225 Years of Delaware County: William Penn would be Proud

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Lily Dwoskin, 
Hedgerow Theatre Fellow

When Penny first asked me to help her create a play to celebrate the 225th birthday of Delaware County, I was honored and excited for the opportunity.   I had no idea then what a unique, creative, and collaborative experience this was going to be.  

The process began with a few meetings where Penn and I discussed her vision for the evening, a festive party at the townhouse, where people in colonial dress, myself included, would greet the guests, important people would give speeches, and we would conclude with a reenactment sketch, to be created.  She shared with me the rich history of the Delaware County, a story that included militias and beer, and certainly peeked my interest.

We then began to bring others into the process.  Carol Fireng of the Delaware County Historic Society shared her passion for Delaware County history, eagerly filling in our evening with facts, dates and historic anecdotes, which not only contributed to our piece, but also brought to light the importance of this little place in which we all live.

When we began rehearsals, the enthusiasm and talent of the volunteers who made up our cast, crew and creative team in one astounded me.  It is inspiring to see a group of people so dedicated to making an event.  We had volunteers to help with research, with props and costumes, with writing, with tech and acting.  These people gave us their time, in exchange for the chance to be part of Delaware County history.

As rehearsals went on, our script began to take shape.  We had some nights where the actors would improvise entire scenes, directed by Penn, and me at my computer, recording as much as I could and shaping it later.  In this way, the play was truly devised by everyone.  In true Hedgerow fashion, every person involved in this project touched every aspect of the play and can therefore take ownership of it.  I cannot wait until we get to share our work with the guests of the Towne House.  I think William Penn himself would be proud.