Fall (Back) Into the Arts

A packed schedule awaits you as we return to ‘normal’

By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald

Wilmington area arts organizations are looking to rebound from COVID-19 with an energetic and ambitious schedule of performances. Here is a quick look at what to expect in the opening months of the 2022-23 season. 



Arden Concert Gild’s season arrives with the 114th annual Arden Fair on Saturday, Sept. 3 — notable crafts, food, antiques, rides, and free music in the beer garden with Spokey Speakey, PJ and Cure for Pain, among others. Check ardenconcerts.com for the most up-to-date listings, but scheduled so far is the fast-selling John Prine birthday tribute show featuring Sin City Band and Ukraine’s own Dakhabrakha (Oct. 7 & 8). The hilarious Noah Goldenswartz follows on Saturday, Oct. 22, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Delaware. For Gild Hall events, including November’s Ardensingers production, Scholars Gild, and Community Dinners, visit ardenclub.org.

2126 The Highway, Arden | 302.898.9308 | ardenclub.org
Facebook: @ArdenGildHall & @ArdenConcertGild | Instagram & Twitter: @ardenconcerts



Playwright Connie Drummond launched this Black Box theater/event space, where she curates as well as directs a host of plays and interactive performance events throughout the year. First up is Brown Skin Girl (Sept. 24 & 25), a play by Vanessa Lynn. On Saturday, Oct. 29, patrons can investigate the Great Gatsby Interactive Murder Mystery. Call Me Mr. Scrooge by Murray J. Rivette will run in December (Dec. 3 & 4), as well as Miracle on Market Street, a new piece by written and directed by Drummond (Dec. 17 & 18).

205 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302.422.6622 | ArtzScape.com

Facebook: ArtzScape | Instagram: ArtzScapedel



Delaware’s premier early music ensemble presents a lively series performed on historic instruments in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach. This season begins with delightful works of English music and song by 18th-century composers from the circle of painter Thomas Gainsborough. In November, step further back in time with a program spotlighting music of the viola da gamba with special guest artist, Sarah Cunningham. In December, ring in the holiday season with a selection of concertos to warm up any cold winter day!

205 Center Meeting Road, Centerville | 302.652.4190 | BrandywineBaroque.org

Facebook: @BrandywineBaroque



It’s the local place for you little ones to meet a lemur, a condor, a serval cat, or a capybara up close. For the “big kids,” there are Sip & Strolls in September and the inaugural adults-only (age 21+) Halloween party, Spirits at the Zoo, on Friday, Oct. 28. Teens will love the escape room experience, Clues at the Zoo, on Saturday, Sept. 24. The popular Boo at the Zoo (Oct. 21-23) has kids and adults alike show off their creative costumes and trick-or-treat around the property. Winter means fluffy coats and frisky critters geared up for Santa at the Zoo (Dec. 3 & 4) and Noon Year’s Eve.

1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington | 302.571.7788 | brandywinezoo.org

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @BrandywineZoo



First on the Bootless stage is I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright (Sept. 9-17) — a play based on Charlotte von Mahlsdor, a transwoman living in Nazi and Communist-governed Germany.  [title of show] by Jeff Bowen & Hunter Bell (Nov. 4-12) introduces us to writers who pen a musical for a competition deadline in three weeks. Each month, local, regional & national comedians perform at the Comedy Corner hosted by Belynda Cleare (Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 19 & Dec. 17).

1301 N. Broom Street, Wilmington | 302.887.9300 | bootless.org

Facebook: @BootlessStageworks | Instagram & Twitter: @BootlessDE



This historic Arden gem serves up a season packed with delicious theater and food! Tony Award-winning Memphis (Sept. 17-Oct. 30) spins the tale of a white DJ who wants to change the world and a black singer who’s ready for her big break. If you act quickly, you may still grab seats to the holiday show, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Nov. 18-Dec. 23). Trivia buffs can join in Monday fun at Quizzo with Dan Healy or for a night of raucous laughter, check out the Candlelight Comedy Club.

