In response to Diamantino Machado’s letter last week on “cultural poverty in Chestnut Hill” in which he cites, among others, the lack of theater “for presentation of … good American and foreign plays,” I would like to mention that for the last 90 years Chestnut Hill has been home to The Stagecrafters, one of the most respected theatrical production companies in the region.

The Stagecrafters is a company of high professional standards with commitment to excellence in the art and craft of live theater.  Currently we produce five full theatrical productions per season, which encompass a wide range, from classics to edgy contemporary fare.  We are located in the heart of Chestnut Hill at 8130 Germantown Ave., occupying a rather attractive historically certified property.

One of our earlier offerings this season, “The Miser” by Moliere, a French classic in a contemporary translation, was chosen by the Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the best theatrical productions of 2017 in the Philadelphia area.

Our next production is “Race” by David Mamet, one of the most intriguing and provocative American plays of the last decade.  “Race” opens on Friday, June 15, and our theater invites Mr. Machado to come to see one of the performances as our guest.  After seeing what we have to offer, Mr. Machado may begin to feel a little less culturally deprived when being in Chestnut Hill.

Yaga Brady
Vice President in charge of Theatrical Productions
The Stagecrafters’ Board of Directors


I hope that this information can reassure Mr. Machado that, contrary to his letter, there is, happily, much culture to be found nearby.

Obviously, Mr. Machado could not have known about the lead story in this week’s Local about Woodmere Art Museum and it’s new exhibit – the 77th Annual Juried Exhibition, which opened on June 2. However, the irony could not be ignored.

For the benefit of Mr. Machado and others who might hold a similar view, I point out the following:

Woodmere Art Museum has an exciting program of events all year round, including lectures, gallery talks, “Classical Saturday” concerts, Friday Night Jazz, Tuesday night classic movies, dance concerts, free admission on Sundays, with free docent tours every other Sunday, cultural celebrations such as Martin Luther King Day Family Festival (which includes art projects and reading to children), many art classes for adults, and other events far too numerous to mention here.

Of course, and importantly, there are the frequently-changing exhibitions of amazing art by local artists (Woodmere’s mission is to promote the art and artists of Philadelphia).

So, I invite Mr. Machado and other members of the community to visit Woodmere. Perhaps it will be on a day when I am conducting a tour. In the event that occurs, it would be my privilege and pleasure to share the many fabulous cultural events that Woodmere has to offer. It is a very special place in our community.

Sharon Reiss
Mt. Airy