by Nicki Marian

Now that my 3rd floor John Wana-whatever apartment was furnished, stardom was almost a reality! How did I hear about "The Jasper Deeter Theatre School" in Philadelphia? Who knows? Apparently, it had always been called "Hedgerow Theatre" and I found it within walking distance. Did I rush through Rittenhouse-whatever? After all, this happened in '44!

I recall being 'on stage' doing bit pieces and improv. Students in the audience offered harsh criticism and,on occasion, clapped ... sort of. Did the theater have an ornate plastic dome and a unique entrance to the stage? Was Jasper Deeter our director? More memory lapses.

Several of the students became my friends. When they found out that I wasn't a starving student and had an apartment with a balcony YET, they eagerly accepted my invitation to my 3rd floor abode. If they saw a lamp lit at night, shining from the balcony, they knew it was A-O.K. to come on up for play acting. We had a riot of a time, especially emoting from said balcony. Wish I could remember just one name! Oh, someone bought me a broom and that hall closet did come in handy.

Research revealed that Jasper Deeter founded Hedgerow in 1923 in Rose Valley. Eventually, the theater moved to Philadelphia, closed in 1956 and then became "The Studio Players". In 1985, arson destroyed the theater; there is no mention of who set the fire, insurance coverage and other questions. Dedicated persons rebuilt Hedgerow and it is currently thriving back in Rose Valley.

Oh, what about the name? When the theater started in Rose Valley, a well-known actress, Anne Harding, noted the plays were given 'in the hedgerows' and she is given credit for the name.

I've "e'd" here and there trying to find the address of "The Hedgerow Theatre"/"The Studio Players" in Phila- delphia to no avail! Their new web-site in Rose Valley is not complete to this date. What's the big deal about the address? Top secret? Honestly!

Prior to moving to Philadelphia, I had kept in touch with a certain Master Sergeant who was insistent on getting married. An Army wife? Not me! We continued to write and I finally wrote that once he was discharged, we'd 'tie-the-knot'.

What happened to my career? Read on!

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