After earning a master’s degree in theater arts from Villanova University and another in arts administration from Columbia, Delaware County native Marcie Bramucci headed north, working as managing director at Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine. She returned home to serve as People’s Light’s award-winning director of community investment. Taking over at Hedgerow this past summer, Bramucci is helming the Media mainstay’s 99th season.
MLT: How did you get into theater?
MB: My mom brought us to Upper Darby Summer Stage when I was really young—those artists were just rock stars to me. You’d see amazing performances from these kids rocking this huge theater. It was so exciting, so vibrant, so lively. It just captured my heart and my imagination. As soon as I was old enough to do Summer Stage, I joined their apprentice program. Then I ended up pursuing a theater degree at Point Park University.
MLT: What did you enjoy most about your time at People’s Light?
MB: There were so many great communities I had the privilege of working with and learning from. One of the most significant was the disability community. We produced the first sensory-friendly performance of our holiday show at People’s Light. As I grew to understand more about individuals with autism and other neuro-diverse populations, it was clear that the answers were coming from individuals in that community.
MLT: How will that translate to Hedgerow?
MB: We launched our first relaxed performance this fall. We also had audio descriptions for individuals who are blind or have low vision. We’ll be introducing ASL interpretation and bringing back open captioning. I’m just getting to know members of the community right now.
MLT: What does inclusion mean to you?
MB: The arts should be for everyone. It’s a basic human right. It’s hugely important, now more than ever. It’s hard to seek out perspectives that are not our own, but it’s our job. Inclusion is an education for all of us.
MLT: What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
MB: Hedgerow is about to turn 100 years old.
It’s been called the mother of all Philadelphia theaters. It’s a haven for artists and it has been for a long time. People’s Light and New Freedom Theatre grew out of Hedgerow. I’m trying to come in and elevate this history. My hope is to draw together as many of the people who’ve helped us get to 100 years—and while looking back on our history, also looking forward in terms of how we’re evolving to meet this moment.