City Theater Company begins new residency at The Delaware Contemporary
Photo credit: Moonloop Photography
Wilmington, DE – September 27, 2021 – City Theater Company (CTC), is pleased to announce its new partnership with The Delaware Contemporary (TDC). Through this exciting partnership, The Delaware Contemporary joins forces with Delaware’s Off-Broadway experience to become the new home for CTC’s mainstage productions and Fearless Improv performances. Using a coronavirus relief grant, the Wings Auditorium will be unveiled as the museum’s new Black Box performance space, refurbished with upgraded lighting and audio capabilities installed by Electro Sound Systems. The new space will be available to all arts and culture organizations for use in performances and events. Both CTC and TDC look forward to this partnership as an opportunity to collaborate on programming, events, art experiences, and more.
“The values and vision of The Delaware Contemporary are very much in line with those of City Theater Company, and we are thrilled to be partnering with this iconic institution in 2021 and beyond,” says CTC Artistic Director Kerry Kristine McElrone. “Our approach to theater and improv considers the art form of live performance to be a creative collaboration between players, directors, designers, writers, and the audience. Everyone involved in bringing a CTC piece to fully realized life on stage is an individual artist, each working in mediums that come together to engage our patrons in an exciting exchange of ideas, images, and energies.”
The company, who has been entertaining audiences virtually during the pandemic with online content (including music videos and new play readings), is eager to get back to live performance starting with the musical Once in December 2021. The 2012 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical is based on the 2007 Irish musical film and features actors playing their own instruments onstage.
“CTC’s mission is to create a body of work that takes risks and breaks barriers—just as TDC’s is to take risks and push boundaries. We are both invested in promoting the work of local and emerging artists, advancing opportunity and growth by and for the community, and welcoming all those looking to experience art.
“We are excited to bring the communal, immediate, accessible experience of art in live action to The Delaware Contemporary’s patrons, and to introduce City Theater Company’s audiences to all that they have to offer. We look forward to continuing to transform the landscape of artistic expression for Wilmington and the region in our new home.”
“We are beyond excited to unite the performance and visual art experience at The Delaware Contemporary,” says Tatiana Michels, Director of Business Advancement. “Our mission is rooted in providing compelling experiences and offering stimulating ways to engage more people in the transformative power of art. This partnership is such a natural fit for our organization and we are thrilled to house City Theater Company’s mainstage productions and Fearless Improv performances, and to see what new joint adventures we can embark on together. We can’t wait to unveil our new Black Box performance space and look forward to seeing new audiences at our museum.”
Founded in 1979 by a small volunteer group of artists and arts patrons, The Delaware Contemporary made its focus the promotion of growth and understanding of the contemporary arts in Delaware. It started in a former sheet-metal fabricating factory and moved several times, finally finding a permanent home in 2000. This location offered a 33,000-square-foot building and, once remodeled, opened with seven galleries, 26 on-site artist studios, an auditorium, a museum shop, a classroom, and administrative office space. By this time a staff was in place and both community outreach and curatorial programming expanded exponentially.
The community responded favorably to The Delaware Contemporary’s new location and programming efforts. The Philadelphia Inquirer described the museum as “one of the most innovative and prominent organizations of its kind on the East Coast,” and hailed its new building as “a state-of-the-art facility that will allow it to present a broader spectrum of the art experience.”
The Delaware Contemporary, a non-collecting museum, currently presents over 24 exhibitions annually of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists. In addition to the exhibitions, the museum commits to educational and community outreach through various programs, such as Artist Residencies with underserved community groups and Contemporary Connections, a model program that fuses art with schools’ core curriculums, offering fresh new ways to teach subjects such as math and science. The Delaware Contemporary has partnered in some way with more than 60 community groups and schools.
City Theater Company is committed to ridding the planet of complacency, redundancy, indifference and fear — therefore clearing the way for fun, electricity, cool art, and some major chutzpah. We seek out what makes us most afraid and then attack it with an odd, supernatural fury. We breathe in and out in time with our audience, and the resulting electrical charge produces theatrical shock waves that demand attention. The folks here believe that theater should be filled with big energy, big ideas, big fun, and other big stuff we haven’t even thought of yet. Meanwhile, we burn bridges and bite bullets. We pound the pavement, shoot the moon, damn the torpedoes, and laugh ’til it hurts. We do stuff that rocks, and we have one hell of a time!
City Theater Company (CTC) is Delaware’s Off-Broadway experience, engaging audiences with intimate and immersive theater experiences of new, contemporary, and classic works. CTC is especially supportive of original work by regional playwrights as well as a provider of a welcoming, collaborative stage for emerging and established artists of all genres (theater, music, visual arts), backgrounds, and experiences. Fearless Improv is the organization’s traveling comedy improv team, performing short- and long-form skits throughout the state, and hosting improv education classes for school-age students and adults. Founded in 1993, CTC and Fearless Improv perform in and around Greater Wilmington, embracing both traditional and non-traditional theatrical spaces.