017 Automatic Arts Artist in Residence and is creator of  The Joseph Davenport Experience cabaret.  

“Jeu,” the French word for game, is a derivative of the Jacques Lecoq method of acting and is a core principal of Pig Iron’s training program. The idea is to always search for the play in a moment, to make the most of whatever material is available, theatrically, and bringing it to life in the moment, and in Jules Verne’s epic adventure, play is certainly a key component.

I’m drawn to these comedies because they are so technical. If your timing is off or  you’re not present, you might not get the laugh. That sweet sweet laughter. I love the challenge. Physical comedy transcends language and age…. But mostly for that sweet laughter,” said Knittel.

Stampeding elephants, raging typhoons, runaway trains, and unabashed slapstick fill Around the World in 80 Days from start to finish. Hedgerow Theatre tackles the challenge of Jules Verne’s epic adventure with its talented cast in its beautiful rustic setting and brings the joy and humour of Mark Brown’s adaptation to life.

Every role is different. Passepartout is such a clown it made the most sense to start with his physical rhythms and posture.”

Around the World in 80 Days returns familiar funny faces and puts them in an exciting, and incredibly silly, rollercoaster spectacle.  Danger, romance and comic surprises abound as five actors – portraying 42 characters – traverse four continents in this race against the clock. Zoran Kovcic (Boeing Boeing and No Sex Please, We’re British), Mark Swift (Boeing Beoing and No Sex Please, We’re British), Hanna Gaffney (Boeing Boeing), and Knittel take on the mountainous task of creating a world of characters.

“Hanna Gaffney is bringing so much heart and elegance to her performance of Aioda. Mark Swift is so funny that I want to kill him and wear his skin.  Jared Reed and Zoren are class acts…. especially Jared’s baby blues. Damon Bonetti is fine.”

Opening night is Friday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a Wednesday matinee on August 2, at 2 p.m., and Fogg’s balloon lands for a final time on Sunday, August 13, at 2 p.m.

Adult ticket prices are $35, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under, as well as for 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).

Hanna Gaffney Could Use a Good Laugh

“Traveling and sewing are good sources of meditation,” says actor Hanna Gaffney, who returns to Hedgerow Theatre Company this summer for Around the World in 80 Days. “I love to travel when I can. I am also a seamstress, so finding sewing projects is a good source of meditation. I also can hardly sleep at night because I’m so excited to decorate my room. That’s sort of lame, but you want answers, you got ‘em.”

Gaffney, who made her first appearance at Hedgerow last summer as Gabriella in Boeing Boeing,  plays Aouda and many others in the upcoming comedy. She is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and her most recent Philadelphia credits include Witness for the Prosecution (Dr. Wyatt) at Bristol Riverside Theatre and Spamalot (The Lady of the Lake) at Resident Theatre Company.

This summer, Mark Brown’s adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic adventure Around the World in 80 Days pits the intrepid adventurer Phileas Fogg, played by Producing Artistic Director Jared Reed, with his loyal valet, Passepartout, against time as they embark on a grand journey from Victorian London through Asia and across the Pacific in precisely 80 days.

“I love to play in the clowning world, and though not all of my characters live there, I’m excited to work to give specific life to each of them. I also really enjoy doing research on the productions I’m involved in, and learning more about each culture we fly through in 80 Days is going to be so fascinating,” said Gaffney.

Around the World in 80 Days returns familiar funny faces and puts them in an exciting, and incredibly silly, rollercoaster spectacle.  Danger, romance and comic surprises abound as five actors—portraying 42 characters—traverse four continents in this race against the clock.

“I love how much this show encompasses,” said Gaffney. “Besides, for all of the many countries and cultures, it also blends a fantastic and bombastic world with a still and heartfelt one. Plus I rarely get to play a romantic lead, and I’m very excited for the challenge.”

All the world’s a stage, literally, in this theatrical tour-de-force as Gaffney and company turn adventure and romance into a fun-filled evening of farce and slapstick.

We live in a world where any bit of comedy and heart we can sit and ruminate on for a while is something worth watching. We need to escape the current climate so we don’t fall into normality. Our bodies will adjust to that normality, and we may forget we can fight for what is right. We need these breaks of hilarity and entertainment.”

The first preview performance of Around the World in 80 Days is Wednesday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. Opening night is Friday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a Wednesday matinee on August 2, at 2 p.m., and Fogg’s balloon lands for a final time on Sunday, August 13, at 2 p.m.