2208 Millers Road, Wilmington | 302.475.2313 | candlelighttheatredelaware.org
Facebook: @NCTStage | Instagram: @candlelighttheatrede | Twitter: @NewCandlelight



Exciting things at Chapel Street this season. First up is Deathtrap (Sept. 16-24), a laughter-and-thrills filled tale of a playwright whose next big hit may be a real killer. Then, Joseph Pukatsch directs Reckless (Nov. 11-19) — a dark comedy of a woman whose journey reminds us to never stop searching for who we are and who we’re supposed to be. The final 2022 production on Tuesday, Dec. 30, is New Year, New Theatre: A New Hope, which will debut the theater’s Capital Campaign for a new facility.

27 N. Chapel Street, Newark | 302.368.2248 | chapelstreetplayers.com

Facebook: @chapelstreetplayers | Instagram & Twitter: @cspnewarkde



On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Choir School presents There’s a Place for Us: A Gala Celebration, a light-hearted evening of food, friends and fun, plus a cabaret-style performance of Broadway show tunes and numbers from the Great American Songbook. For Sounds of the Season on Sunday, Dec. 11, the Choir performs holiday favorites and traditional carols — including the triumphant sounds of John Rutter’s Gloria­ — in one of the most popular concerts of their series.

2013 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302.543.8657 | choirschoolofdelaware.org

Facebook: @choirschool | Instagram: @choirschoolofdelaware | Twitter: @CCSDchoir


Christina Cultural Arts Center

Christina revives its popular free, family-friendly Soul of the City Festival bringing live music, vendors, and food to Market Street on Saturday, Sept. 24. On Sunday, Dec. 11, CCAC proudly welcomes back the majestic contemporary dance and music holiday spectacular, Carols in Color to The Playhouse!

705 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302.652.0101 | ccacde.org

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @CCACDE



CTC returns for its 29th season. Fearless Improv kicks it off with their blend of unpredictable sketches, interactive games, a few compromising positions, and a bit of bawdiness in monthly shows beginning Saturday, Sept. 24. The CTC premiere of rock musical The Who’s Tommy hits the stage (Dec. 9-17), followed by Joan Didion’s one-woman adaptation of her bestseller, The Year of Magical Thinking and a CTC revival of Assassins. The Tax Free Comedy Festival also returns to close the season. Throughout the year, CTC will host special events and staged readings to spotlight new plays in development.

The Delaware Contemporary Wings Black Box, 220 S. Madison Street, Wilmington | 302.220.8285 | City-theater.org

Facebook: @CityTheaterCompany | Instagram & Twitter: @CityTheaterCo



Join downtown’s cornerstone art school for special exhibition, Constance M. Simon: The Making of Art & Artists, which opened Monday, Aug. 15 and is on view through Sunday, Nov. 20. The exhibit celebrates the life and work of artist and longtime DCAD professor, Constance (Connie) M. Simon, a 20-year member of DCAD’s Fine Art faculty. This retrospective of her drawings and paintings — many inspired by her travels — pays tribute to her commitment to the creative process.

600 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302.622.8000 | dcad.edu

Facebook & Instagram: @DCADedu



The exhibit, Through A Glass, Darkly, is guest curated by Kristin Deady, Jenna Lucente, and Alexander Rosenberg (Sept. 9-Dec. 31). Selected works will engage the power of glass while challenging viewers to acknowledge an interconnectedness between enhancement and distortion. An exciting highlight is the Corning Museum of Glass Mobile Hotshop onsite (Nov. 2-6). The Hotshop brings the artistry and education of glassmaking to people around the world, including live demonstrations, audience participation, and celebrity appearances. The Contemporary is thrilled to be one of those venues.

