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Mark Sfirri collection of Hedgerow Theatre Company posters


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Visionary actor and director Jasper Deeter founded Hedgerow in 1923 as a haven for cutting edge artists of the early 20th century, and the theatre quickly gained a national and international reputation as a proving ground for artists. Hedgerow launched as the first American resident repertory theatre that has become a magnet for many national theatre personalities, from Ann Harding to Keanu Reeves.

Starting from humble beginnings in a gristmill, the Hedgerow has persisted through many challenges from war and fluctuating economies to two fires which required a complete rebuilding of the theatre in 1990. Despite these challenges, the Hedgerow Theatre Company has continually grown, adding new programs to aid in the growth of theater education and experience for all ages. In 1958, Rose Schulman and Deeter founded the Hedgerow Theater School of Expression training generations of theatre artists adding to the already thriving live-in repertory theatre company. Shortly after, actress Penelope Reed joined the Company and quickly opened a children's theater while expanding the educational programming to include children as well.

Serving as artistic director from 1990 to 2013, Penelope Reed guided the Hedgerow to being a defining feature of the Greater Philadelphia artistic landscape and cemented its role in training the next generation of theatre artists by installing a Fellowship program that continues to produce talented arts leaders that have grown the Philadelphia arts scene. At the 2001 National Theatre Communications Group conference held in Philadelphia, Hedgerow was lauded as the "Mother of all Philadelphia theatres." In 2016, Hedgerow theatre changed hands with Penelope Reed stepping down and her son, Jared Reed, taking over the directorship.

The mission of the Hedgerow Theatre Company— as professional theatre ensemble and theatre school—strives to create ensemble works of the highest quality and distinction and to provide a learning environment focused on kindness, positive feedback, creative thought, and critical thinking using theatre as the medium. Additionally, the Theatre continues to be a resident training ground for established and emerging theatre professionals while serving as a cultural resource for all people while deepening human connections.

History taken in its entirety from the Hedgerow Theatre (

This collection consists of ten posters advertising Hedgerow Theatre Company's seasons and repertory, dating from the 1940s to the 1950s. The posters are arranged in chronological order, as much as possible.

The posters include the name of the theater, Hedgerow Theatre, and its location in Moylan, Pennsylvania, as well as telephone number. These posters, for the most part, include a drawn representation of Hedgerow Theatre, sometimes stylized, or a logo for the Theatre. Only two posters include a list of plays or performances; the remainder include instructions for writing or calling for schedules or reservations.

Nearly all the posters indicate that tickets were available to be purchased in the city of Philadelphia at Gimbels and, prior to the mid 1950s, at Haly Ticket Office. Early posters also advertise special rates for students and parties. In the mid 1950s, the Company appears to have performed in the Academy of Music Foyer at Broad and Locust Streets.

Gift of Mark Sfirri, 2018.

Mark Sfirri also donated Hedgerow Theatre School of Expression in Philadelphia, Jasper Deeter, director : fall, winter-spring terms, 1944-45, by Hedgerow Theatre (Organization : Rose Valley, Pa.) which was cataloged separately.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Holly Mengel
Finding Aid Date
2019 April 30
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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25th Fall Season, 1948.
Drawer 107 Folder unknown container
24th Year of Repertory, 1950.
Drawer 107 Folder unknown container
25th Year of Repertory (2 copies on different weight paper), 1951.
Drawer 107 Folder unknown container
Academy of Music: Plays (including The Crucible, Twelfth Night, Noah, The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg, Right You Are, The Physician In Spite of Himself, Unfinished Portrait, Cross Purpose, The Great Big Doorstep, The Emperor-Jones, and Man and Superman), probably 1953.
Drawer 108 Folder unknown container
Repertory, 1954.
Drawer 107 Folder unknown container
Academy of Music Foyer: A Season of Repertory--October 16 thru January 2, circa mid 1950s.
Drawer 107 Folder unknown container
37th Anniversary Year Spring Schedule (including The Bonds of Interest, The Idiot, Winnie the Pooh, Scenes and Songs from Shakespeare, and Concert of American Music), 1959.
Drawer 108 Folder unknown container
Repertory (2 copies of template), circa 1940s-1950s.
Drawer 107 Folder unknown container

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