In DTC’s first production’s playbill, Cleveland Morris wrote, “Theatre is the moment of contact between live actors and live audience. That ephemeral instant of electricity has sparked and ignited our culture for 2,500 years. Without an audience, theatre is nothing but a monotonous rehearsal schedule. In its essence, theatre is communication. What entertains and excites you inspires us. That’s theatre. I hope that the laughter and tears of this two-play season will start to build your sense of belonging to and sharing with the DTC. The pleasure of your company is the pleasure of ours.”
In 1985, the City of Wilmington needed the DTC property for other uses, and the theater had to relocate. With the successful completion of DTC’s first capital campaign, led by Board Chairman Charles F. Richards, Jr., it became the first arts and culture organization on the Riverfront. At the time, the area was rather desolate, with a few industrial companies still in operation, and the move seemed like a huge risk.
While always an important pillar of Delaware Theatre Company’s programming, the Education Department was created in 1991, with Charles Conway at the helm. Over the next 25 years, Conway and his team created ensemble-based programs that now touch citizens all over the community—from Ferris School youth-at-risk, to seniors in nursing homes, to school kids, and the Totally Awesome Players program for individuals with developmental disabilities.
“The Wine Feast & Auction is a celebration for our theatre company and our community,” said Executive Director Bud Martin. “We’re able to showcase great restaurants, wine and craft beer merchants, and offer great wines from private cellars at both the Live and Silent Auctions.”
The Wine Feast is one of Wilmington’s most popular and successful charity events. The proceeds from corporate sponsors, donations, and auctions support DTC’s education and community engagement programs as well as their mainstage productions. Martin said, “DTC serves 35,000 theatregoers and 5,000 children throughout Delaware, and we’re dedicated to providing our audiences and students with quality storytelling, craftsmanship, and education.”
Today, Delaware Theatre Company is the only theatre in Delaware developing new works for Broadway. Since 2015, DTC has developed six new works for Broadway: Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Outgoing Tide, Because of Winn-Dixie, Maurice Hines’ Tappin’ Thru Life, Diner, The War of the Roses, and White Guy on the Bus¸ two of which successfully transferred Off-Broadway. This season, DTC is presenting the regional premiere of A Sign of the Times, a new 60s musical and Broadway-bound production.
Wine Feast & Auction tickets are available with general admission discounts available until October 17. Young Friends tickets for those 21-35 are also offered. Attendees may purchase by telephone via the DTC Box Office at (302) 594-1100 or online at www.DelawareTheatre.org
Patron tickets are also available and include an invitation to the Patron Party on October 24 at DTC. These guests will enjoy wines from Bouchaine, the Presenting Sponsor, and appetizers from Banks’ Seafood Kitchen—plus a preview from the current play, Fully Committed, appropriately set in a top restaurant where reservations are difficult to impossible to obtain.
Institutional Summary: Currently in its 40th season, Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) is Delaware’s premier non-profit professional theatre. Recognized as a cornerstone in the Brandywine Valley’s rich cultural landscape, DTC has produced nearly 200 plays for over one million residents and visitors in its community. For more than two decades, DTC has been a pioneer in the revitalization of Wilmington’s Christina Riverfront and cultural district as the only LORT theatre in the state. Since Executive and Artistic Director Bud Martin’s arrival in 2012, DTC has seen a 54% increase in subscribers and a 234% increase in single ticket buyers, making Delaware Theatre Company an up-and-coming leader in the regional theatre community.