Why Rotary Clubs Mattert

Hedgegrow Theatre President shares her love of community.

From left: Trax Restaurant and Cafe, the People’s Light & Theatre in Malvern, the International Ballet Classique and La Belle Epoque Wine Bistro in Media, Pa.

Penelope Reed, Rose Valley

Executive Director, Hedgerow Theatre President, Rotary Club of Media

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As the doyenne of the Main Line theater community, Hedgerow Theatre’s Penelope Reed has mentored many of the area’s actors, playwrights and directors. She comes from rich American acting stock; her great-grandfather was famed actor Edwin Booth. Hedgerow just celebrated the grand opening of its new welcome center. This fall, Reed will star in the company’s production of Hamlet, with her son, Jared, in the title role. Reed is also turning the spotlight on another of her passions: the Rotary Club of Media. 

Why the rotary club matters: “It’s a wonderful, connected team of people who volunteer their time to improve their communities and the world.” 

Her goals for Media’s club: To improve collaboration with the other Main Line rotary clubs and to generate awareness for Chester City’s WorkReady intern program. “It’s one of my big babies. Interns from Chester high schools are paired with businesses and organizations willing to mentor them in workplace environments. Hedgerow has taken on an intern; Riddle Hospital has four interns; Swarthmore College has interns; and the Ardmore Initiative just took on one. I want to find more internship opportunities for these kids. It could change their lives.”

Coolest local events: Media’s Bastille Day in July, Media’s Dickens December, and every month’s Second Saturdays in Media. 

The perfect date night: Dinner at Trax Restaurant  and Cafe [1], then theater at Act II Playhouse in Ambler. “Tony [Braithwaite] was one of my actors years ago, and did my shows—especially the Neil Simon productions—until he got the directorship at Act II.”

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Favorite local arts institutions: The Wharton Esherick Museum in Paoli, People’s Light & Theatre [2] in Malvern, the Villanova University Performing Arts Center, and the International Ballet Classique [3] at Neumann University. 

Favorite local restaurant:  “Loic [Barnieu] was an actor with us when he first came here from France. Now, he’s a true restaurateur with three places in Media: Picasso, La Belle Epoque Wine Bistro [4] and Diego’s Cantina.”

Last thing she ate that she loved: The Buddha’s Delight at Margaret Kuo’s. 

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!