Above: Ukraine’s DakhaBrakha will perform at Arden Gild Hall on Oct. 8.

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.

Chapel Street Players 

Exciting things ahead 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 St., Newark • 368-2248 • chapelstreetplayers.org • Facebook: @chapelstreetplayers • Instagram & Twitter: @cspnewarkde

Choir School of Delaware

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 543-8657 • choirschoolofdelaware.org Facebook: @choirschool • Instagram: @choirschoolofdelaware Twitter: @choirschoolofde

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 St., Wilmington • 652.0101 • ccacde.org Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @CCACDE

City Theater Company

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, 200 S. Madison St., Wilmington 220-8285 • city-theater.org Facebook: @CityTheaterCompany Instagram & Twitter: @CityTheaterCo

Delaware College of Art & Design

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 • 622.8000 • dcad.edu Facebook & Instagram: @DCADedu

The Delaware Contemporary

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 • 656.6466 decontemporary.org • Facebook & Instagram: @DEContemporary

Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education

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 • 660.4783 • diae.org Facebook: @diae.org • Instagram: @diae_arts

Delaware Shakespeare

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 • 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 • 656.7442 delawaresymphony.org • Facebook & Instagram:
@DelawareSymphony • Twitter: @DelSymphony

Delaware Theatre Company 

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 St., Wilmington • 594.1100 • DelawareTheatre.org • Facebook & Instagram: @DelawareTheatreCompany • Twitter: @DelawareTheatre

First State Ballet Theatre

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. FSBT wraps 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 • 658.7897 x3851 • FirstStateBallet.org Facebook: @FirstStateBalletTheatre Instagram: @firststateballetofficial • Twitter: @FSBTheatre 

The Grand & The Playhouse on Rodney Square

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
652.5577 • TheGrandWilmington.org
Facebook: @TheGrandWilmington Instagram & Twitter: @TheGrandWilm

Hagley Museum and Library

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 • 658.2400 • hagley.org Facebook: @HagleyMuseumandLibrary Instagram & Twitter: @HagleyMuseum

Market Street Music

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 such as 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 • 654.5371
Facebook & Instagram: @MarketStreetMusicDE

The Music School of Delaware

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 762.1132 • musicschoolofdelaware.org Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @MusicSchoolofDE 

Opera Delaware

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 • 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

Resident Ensemble Players (The REP)

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 • 831.2204 • rep.udel.edu Facebook:  rep.udel.edu • Instagram & Twitter: @Delaware_REP

The Sold Firm

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 • 345.1192 • thesoldfirm.com Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @TheSoldFirm

Wilmington Ballet

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

Wilmington Drama League

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, you’re invited to The Wild Party (Nov. 3-6) — 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 & Instagram: @WilmingtonDramaLeague

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

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 • 888.4400 • Winterthur.org • Facebook: @winterthurmuse • Instagram: @winterthurbloom