The mission of Delaware Theatre Company is to create theatre of the highest professional quality in Delaware and thereby enrich the vitality of the area through artistic programming, education and community service.
Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts fueled America’s regional theatre movement. As a result, by the late 70s, there were resident professional theatres from coast to coast. Many of these new theatres (like their “Off-Off-Broadway” counterparts) found abandoned properties and turned them into performance spaces. And Wilmington was no exception.
In 1979, Delaware Theatre Company found its first home the moment founding Artistic Director Cleveland Morris set eyes on an abandoned firehouse at Third and French Streets.
With minor renovations funded by the city, individual donors and sweat equity, the company was ready to put on a show. The fare wasn’t intended to be a grab bag of “something for everyone,” but rather an attempt to show that theatre—an ancient, powerful art form—was capable of touching every human emotion.
In 1985, the City of Wilmington asked Delaware Theatre Company to relocate, and with the successful completion of Delaware Theatre Company’s first capital campaign, led by Board Chairman Charles F. Richards, Jr., it became the first arts and culture organization on the Riverfront.
While always an important pillar of Delaware Theatre Company’s programming, in 1991 the Education Department was created, with Charlie Conway at the helm. Over the next 25 years, Conway and his team created ensemble-based programs that have grown into numerous offerings, touching multiple populations in various locations in the community—from prisons to nursing homes to schools.
In 2012, Bud Martin assumed the role of Executive and Artistic Director at Delaware Theatre Company. Martin, whose career went from the theatre to corporate finance to Broadway producer, identified and created a new strategic plan with the vision of creating an energized and reinvigorated company.
With a renewed dedication to the art on the stage, Delaware Theatre Company has seen monumental growth in the last four years, notably:
A 70% increase in subscribers (national average is 12%)
A 234% increase in single ticket buyers
The development of FIVE new productions for Broadway or Off-Broadway
A 100% increase of participants in half of the Education & Community Engagement programs
Since 1979, the theatre has produced 220 mainstage productions, seen by more than one million patrons, and has impacted over 100,000 people through its Education and Community Engagement programs.
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION
Delaware Theatre Company operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
THEATRE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP
Delaware Theatre Company is a member of the Theatre Communications Group and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.
THE SOCIETY OF STAGE DIRECTORS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS
The Director/Choreographer is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, an independent national labor union.
UNITED SCENIC ARTISTS LOCAL USA - 829
The Scenic, Costume, Lighting, and Sound Designers in LORT Theatres are represented by United Scenic Artists Local USA-829