Playwright David Robson Premieres "After Birth of a Nation"

Robson's latest reflects perfectly his fascination with uncomfortable chapters in our history—and our need to laugh.


Published:

David Robson’s “After Birth of a Nation” opens Feb. 10 at OperaDelaware Studios. // Photo by Joe del Tufo

Racing to stop a murderous black mob, white robes fluttering in the wind, slender spikes jutting forward from their hoods, the riders astride their galloping steeds look more like narwhals than Klansmen.

This infamous sequence from D.W. Griffith’s 1915 landmark film “Birth of a Nation” might play today like coarse lampoon, but upon its release many hailed the epic as a true chronicle of American history. In no less than 1,544 shots, recorded on 2.25 miles of nitrate-based film stock, Griffith’s film managed two extraordinary achievements: He perfected the essential cinematic form of Hollywood narrative cinema, and he revised with dazzling spectacle the history of Reconstruction America.

At the White House, President Wilson received a private screening. Upon seeing the film, he declared, “It is like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.”

Or so the story goes.

Wilmington playwright David Robson will offer his own version of that story with his new play, “After Birth of a Nation,” which opens this month at City Theater Company. Oddly enough, or perhaps appropriately enough, Robson recounts the events of that strange screening in the White House through farce. It is a comedy born of his astonishment and fascination concerning the event. “I’d heard that it was the first film shown in the White House, and I thought, wow, I mean, that scene where the KKK comes riding in to save the virginal, white heroine—it’s just kind of jaw dropping.”

For Robson, that historical moment at the White House is the anomaly, the grain of sand that becomes a dramatic pearl. He tends to look outward rather than inward for inspiration, starting not with an internal experience, but with something out in the world. “I love history. I love research,” says Robson.

Curious, he began reading studies of the film itself and biographies of the principals involved, poring over the bitter history of lynching and the nascent efforts of the NAACP. He likens the research process to piecing together a puzzle. As the picture emerged, new questions arose. Robson found himself alternating between writing the play and researching history. Along the way he encountered a crucial piece to the puzzle, Margaret Woodrow Wilson.

“She looks like Wilson in drag,” Robson cracks.

That’s not so much a slight as a simple observation, and Robson’s admiration for Margaret shows when he lists her accomplishments. The president’s eldest daughter acted in essence as first lady of the White House then, during the war, devoted her energy to raising money for the Red Cross and traveling war-torn France to sing for the troops. Later in life she took up residence at an ashram in India.

“Hers was a journey that interested me,” Robson recalls. “When I found her, I knew the play could work.” 

This is not the first time Robson has confronted a weighty topic centered on an interesting woman. The first full-length play Robson had success with took as its topic the Nazi filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl, whose cinematic efforts, like Griffith’s, shaped an image of the world through the lens of white nationalism.

“You can tell I always go for the light stuff,” he quips.

His interests, in fact, vary widely. An associate professor at Delaware County Community College, Robson’s scholarship complements his career in theater, affording him both time and inspiration for his dramatic work. He writes prolifically. In addition to 20 years’ worth of plays, which number in the dozens and have been produced around the country, Robson has also authored a number of volumes for young-adult book series. His work includes histories of Auschwitz and of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; biographies of celebrities, athletes and mythological creatures; and accounts of the murders of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Emmett Till.

Literature, poetry and history occupied Robson early in his life. Born in 1966 and raised by his mother in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, he became involved in theater when he attended Penn Charter High School. That interest grew with the encouragement of his mother, who in spite of the financial burdens of being a single parent, managed to save for yearly subscriptions to the theater. Robson’s academic career led to, among other degrees, a master’s in English education. He began teaching high school in the early 1990s.

Feeling a desire to create his own dramas, Robson began to pen short plays. “They were often silly or funny,” he recalls, and their format fit nicely with the efforts of an embryonic theater project that would eventually emerge as City Theater Company. The plays were performed at Wilmington’s now defunct O’Friel’s Pub, where the upstairs room became an experimental proving ground for Robson’s art. By the decade’s end, Robson had hit his stride. In 2001, InterAct Theatre Company of Philadelphia staged his first professional equity production.

InterAct would play another important role in 2013 when, along with Act II Playhouse, it co-produced Robson’s “Playing the Assassin.” Bud Martin, now executive director at Delaware Theatre Company, had read the play while still artistic director at Act II Playhouse and spurred the joint project, which staged performances both in Philadelphia and Ambler.

“That was a real honor,” Robson says. “I respect the work they do. I respect Bud a lot. And it’s really cool to have it done in your backyard.”

“Assassin” played to great success and got picked up by Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, N.Y. That production garnered the attention of The New York Times. Enthusiastically, if perhaps a bit predictably, the reviewer pronounced the work a “touchdown.”