200 S. Madison Street, Wilmington | 302.656.6466 | decontemporary.org

Facebook & Instagram: @DEContemporary



The organization celebrates its 40th anniversary of delivering quality arts programming throughout the state. Their signature SPOTLIGHT event — which annually raises funds and awareness for their mission — will be held Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Wilmington’s historic Blue Ball Barn. There, attendees can engage in hands-on visual and performing art experiences with DiAE Teaching Artists; participate in a panel discussion with art advocates and creators; and enjoy a performance by poet and past National and International Slam Poetry Champion, Gayle Danley.

Varying locations | 302.660.4783 | diae.org

Facebook: @diae.org | Instagram: @diae_arts



Del Shakes finishes 2022 with its October Community Tour of Twelfth Night, O Lo Que Quieras, a new bilingual musical by Liz Filios and Tanaquil Márquez with contributions by Robi Hager and Ximena Violante. This adaptation reimagines Viola (now Violeta) and Sebastian as Latinx immigrants whose shipwreck brings them to an Illyria that feels strangely like America. To accompany the Tour, Del Shakes will produce a Twelfth Night Poetry Slam, inviting local poets to create works in conversation with the plots, themes, characters, and language from the production. The Slam will take place Thursday, Sept. 15 at Wilmington’s Latin American Community Center.

Varying locations | 302.468.4890 | delshakes.org

Facebook & Instagram: @delshakes


Delaware Symphony Orchestra

Delaware’s only professional orchestra begins with its Classics Series and a triumphant return to Copeland Hall in Wilmington as well as Sussex County. Masterful highlights include a world premiere by composer Jennifer Higdon (Sept. 23 & 25) and a Friday, Nov. 11 performance of Florence Price’s Piano Concerto by guest pianist Michele Cann. The Chamber Series opens Tuesday, Oct. 25 with a musical celebration of Maestro David Amado’s 20th anniversary. Additional dates take audiences to the glittering Gold Ballroom for a “Holidays at the Hotel” celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and a collaboration with Delaware Shakespeare in Spring 2023.

The Grand, 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302. 656.7442 | delawaresymphony.org

Facebook & Instagram: @DelawareSymphony | Twitter: @DelSymphony



Kicking off DTC’s 44th season on Wednesday, Sept. 14 is a side-splitting World Premiere by Bruce Vilanch called Here You Come Again (Sept. 14-Oct. 2) featuring the music of Dolly Parton. Next, the emotionally captivating Black Angels Over Tuskegee (Oct. 12-30) tells the story of six courageous men who persevered to become the first African American aviators in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Finally, deck the halls with a holiday extravaganza of tunes from the ’50s and ’60s — Plaid Tidings: A Special Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid (Nov. 30-Dec. 18).

200 Water Street, Wilmington | 302.594.1100 | delawaretheatre.org
Facebook & Instagram: @DelawareTheatreCompany | Twitter: @DelawareTheatre



First State’s season begins with a free performance at The Freeman Arts Pavilion on Thursday, Sept. 1. Before the show, kids can make a tiara and enjoy a free mini ballet class. Its season at The Grand includes the dramatic, terrifying Dracula (Oct. 22 & 23). Based on Bram Stoker’s novel, this production will leave you breathless! Up Front on Market returns (Nov. 18, 19 & 20) to Studio 1 for an up-close, intimate program of classical repertoire and contemporary pieces. They wrap up 2022 with Wilmington’s holiday tradition, The Nutcracker (Dec. 16, 17 & 18). Start a new tradition by joining The Nutcracker Tea before the show.

818 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302.658.7897 x3851 | FirstStateBallet.org

Facebook: @FirstStateBalletTheatre | Instagram: @firststateballetofficial | Twitter: @FSBTheatre



The Grand and The Playhouse seasons officially begin Thursday, Sept. 8 with Philly jam band The Disco Biscuits. On Saturday, Sept. 10, Opening Night at The Grand combines the artistry of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, guest artists from OperaDelaware, and stunning vocals of Broadway legend, Brian Stokes Mitchell. Additional season highlights include acclaimed guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. (Tuesday, Sept. 27); the family-friendly MasterChef Junior Live! (Saturday, Oct. 8); comedians, a ukulele virtuoso, and more! “Broadway in Wilmington” first welcomes musical comedy Tootsie (Oct. 6-9) then the explosive percussion of STOMP! (Oct. 28-29). In December, musical phenomenon Hairspray returns (Dec. 1-4) followed by the spectacular Holiday Dreams Cirque. The year’s hottest ticket may be Tony Award-winning The Book of Mormon, which makes its long-awaited Wilmington premiere in March 2023.

