The Hedgerow Theatre was created by Jasper Deeter in 1923 in a rural Pennsylvania community devoted to the Arts and Crafts movement. Deeter, who had achieved some success in Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, abandoned the commercial stage and assembled a company dedicated to true repertory and to theater as a 'way of life.' It was an audacious experiment, but over the next thirty years Hedgerow prospered and became America's most successful repertory company. While it is popularly known for some of its famous alumnae, including Ann Harding and Richard Basehart, Hedgerow's genuine legacy is a living library of over 200 productions created by Deeter's idealistic, but determined, pursuit of "truth and beauty" in the theatre.
Barry B. Witham is Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the University of Washington, USA and former Executive Director of the School of Drama and Dramaturg of the Seattle Repertory Theatre, USA. His previous books include The Federal Theatre Project: A Case Study (2003), Theatre in the Colonies and United States (edited, 1996) and Uncle Sam Presents with Tony Buttitta (1982). He was the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Prize at the University of Washington in 2002 and of the Betty Jean Jones Award from the American Theatre and Drama Society in 2003. Witham served two terms on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Theatre Research and is a member of the National Theatre Conference and the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.
Introduction * The Inheritors * The Emperor Jones * Too True To Be Good * Cherokee Night * An American Tragedy * Winesburg, Ohio * The Sea Gull * Conclusions