City Theater Company, which bills itself as Delaware’s Off-Broadway experience, has entered into a partnership with The Delaware Contemporary to perform in its newly renovated auditorium, with the first show set for December.
City Theater will use the Wings Foundation Auditorium for its mainstage and Fearless Improve performances.
The auditorium will be unveiled as a new Black Box space for performances and events after using money from a COVID-19 relief grant to upgrade lighting and audio capabilities. They were installed by Electro Sound Systems.
The Black Box will be available to all arts and culture organizations for use in performances and events.
“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 Kerry Kristine McElrone, artistic director of the theater company, in a press release. “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.”
The company, who has provided music videos and new play readings online during the pandemic, is eager to get back to live performance starting with the musical “Once” in December 2021. A 2012 Tony winner for best musical, the play is based on the 2007 Irish musical film. It features actors playing their own instruments onstage.
City Theater’s mission is to take risks and break, just like the Delaware Contemporary takes risks and pushes boundaries, McElrone said in the release.
“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,” she said.
Tatiana Michels, director of business advancement for the museum, said it was happy to marry performance and visual art.
“Our mission is rooted in providing compelling experiences and offering stimulating ways to engage more people in the transformative power of art,” she said. “This partnership is such a natural fit for our organization.”
City Theater and Fearless Improve was founded in 1993 and has performed in and around Wilmington in intimate settings. It has offered new, contemporary and classic works.
The Delaware Contemporary was founded in 1979 and moved to the Wilmington Riverfront in 2000. Its 33,000-square-foot building is undergoing a remodeling and will have seven galleries, 26 on-site artist studios, an auditorium, a museum shop, a classroom and administrative office space. It offers 24 exhibitions annually.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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