New HBO series filmed on location in Chester and Delaware counties04/20/2021 12:16PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
When Delaware audiences gathered in cinemas across the state beginning in June 1989 to see the film Dead Poets Society, it was assumed that half of them were there to see the work of actor Robin Williams and the story of how a teacher influenced the creative and spiritual lives of his pupils.
The other half settled in with their popcorn to catch glimpses of recognizable places, given that the entire film was shot in Delaware during the summer of 1988. From scene to scene, the First State was everywhere, from the Everett Theatre and St. Andrew’s School in Middletown to Old New Castle and beyond.
For those residents of Chester County who tuned in to the premiere episode of HBO’s new series “Mare of Easttown” on April 18, there was very likely the same division of interest, from those who were there for the compelling drama, and an audience who watched just to point out the familiar scenery.
Created by Pennsylvania native Brad Ingelsby, the seven-part series was filmed on location throughout Delaware County and Chester County, at sites that include the Commodore Barry Bridge in Chester; the former South Brandywine Middle School in Coatesville; Coatesville High School; Scott Field in Coatesville; and Spar Hill Farm in Kennett Township.
Filming of the series began in the fall of 2019 and was originally set to continue through April. However, production was shut down early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming resumed last Fall.
“Mare of Easttown” stars Academy Award®, Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a small-town Pennsylvania detective who investigates a local murder as life crumbles around her. The series does a deep dive into the dark side of a close community and an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present.
“Mare of Easttown” is already garnering critical acclaim, having received an approval rating of 80 percent by Rotten Tomatoes, who wrote on its website, “Grounded by a career-best Kate Winslet, ‘Mare of Easttown’’s ambitions at times exceed its reach, but its central mystery is supported by such strong sense of place and character it hardly matters.”
Ingelsby grew up in Berwyn, attended Archbishop John Carroll High School and graduated from Villanova University with a business degree and taught at St. Patrick's School in Malvern. Ingelsby later attended the American Film Institute as a graduate student in screenwriting, which led to his writing a screenplay that was later made into the film Out of the Furnace (2013) that starred Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson.
In 2015, Ingelsby wrote the screenplay for Run All Night, starring Liam Neeson and Ed Harris, and in 2020, the film The Way Back was released, based on his spec- script. It starred Ben Affleck as a high school basketball coach trying to improve a team as well as his personal life.
“On a lot of levels, it was a great experience,” Ingelsby recently told a news reporter about the experience of filming “Mare of Easttown.” “I got to go home and shoot something at home, which I never had the chance to do before. That was obviously a great experience and then I got to work with Kate Winslet, who is an incredible actress and she took on a part that I had written and I got to do it at home. I couldn’t ask for a lot more than that.”
“Mare of Easttown” also stars Julianne Nicholson; three-time Emmy® winner Jean Smart; Angourie Rice; Evan Peters; and Emmy® winner and Golden Globe® nominee Guy Pearce.
“Mare of Easttown” can be seen Sundays at 10:00 p.m. on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].