Hedgerow Theatre to Stream US Premiere of Tim Crouch's BEGINNERS

Beginners will be available live in homes around the world May 3-5.

By: Apr. 26, 2024
Hedgerow Theatre to Stream US Premiere of Tim Crouch's BEGINNERS
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Hedgerow Theatre Company recently opened the US Premiere of Tim Crouch’s Beginners,  a wonderfully inventive play by the  Obie Award-winning theatre-maker  that explores a time of pivotal transition and the “wafer-thin divide between childhood and adulthood.” Now, audiences everywhere will get to experience  Beginners, through Hedgerow’s partnership with the League of Live Stream Theater. Beginners will be available live in homes around the world May 3-5 at the show’s performance time at Hedgerow. Beginners is directed by Hedgetow Executive Artistic Director Marcie Bramucci, who has been bringing increasingly bold and exciting artistic work to Hedgerow, and performed by Emma Gibson (switching from her recent Director role of Hedgerow’s critically acclaimed The New Electric Ballroom), returning talents Philip Brown (Good Grief), Mike Thurstlic (A Christmas Carol Comedy, Tales from Poe) with new-to-Hedgerow dynamos Nicole Lawrieand Joanna Liao, and Hedgerow Theatre school youth artists Alice Webber (Pillowman, Junie B. Jones Jr), Olivia Seale (Frozen Kids), and Theo Bramucci (Frozen Kids, Junie B Jones Jr), alongside youth artist Jordan Sheppard, who makes his Hedgerow debut. Beginners runs through May 5th at Hedgerow.

Tickets for the Live Stream are available at www.lolst.org.  The stream costs $39. If audiences want to see the performance in person, tickets cost $35 for adult tickets and $20 for students and youth (under 18 years old), plus fees, and are available online at www.hedgerowtheatre.org.  Hedgerow Theatre Company is located at 64 Rose Valley Rd.

The live stream is showing Beginners Friday May 3 at 7 p.m.; Saturday May 4 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday May 5 at 2 p.m. Hedgerow is the first theatre the League of Live Stream Theater has returned to work with. This is also the first family-friendly show they have had. 

“We're thrilled to be partnering with Hedgerow Theater for this second collaboration and even more excited to bring Beginners, our first-ever streamed production for kids and families, to a global audience,” said Jim Augustine, Co-Founder of the League of Live Stream Theater. “It's exactly the kind of innovative and engaging theater we love to champion and share.” 

The League of Live Stream Theater is a nonprofit that provides technical and financial solutions to  nonprofit theaters with need to efficiently deliver their content to a global audience. LOLST works to build both audience and net new revenue for theaters.  They have streamed Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional productions including Second Stage, MTC, Vineyard, The New Group, and more. Hedgerow is the 10th theater they have worked with in the  past 6 months. In the summer of 2023, LOLST streamed the World Premiere of Juliette Dunn’s The Puzzle.

“We are fortunate to collaborate once again with LOLST to expand the reach and accessibility of this whole-hearted production,” notes Bramucci. “The availability of this offering builds on Hedgerow’s intentionally inclusive welcome with accessible accommodations, including relaxed and audio described performances, open captioning, and more. It is exciting to align with LOLST, a mission-based organization to expand the reach of live theater.”

On the surface, Beginners is a play about a group of friends and their families who have gathered as they do every year for a vacation in a remote town in coastal Maine. However, audiences gradually begin to sense and discover that there is much more than meets the eye. The play premiered in 2018 at the Unicorn Theatre, the UK's leading professional theatre dedicated to producing inspiring and invigorating work for young audiences, and quickly became the hottest ticket in London. Beginners was celebrated as “one of the liveliest and sharpest pieces of theatre you’ll see this year [written] by Tim Crouch, a wonderfully mischievous theatre-maker.”

Hedgerow is thrilled to produce the US Premiere of this singular work and to collaborate with Crouch in that process. “A playwright often wonders if what they’ve written will translate beyond their own imagination,” notes Crouch. “It’s a dream to think of Beginners meeting a US audience for the first time. It’s the play I feel most emotionally attached to and the thought of my characters being given new life in a new setting is absolutely thrilling.” 

“Crouch’s work is like that of no other theatre artist,” highlights Bramucci, who helms the production. “ His plays each have their own entirely individual rules and structures, and with Beginners, which centers a young person’s world, expectations are flipped inside out and anything seems possible. Haunting, silly, confounding, touching, illuminating, and most delightfully mischievous, Beginners holds within its swift 90 minutes the multitudes in each of us and the reasons why theatre endures. Crouch offers a veritable playground for theatre-makers and audiences alike - and it is a true gift to inhabit with the whole of this amazing team.” 

Beginners features a stellar nine-person multi-generational ensemble, including four young actors, between the ages of 10 and 12. Children of this specific age are not only vital to Crouch’s story, but are also critical collaborators in the rehearsal and production process. Dramaturg Gina Pisasale observes, “When you invite young people into an artistic process, and offer them – their experiences, thoughts, creativity, and playfulness – equal if not more visibility and influence as anyone else in the room, incredible listening and new discoveries are made that would have never happened otherwise. As adults, it gets us out of our ruts and assumptions, and changes and elevates the whole climate of artmaking. It has been wonderful to experience.”

As children and as adults we experience events – joyful and challenging – that make us feel like beginners over and over. Crouch addresses these moments head on and gives us (a) play to move through it. Lyn Gardner of The Guardian explains that, “Watching it – we expand our belief in what’s possible and how we can overcome what life throws at us.”

Hedgerow’s production of Beginners demands a kind of imaginative and playful rigor that has thrilled the creative team that includes Paul Kuhn as the Scenic Designer & Chief Builder, Lily Fossner as the Lighting Designer, Nicole Lawrie as the Costume Designer, Shannon Zura as Sound Designer, Pete Pryor as Artistic Consultant, Steve Smith as Fight Choreography/Movement Director, and Gina Pisasale as Dramaturg.  Kate Fossner is the Production Manager and Ali Caiazzo is the Stage Manager.

The creative team have opened the Theatre venue to include opportunities for on stage seating, an extension of the vacation house where the action of the play unfolds around them. Audiences can enjoy seating in bean bag chairs, rocking chairs, carpet squares in the first two rows and on stage, including wheelchair accessible seating options on stage and in the second row of the theatre. 


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