Judith Sapperstein, Playwright

Playwright & Executive Director of Gypsy Stage Company

My writing partner and I went to the Hedgerow Theatre this past weekend to see their production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”, written by Oscar Wilde. What a fabulous professional performance it was.

For those of you who may not know, The Hedgerow was started 95 years ago, in 1923 and many surrounding theatre groups grew out of first working at the Hedgerow not to mention the launching of the careers of so many artists along the way. But, the thing that excited me most was the fact that the Hedgerow is an “Ensemble” theatre. To quote their playbill, “Theatre made as an ensemble, where the artists know each other and also know they are working together long term, creates a dynamic of shared responsibility, diligence, collective good above individual that creates dynamic theatre, theatre that by its very nature is unique.”

I was very fortunate to have been a part of an ensemble group in the 1980’s and, recently, along with others, we formed the “Gypsy Stage Company” (www.gypsystagecompany.com) in order to recreate that model. Our goal, like the Hedgerow, is to build our family of professionally minded performers to get to know each other extremely well and be able to work together so strongly that the caliber of performance is enhanced tremendously. And, already, we have several award winning and well-traveled performers such as Michael Schiumo and Meg Arbo and we’d love to hear from others in our area that share our vision and would like to participate.

We have already been invited to make our home base at the Smoke and Mirrors Magic Theater in Huntingdon Valley, PA (www.smokeandmirrorstheater.com) beginning with our production of the scandalous comedy, LOVE AND MERGER, from June 7-10 but, like gypsy actors of the past, we are deliberately planning to travel to different venues throughout our area, including theaters, restaurants, clubs, retirement communities and more, in order to bring our performances to many audiences that might not otherwise get to see what we do.

Seeing that performance at the Hedgerow was such an inspiration to me and makes me only more committed to make the “Gypsy Stage Company” the finest ensemble group it can be.

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