Hedgerow Theatre's 2015-16 Season to Include Agatha Christie Premiere & More
The 2015-16 season at Hedgerow promises hilarity, chills, thrills, suspense, intrigue, mystery and a holiday tradition, with a schedule that includes the comic detective spoof Bullshot Crummond, the Gothic horror of Dracula, the 23rd annual A Christmas Carol, the amazing true story of British spy turned playwright Aphra Behn in Or, the world premiere of Agatha Christie's Mysterious Affair at Styles, and the classic Italian comedy The Servant of Two Masters.
The laughter that began with the summer farce continues with Bullshot Crummond from September 3 to October 11. Ronald E. House, Diz White, John Neville-Andrews, Alan Shearman, and Derek Cunningham's rollicking parody of the pulp-fiction 1930s British adventurer Bulldog Drummond features wacky attempts to recreate film effects on stage. The dashing title hero, played by Brock D. Vickers, battles an archetypal villain and a femme fatale who want to take over the international diamond trade, all while attempting to aid a beautiful damsel in distress. Matt Tallman, the lead from last year's popular 39 Steps, returns to direct, an appropriate move since the two plays are similar in style. Others in the cast are Hedgerow Fellows Josh Portera and Allison Bloechl, plus Mary Beth Shrader (who played Reece in Communicating Doors), and newcomer Bryan Black, a 2014 graduate of University of the Arts.
Dracula arrives just in time for Halloween, running from October 22-November 22. The 1924 stage play was adapted by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston from Bram Stoker's novel, the original vampire story that started the craze that continues today. Shortly after a strange ship lands in England, the famed Dr Van Helsing is called in to determine the cause of a young woman's sudden mysterious illness. The production is directed by Dan Hodge, co-founder of the Philadelphia Artistss Collective, who helmed Macbeth and Hamlet. Philadelphia actor J. Hernandez makes his Hedgerow debut as the charismatic Count Dracula. Jennifer Summerfield, who played Horatio in last year's Hamlet, once again genderbends as Van Helsing. Also in the cast are Fellows Allison Bloechl and Mark Swift, and returning actors Robert Daponte and John Lopes.
Charles Dickens' beloved A Christmas Carol makes its 23rd appearance from December 4 to 27. This year, though, makes the inaugural presentation using a new adaptation by Artistic Director Jared Reed, who became deeply appreciative of the nuances in tale of the miserly Scrooge's redemption when he performed a critically acclaimed one-man version of the play several years ago. Zoran Kovcic will play Scrooge, joined by a large multi-generation cast featuring the company members, students and local families who have made it their holiday tradition
Over the winter, from January 28-February 28, step back in time to the 1600s to spend a night in the fantastic life of Aphra Behn (1640-1689), who is charged with stopping a plot to murder King Charles II while also having to meet a deadline for finishing a play for a London theatre company in Or. Liz Duffy Adams's highly praised comedy depicts the somewhat notorious Behn's evolution from spy to the first professional female playwright in amusing style, depicting the Restoration era as of of counter-culture, free love and cross-dressing and radical ideas. It's directed by Aaron Cromie, who describes himself as a Philadelphia-based multi-disciplinary theatre artist, performer, designer, director, writer, musician. Kittson O'Neill, a performer known in Philadelphia and New York who directed last year's successful On the Verge, returns as Behn, joined by Allison Bloechl and Brock D. Vickers.
It's followed by Agatha Christie's Mysterious Affair at Styles from March 17 to May 8, Jaed Reed's world premiere adaptation of the Christie's first published novel, the 1920 work which introduced the world to detective Hercule Poirot, Inspector Japp and Arthur Hastings. It's set in the summer of 1917 in Essex, England. Captain Arthur Hastings has returned from WWI to convalesce at Styles Court, when the lady of the house suspiciously dies. Enter Poirot, Belgian refugee and detective extraordinaire, who applies his famous brain to the seemingly unsolvable mystery. Penelope Reed directs Zoran Kovcic as Poirot and Shaun Yates as Hastings, along with others in the resident company.
The season closes with The Servant of Two Masters, Carlo Goldoni's 1746 commedia dell'arte masterpiece, from May 26 to June 26. This version was adapted by Aaron Cromie, who also directs. Juilliard-trained actor Jared Reed plays the title character, Truffaldino, a quirky, comical servant who has an insatiable appetite. Because of his constant hunger, he takes two jobs hoping to get double his wages and his food, leading to a madcap confusion of lovers, lawyers, disguises, traps, tricks--and 27 plates of meatballs. Reed is joined by the rest of the Hedgerow company to pull off this delightful farce.
For information about show dates and times, to order tickets or purchase a membership, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley (near Media).