818 N. Market Street & 1000 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302.652.5577 | TheGrandWilmington.org

Facebook: @TheGrandWilmington | Instagram & Twitter: @TheGrandWilm



Events for every season! Discover the wonders of automobiles at the Hagley Car Show on Sunday, Sept. 18. Hagley Craft Fair (Oct. 15 & 16) features distinctive offerings — pottery, jewelry, specialty foods — nestled among spectacular fall foliage. At Howl-o-Ween on Saturday, Oct. 22, some “dog-gone” cute visitors arrive in costume to enjoy dog-friendly treats and activities. On Saturday, Oct. 29, ghosts and goblins of the human variety can trick-or-treat in a not-too-spooky celebration. Hagley honors “All Creatures Great and Small” during the holidays (Nov. 25-Jan. 1). Critters of every kind can be seen in Hagley’s Annual Gingerbread House Contest; visitors can enjoy decorations by candlelight in a Twilight Tour and create picture-perfect moments with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Dec. 3 & 10).

200 Hagley Creek Road, Wilmington | 302.658.2400 | hagley.org

Facebook: @HagleyMuseumandLibrary | Instagram & Twitter: @HagleyMuseum



Market Street Music launches its season on Thursday, Oct. 6 with its Noontime Concerts Series. The weekly half-hour performances feature classical, jazz, folk, and music you won’t find elsewhere — Bach on the banjo, solo accordion, handbells, and the vibrant sounds of Center City Chorale. In November, Noontimes move to beautiful, historic Old Town Hall on Market Street. Full-length concerts are presented Saturday afternoons through the season with artists like organist David Schelat; the virtuosic Pyxis Piano Trio; and Mastersingers of Wilmington. New singers are being sought for both Center City Chorale and Mastersingers; if you sing, give them a ring.

1101 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 302.654.5371 | MarketStreetMusicDE.org

Facebook & Instagram: @MarketStreetMusicDE



The Music School of Delaware presents over 100 concerts annually throughout the state. Its signature concert series — the Music Masters — features faculty, guest artists, and the Serafin Ensemble. Other season highlights include its Cultural Crossroads series, which spotlights the works of other cultures, genres, and time periods; Classical Café, an informal virtual chat about music topics; and free monthly Bluegrass Jams and virtual Open Mic Nights. In June, the school hosts Serafin Summer Music featuring special guest artists from around the world. In addition, there are many professional and student performances, master classes, and workshops free of charge.

4101 Washington Street, Wilmington | 302.762.1132 | musicschoolofdelaware.org

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @MusicSchoolofDE



OperaDelaware will take you on an emotional rollercoaster with hilarious hijinks, devastating drama, and a workshop of a new American opera. On Saturday, Sept. 10, OperaDelaware guests artists are part of Opening Night at The Grand — a collaboration presented by The Grand and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and starring Tony® Award-winning Broadway legend, Brian Stokes Mitchell. OperaDelaware returns to The Grand for two performances of Mozart’s raucous battle-of-the-sexes, Così fan tutte (Oct. 28-30), delighting us with vocal gymnastics and devious disguises. In November, intimate, artist-curated recitals make up the Sunday Spotlight series at OD Studios featuring Aurelien Eulert and guest artists Marie Engle, Andrew Bidlack, and Ben Lowe.