Adult ticket prices are $35, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under, as well as for 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).

 

Hedgerow Theatre’s Summer Comedy: Around the World in 80 Days

Hop aboard Phileas Fogg’s hot-air balloon as Hedgerow Theatre Company’s small troupe of actors take on a global collection of carnival characters in Mark Brown’s imaginative and theatrical re-imagining of Jules Verne’s 1873 adventure, Around the World in 80 Days, running July 6 to August 13. All the world’s a stage, literally, in this theatrical tour-de-force.

It is directed by master farceur Damon Bonetti, who helmed the Hedgerow’s phenomenally popular production of Patrick Barlow’s The 39 Steps, as well as the hit summer farces Boeing Boeing and No Sex Please, We’re British.

Around the World in 80 Days returns familiar funny faces and puts them in an exciting, and incredibly silly, rollercoaster spectacle.  Danger, romance and comic surprises abound as five actors portraying 42 characters traverse four continents in this race against the clock. Zoran Kovcic (Boeing Boeing and No Sex Please, We’re British), Mark Swift (Boeing Beoing and No Sex Please, We’re British), Hanna Gaffney (Boeing Boeing), and Sarah Knittel (The Servant of Two Masters) take on the mountainous task of creating a world of characters.

“It’s a fantastic adventure story with wonderful characters, but it’s also the story about the breaking down of barriers – both literally and figuratively – as an appreciation is gained of other cultures and Fogg learns how to care and to love others,” said Bonetti. “It’s a fun, fastpaced, exciting adventure – full of quick changes and quirky characters – a classic summertime farce – destined to become a Hedgerow favorite.”

The intrepid adventurer Phileas Fogg, played by Producing Artistic Director Jared Reed, with his loyal valet, Passepartout, agrees to an outrageous wager that puts his life and fortune at risk, as he embarks on a grand journey from Victorian London through Asia and across the Pacific in precisely 80 days.

“My first memory of this story was reading it at 10 years old. I love this adaptation. It captures that feeling from my youth. It is funny and adventurous and a great challenge for five actors….It’s humorous, romantic, and as witty as it is silly,” said Reed.

Stampeding elephants, raging typhoons, runaway trains, and unabashed slapstick fill this farcical adventure from start to finish. Hedgerow Theatre tackles the challenge of Verne’s epic adventure with its talented cast in its beautiful rustic setting and brings the joy and humour of Brown’s adaptation to life.

“How do we travel across the world on stage and keep a story moving forward, allowing the humor of the piece to be honest? That’s what we are attempting to find out,” said Reed.

The first preview performance of Around the World in 80 Days is Wednesday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. Opening night is Friday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a Wednesday matinee on August 2, at 2 p.m., and Fogg’s balloon lands for a final time on Sunday, August 13, at 2 p.m.

Adult ticket prices are $35, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under, as well as for 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).

Damon Bonetti Farceur Extraordinaire

Damon Bonetti is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of The Philadelphia Artist’s Collective and a Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University in Camden, Drexel University, and Rowan University.  He is excited to be back in the Hedgerows where he has directed the last three summer farces, The 39 Steps, No Sex Please, We’re British, and Boeing Boeing.  

“This play is a ton of fun, a true adventure! I’m interested in how these five actors interpret these roles and how to find the best world for them to inhabit,” says Bonetti.

Damon has directed or acted at many of the area theaters and received Barrymore nominations for True Story at Passage Theater (Director), Orange Flower Water at Luna Theater (Supporting Actor)  and The Hound of the Baskervilles at Lantern Theater (Ensemble).

He recently directed the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective production of The White Devil, with Jared Reed as Duke Brachianno, and appeared in All’s Well That Ends Well.  He holds an M.F.A. from Florida State University /Asolo Theatre and a Bachelor of Arts from DeSales University.

He’s spent the past three summer’s in Rose Valley making people laugh with farces, and this summer will be no different. He loves the intimacy of the audience that Hedgerow offers and the connection to its patrons.

“There’s no prettier place outside nor funnier inside than Hedgerow Theatre,” says Bonetti, “[and] the collective shared experience that those people have – hearing the laughs, gasps and groans is why we do this.”

The first preview performance of Around the World in 80 Days is Wednesday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. Opening night is Friday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a Wednesday matinee on August 2, at 2 p.m., and Fogg’s balloon lands for a final time on Sunday, August 13, at 2 p.m.

Adult ticket prices are $35, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under, as well as for 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).