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.
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.