Hedgerow Theatre
Scope:
The Hedgerow Theatre collection consists of papers regarding Jasper Deeter, correspondence, scripts, photographs, papers regarding television, film and radio productions, production files, printed material, professional material, financial material, and other items.

The Jasper Deeter papers include articles, book reviews, biographical information, correspondence (1922-1964), financial records, a transcript of a taped interview by Richard K. Doud, speeches (ca. 1937-1942), notes for classes on acting and directing (1931-1944), several pages from Deeter’s directing notebook, items regarding Deeter’s family history, published writings by Deeter, newsclippings about Deeter, programs for plays directed by Deeter, and obituaries for Deeter.

Correspondence in the collection dates from the 1920s to the 1960s, and includes numerous authors, actors, directors, producers, composers, and others.  Notable correspondents include Marc Blitzstein, Frederick Coe, Ethel Barrymore Colt, Edward Fuller, Robert Lewis, David Merrick, George Bernard Shaw, Kathryn Kennedy O’Connor, Maria Ouspenskaya, John Reich, Lee Simonson, Robert Breen, Helen Hayes, Brooks Atkinson, Albert C. Barnes, Eric Bentley, Lotte Lenya, Stefan Wolpe, Pearl S. Buck, James K. Feibleman, Max Fischer, Morris Carnovsky, Harold Clurman, George Jean Nathan, Henry Miller, Paul Weiss, Alla Nazimova, Scott Nearing, Antoinette Perry, Gilbert Seldes, J. B. Priestley, Thornton Wilder, Sherwood Anderson, Jane Bowles, Theodore Dreiser, Stephen Leacock, Federico Garcia Lorca, Arthur Miller, Sean O’Casey, Eugene O’Neill, and many others.

Scripts in the collection consist of plays produced by the Hedgerow Theatre from 1923 to 1956.  Many scripts include holograph markings and corrections, as well as blocking notes, lighting cues, costume plots, technical notes, and other production material.  Plays include Among Ourselves, by Joanna Roos; And He Did Hide Himself, by Ignazio Silone; Back to Methusalah, Candida, Getting Married, Man and Superman, Too True to Be Good, and The Devil’s Disciple, by George Bernard Shaw; Behold Your God, by Richard Houghton Hepburn; The Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape, by Eugene O’Neill; Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen; Mr. Pim Passes By, by A.A. Milne; One Way to Heaven, by Countee Cullen; The Playboy of the Western World, by John Millington Synge; Six Characters in Search of an Author, by Luigi Pirandello; and many others.  Also present are part books for numerous plays (1923-1956) by various authors.  In addition, the collection contains scripts and part books for plays not produced by Hedgerow (or produced after 1956), including The Cradle Will Rock, by Marc Blitzstein; Cross Purpose, by Albert Camus; The Good Woman of Setzuan, by Bertolt Brecht; Joy to My Soul and Little Ham, by Langston Hughes; What Shall We Tell Caroline? by John Mortimer; and others.

Photographs in the collection are extensive, and include images of actors, specific productions, stage designs, costume designs, ”Hedgerow life,” Hedgerow Theatre on tour, the Hedgerow Theatre building, post-1956 productions, and the Rose Valley Chorus.  Most of the photographs are black and white prints measuring 8 x 10" or smaller, with some larger-size prints included.  Notable individuals present include Jasper Deeter, Libby Holman, Eva LaGallienne, Eugene Ormandy, Claude Rains, Leo G. Carroll, Beatrice Lillie, and others.

Material regarding television, film and radio productions includes correspondence regarding audience members (1929-1955), radio (1933-1955), and television (1946-1955); photographs regarding television productions; various items regarding The Hedgerow Story, a documentary film produced by the U.S. State Department (1948); and drafts of radio and television scripts.

Production files include cast lists; schedules; items regarding touring and outside engagements, including letters from Fiorella La Guardia, Erwin Piscator, Frieda Fishbein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and others; the Shaw Festival, including photographs of George Bernard Shaw; set designs and ground plans; costume plots; light plots; programs; reviews; posters; artwork; time breakdowns; and production notes.  

Printed material includes articles on the Hedgerow Theatre; reviews and announcements of productions; tearsheets from U.S. newspapers and magazines; advertisement proofs; publicity material, including correspondence, press releases, and mailings; scrapbooks containing clippings, reviews, and programs, including many pieces about the Hedgerow School; and other items.

Professional material consists of items regarding the governance of the Hedgerow Theatre.  This material includes Board of Governors meeting minutes, full company meeting minutes, partnership and joint committee minutes, various other committee minutes, legal documents and agreements, floor and property plans, items from the Hedgerow Theatre Corporation, items about the theatre’s history, documents regarding the theatre’s operations, several pieces regarding the selection of plays, and other items; includes letters from Richard Basehart, Eric Bentley, Jasper Deeter, Frank Lloyd Wright, and others.

Financial material includes bank material, commissary documents, correspondence, fund raising lists, Department of Labor forms and other government documents, box office records, ledgers, accounts, bills, receipts, and various other items.

Other material includes several items regarding the Hedgerow School, including classroom material, dance material, general reports, correspondence, registration forms, schedules, summer school records, financial records, publicity material, student applications, veteran and trade school correspondence, and other documents; a draft and notes for a thesis on the Hedgerow Theatre by Dolores Tanner; wood and linoleum printing blocks, mostly designed by Wharton Esherick; audio recordings of music; and other items.
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Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Hedgerow Theatre (Organization : Rose Valley, Pa.)