Around that time, Robson got in touch with his longtime friend Michael Gray, artistic director at City Theater Company, and pitched “After Birth of a Nation.” Gray agreed that the play fit well with the aesthetic of City Theater. “It’s a quick moving farce, political, controversial, challenging—the kind of stuff we love to do,” Gray says. “After Birth” is a play that reminds patrons “they are alive in their chairs, not just passive viewers, that they’ve had an experience and they’re going to talk about it.” 

The play is a product of years of revision and many table readings, a painstaking process of collaboration that Robson sees as essential to his creative efforts. “I love the back-and-forth. That’s a large part of what theater is about,” he says. The feedback often leads to that most difficult and essential task of writing, revision, but Robson checks his ego at the door for the sake of the play. “I just want what’s on stage in the end to be as good as it can be. Maybe I should feel more controlling about it, but I don’t find that the words are necessarily precious.”

“He listens,” says Gray. “He listens to the actors and he listens to the play. Some writers get really caught up in their words and they want to hear all their words. He’s all about making the play work, tightening his work to make sure it hits the mark.”

Both Robson and Gray are optimistic that “After Birth of a Nation” will do just that, both in its ability to entertain and in the unplanned but undeniable contemporary relevance of the scenario. “The hope is that there is some deeper resonance,” says Robson. He expects people to leave the theater provoked a little by the circumstance of a woman as president, or an African-American as president, in the White House of a century ago.

“But mostly,” he says, “I just want people to laugh. I want people to go on a fun ride, a whirlwind.

“And Margaret is the eye of the storm. I kind of see her as a forerunner to the world my daughter has inherited,” Robson says. “When I discovered her, I thought she was so cool. For a woman at that time to move to the other side of the world, to try to be as independent as she could—she never married—I thought, wow, what courage that must have taken, courage that I will never fully understand.”

Such a story, Robson believes, finds a stage too infrequently, and even when the story is visible, people often refuse to see it.

Willful blindness. If there is a common element to which Robson returns often, it is the ubiquitous “ability to delude oneself.” “We all are guilty of this,” he says. “There’s a spectrum. There are people who are really guilty of it—there are the Leni Reifenstahls of the world. But all of us, to some degree, we tell ourselves stories. We create images of ourselves—the way we want to be seen, the way we want the world to see us, the way that helps us live with ourselves.” 

In the same way, theater and film help people to create stories and images in the service of delusion. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” projects distorted images that obscure history behind an ugly hallucination. At the same time, theater and film can pull back the curtain, allowing audiences to see the artifice of delusion and to confront the truth of their own human fallibility.

Laughter in general, farce in particular, excels at this. 

Robson seems confident in his ability to leverage silliness in the service of reflection, to bring immediate levity to a moment of historical gravity—to make ’em laugh.

“The weight of the themes is secondary to humor,” he insists, “secondary to people laughing at the absurdity of what’s happening in the White House—101 years ago.

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Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Michael DiBerardinis assumed his new role as Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia on January 4, 2016. As Managing Director, DiBerardinis reports directly to the Mayor and oversees and...

Cost: $18-$23

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
View map »


Telephone: (610) 356-2787

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: MID-WEEK WORD REFRESHER Come join us at the Mid-Week Word Refresher every Wednesday at Faith Victory Christian Center from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Refreshments will be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Faith Victory Christian Center
301 Commonwealth Avenue
Claymont, DE  19703
View map »


Sponsor: Faith Victory Christian Center
Telephone: 302.354.6726
Contact Name: Alvin Walker
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Visit the former dairy and farm while exploring the ever-changing estate landscape on this narrated tram tour. Hear accounts of estate history as you see how we have repurposed historic work areas....

Cost: $5 per person upgrade. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Learn more about the 1968 Wilmington collaboration efforts involved with The Delaware Contemporary's Guardians of the Image Makers exhibition and the programming at the Delaware Art...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

BODY OF ART: Open Figure Drawing Series Selected Wednesdays | $10 drop-in fee | Cash Bar Studio artist Jenna Lucente will monitor these informal and unclothed figure drawing sessions...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Try practicing yoga in a beautiful garden setting, strengthening your body and spirit. Our yoga class is open to all levels. We will practice slow, easy motions to get into the rhythm of nature....

Cost: $10

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

In partnership with Network Delaware, the Museum will present a Town Hall discussion on the Restorative Schools Issue Campaign moderated by exhibiting artist and For Freedoms co-founder Hank Willis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kingswood Community Center
2300 Bowers St.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Story Time Thursdays 10:30 - 11 a.m. Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story time takes place in the otter circle, in the main zoo, and may include a craft,...

Cost: $7 - $0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Get lost in a book during Mt. Cuba’s Story Time in the Gardens. Children are invited to visit the gardens on Thursday mornings for a story from a nature-themed children’s book. Intended for...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd.
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Mt. Cuba Center
Telephone: 302-239-8883
Contact Name: Sara Stevenson
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Explore the politics of hunting in the Arctic while viewing the new exhibition “’The World Is Following Its People’: Indigenous Art and Arctic Ecology.” A University of Delaware doctoral...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

The Farm Stand is located in front of the Museum Store at the Cottage on Thursdays, July–September, 1:30–5:30 pm. Visit us to select fresh, local produce. Parking is available behind the...

