By B. Witham
Started as an audacious scan, for thirty years the Hedgerow Theatre prospered as America's such a lot winning repertory corporation. whereas identified for its recognized alumnae (Ann Harding and Richard Basehart), Hedgerow's legacy is a dwelling library of over two hundred productions created via Jasper Deeter's idealistic and decided pursuit of 'truth and beauty.'
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Additional resources for A Sustainable Theatre: Jasper Deeter at Hedgerow
His wood cuts and sculptures, for which he became famous, were all influenced by dance and music and drama. And his avocation of the Crafts movement made him one of the most respected artists in the Rose Valley. His passion for the land and for the sustainability of the environment were inspired by Thoreau—he is said to have kept a copy of Walden by his bedside— and his rejection of urban landscapes as corrupting resonated with Jasper Deeter. Esherick was introduced to Hedgerow by Deeter’s sister who was an osteopath and friend to Wharton’s wife, Letty.
34 A Sustainable Theatre It was a daunting task. Hedgerow didn’t even pay salaries to its “resident” actors, so the thought of assembling enough Negro actors to perform in repertory seemed utterly idealistic. But Deeter had connections in New York and in Philadelphia, and in the summer of 1929, he coaxed the cast of Abe back to Hedgerow for a revival that alternated with The Emperor Jones and an evening of Paul Green one-act plays (White Dresses, No Account Boy, The Man Who Died at Twelve O’Clock).
For Deeter, however, Inheritors was an incredible glimpse into what a life in the theatre might be. His work directing the company through the 20 A Sustainable Theatre politics of the play was always rooted in terms of their human needs, and he worked patiently with the untrained Harding to help her understand her mission of bringing Madeline to life within the given circumstances. Deeter was particularly struck by the correspondences that emerged in the rehearsal room. Madeline first appears as a tennis-playing, carefree young woman who awakens to the discrepancies in her idealistic world and matures into the social conscience of the play.
A Sustainable Theatre: Jasper Deeter at Hedgerow by B. Witham