4 S. Poplar Street, Wilmington | 302.442.7807 | operade.org

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @OperaDelaware



Celebrate a season of change and tradition with Piffaro, the Renaissance Band. The award-winning period instrument ensemble’s new artistic director, Priscilla Herreid, presents Passing the Torch on Sunday, Oct. 2. The program investigates the beauty that can spring from disruption. Their holiday concert, Feste di Natale on Sunday, Dec. 11, cherishes the ancient tradition of gathering to mark the miraculous rebirth of the world with music. Every concert showcases Piffaro’s one-of-a-kind collection of Renaissance instruments and the musicians who bring those sounds of the past to life. Piffaro performs in Wilmington this season at First & Central Presbyterian Church on Rodney Square.

2238 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia | 215.235.8469 | piffaro.org

Facebook & Instagram: @PiffaroRenaissanceBand | Twitter: @PiffaroRenBand



The University of Delaware’s professional theatre company in residence offers a sensational season of laughs, betrayal, and artistic celebration! Starting with the classic American comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace (Nov. 3-20), The Rep then presents the timeless Greek tragedy Euripides (April 13-30). New this season, the REP introduces ChambeREP!, a yearlong series celebrating the art of performance. Events involve a reading of Love Letters, by A.R. Gurney; an original dance performance art piece titled Suite Blackness, Black Dance in Cinema; a ‘Chicago storefront’ version of a Shakespearean play; and an arts festival featuring UD undergraduate artists.

110 Orchard Road, Newark | 302.831.2204 | rep.udel.edu

Facebook:  rep.udel.edu | Instagram & Twitter: @Delaware_REP



Through October, this contemporary downtown gallery collaborates with Wilmington Alliance and Downtown Visions for numerous outdoor events. The Sold Firm’s next full art exhibition, Brick Kastles, will be on view now through Saturday, Oct. 29. The show marks the début of never-before-seen works by the artist T’Jay – A Kid From Brooklyn, illustrating contrasting hues of NYC’s most mesmerizing architectural structures.

800-B N. Tatnall Street, Wilmington | 302.345.1192 | thesoldfirm.com

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @TheSoldFirm



Wilmington Ballet returns with its annual holiday celebration, The Nutcracker (Dec. 16-18), at The Playhouse – the state’s only Nutcracker production accompanied by a live orchestra. On Sept. 10 and 11, the organization will hold auditions for The Nutcracker at its Wilmington Ballet Studios, seeking a cast of all ages, reflective of the diversity of the city of Wilmington.

1709 Gilpin Avenue, Wilmington | wilmingtonballet.org

Facebook & Instagram: @wilmingtonballet



This season, the Drama League enters its 90th season, opening with The Play That Goes Wrong (Sept. 9-18), a hilarious mash-up of Monty Python and Sherlock Holmes. Next the classic Sondheim musical, Sunday in the Park with George (Oct.14-23), brings a famous painting to exuberant life. Following that, (Nov. 3-6) you’re invited to The Wild Party — an outrageous celebration during the roaring ‘20s.  Finally, in December, get ready for a Wizard of Oz like you’ve never seen.

10 W.  Lea Boulevard, Wilmington | 302.764.3396 | wilmingtondramaleague.org

Facebook: @WilmingtonDramaLeague | Instagram: @WilmingtonDramaLeague



As the country’s foremost authority on American decorative arts, Winterthur founder Henry Francis du Pont played a pivotal role in First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s famous 1961 restoration of “The People’s House.” The exhibition Jacqueline Kennedy and H.F. du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House tells the story of du Pont’s role and influence as chairman of Kennedy’s White House Fine Arts Committee, while shedding light on their unlikely but strong relationship. It’s a special story that resonates in our continuing fascination with American home design. The installation Bearing Witness examines art and objects that identify under-represented people and stories from the past. Outside In: Nature-Inspired Design at Winterthur explores how the outdoor world informs interior design. Look for magical events in the Enchanted Woods children’s garden through the fall; Truck and Tractor Day in October; and the start of the Yuletide celebration on Saturday, Nov. 19.

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur | 302.888.4400 | Winterthur.org
Facebook: @winterthurmuse | Instagram: @winterthurbloom