Cost: free

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Listen to Delaware artists Dennis Beach and Robert Straight discuss their art and the process of abstraction. In addition the gallery talk, view the exhibition From Color and Form to Expression...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall Gallery
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Relax and unwind after a long day with the Museum’s popular Happy Hour series. Enjoy live music on the terrace with friends or tour the galleries indoors. Special themed nights will be scheduled...

Cost: Museum galleries are open with free admission every Thursday from 4–8 pm

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

V. Shayne Frederick is a pianist, vocalist, arranger and musical director with over a decade of stunning performance. He will be joined by Ella Ghant, a vocalist in the jazz/traditional pop style....

Cost: $25-$28

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
View map »


Telephone: 610-356-2787

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

The American Birding Expo, one of the largest wildlife events in the country, is returning to the Philadelphia area. Sponsored by Bird Watcher’s Digest in association with the American...

Cost: Free for those 17 and under; $10 for all others

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, PA  19456
View map »


Sponsor: Bird Watcher’s Digest
Telephone: 1 (800) 879-2473
Contact Name: Bill Thompson III
Website »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery in Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
View map »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free for Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton , DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Art Museum

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

On September 21, we are joining the Biden Cancer Initiative and hundreds of other communities in hosting a Biden Cancer Community Summit in Delaware. You're invited to join us to learn about: how...

Cost: FREE!

Where:
Siegel JCC
101 Garden of Eden Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: Siegel JCC
Telephone: 302-478-5660
Contact Name: Anna Saul
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Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
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Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

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In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

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MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
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Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

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LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
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Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

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By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Brew at the Zoo Friday, Sept. 21, 5:30–9 p.m. Ages 21+ Join the Delaware Zoological Society, which supports the Brandywine Zoo, in its annual fundraiser, Brew at the Zoo, and...

Cost: $40-$25

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19810
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Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

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Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Prepare for 90 minutes of musical theater brilliance filled with gorgeous harmonies and a witty, laugh out loud script. Tony award nominated [title of show] follows very real friends Jeff and...

Cost: $10–$28

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N. Broom Street
Lower Level
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-887-9300
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

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Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
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The American Birding Expo, one of the largest wildlife events in the country, is returning to the Philadelphia area. Sponsored by Bird Watcher’s Digest in association with the American...

Cost: Free for those 17 and under; $10 for all others

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, PA  19456
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Sponsor: Bird Watcher’s Digest
Telephone: 1 (800) 879-2473
Contact Name: Bill Thompson III
Website »

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Faith United Methodist Church - "Methodist Women" host 12th Annual Walk for The Homeless September 22.  Faith United Methodist Church announced its 12 years of the walk for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Faith United Methodist Church
19940 Church St
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
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Sponsor: "Methodist Women"
Telephone: 302-227-3118
Contact Name: Christina Miller-Hall
Website »

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Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

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Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Website »

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The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
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Website »

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In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
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Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

Explore the geologic history of the Delaware Appalachian Piedmont. Delaware Geologic Survey scientist William "Sandy" Schenck, P.G., will lead you on a 4-hour round-trip tour up the line...

Cost: $22

Where:
Greenbank Station
2201 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: (302) 998-1930
Website »

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

Enjoy a tour of the Museum’s Collection through a new lens. Free. Saturdays, September 15 & 22, October 6 & 13 | 2:00 p.m. Local Pride: Art and Artists from Greater Wilmington...

Cost: Free for Members, Free after admission for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Please join Delaware Housing Opportunity Fund Inc, www.dehofi.org with raising funds for our Senior and Veteran homeowners in the State of Delaware.  All of the funds go to providing essential...

Cost: $10 for car show/$15 for block party

Where:
Midnight Oil Brewery
674 Pencader Dr
Newark, DE  19702
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Housing Opportunity Fund Inc
Telephone: 302-584-0453
Contact Name: Dawn Momot
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Participate in Peace Week Delaware with a walk in the Delaware Art Museum Labyrinth in the Anthony N. Fusco Reservoir. Peace Week raises awareness and hope for peace in our communities, nation, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Dickinson Theatre Pipe Organ Society welcomes ALEX JONES of Birmhingham, England to the Dickinson Theatre.  Mr. Hones will be performing music from Broadway, Motion Pictures, as...

Cost: $20

Where:
The Dickinson Theatre at John Dickinson High Schoo
1801 Milltown Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: John Dickinson Organ Society
Telephone: 302.995.5603
Contact Name: Bob Dilworth
Website »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Prepare for 90 minutes of musical theater brilliance filled with gorgeous harmonies and a witty, laugh out loud script. Tony award nominated [title of show] follows very real friends Jeff and...

Cost: $10–$28

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N. Broom Street
Lower Level
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-887-9300
Website »

More information

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