Friday, September 19, 2014

Love is in the Air at The Delaware Theatre Company!

You can take a trip to New York City to see the latest starry Broadway revival of Love Letters, but there is no need to travel to the Big Apple when we have our very own starry production right here in the First State! Last night the Delaware Theatre Company opened its 36th season - with A.R. Gurney's sentimental two-character play starring Michael Learned and Daniel Davis - to a standing ovation.

Love Letters is a unique play because the two actors never physically interact; instead, they sit at separate desks reading letters their characters have written to each other over the course of about 50 years. Since there is no blocking, sets or props, the play depends solely on the strength of the actors. Thankfully, we have two veterans in the roles who can certainly handle the challenge.

The two characters come from waspy New York families. They both spent their formative years in boarding schools and summer camps, but the families couldn't be more different. Melissa Gardner (Ms. Learned) grew up with divorced parents who used their wealth to keep their daughter happy rather than give her the attention she longed for, while Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (Mr. Davis) grew up in a conservative household with loving, supportive parents. The play begins in the 1930s when they meet in second grade, and thus starts their lifelong love affair. We learn about each character's personal and professional successes and failures through the letters they write to each other as they attend out-of-state schools and continue their very different lives.

They both journey into adulthood in separate directions. Andrew becomes a Washington, DC lawyer and later a republican New York senator, while Melissa becomes a free-spirited artist who uses her family's money to travel the world. Although both have multiple relationships and marry others, with whom they have families, they never stop corresponding.

The beauty of the play is that it comes to life through Mr. Gurney's words. The audience gets an opportunity to mentally visualize the action rather than have it played out for them. It's a play about these two people, but it's also about the art of letter writing, which today has been mostly replaced by technology - emails, texts, social networks, etc. As Melissa becomes dissatisfied with writing, Andrew reminds her of the beauty of it and how it's an extension of him. He feels that his letters are gifts. The two do correspond at times by phone, which we learn of their conversations through their letters, but they always return to the art of letter writing.

Ms. Learned and Mr. Davis both give exceptional performances. Their delivery is captivating and engaging. They have the difficult task of bringing these characters alive through only their vocal and facial expressions.

Stay in our great state to see this wonderful production. Love Letters runs through October 5th. For information and/or to purchase tickets, visit or call 302.594.1100.  
Michael Learned and Daniel Davis in Love Letters. Photo by Joe del Tufo, Mobius New Media. 
Joe del Tufo, Mobius New Media

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Auditions, Auditions!

It's audition time in Delaware ArtLand, folks!  Here are a few auditions happening in and around the Wilmington area. 

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware: Open Call
Monday, Sept 15, 2014 • 6:00–7:00 pm
Westminster Presbyterian Church • Pennsylvania Avenue & Rodney Street • Wilmington DE
Friendly Joining Process & No formal audition. Non-Singers & Volunteers welcome!
Visit the RCD's website for more details, or send an email to the Artistic Director.

Wilmington Drama League: Auditions for Waterspout Hero
Chrysalis, Youth Theater at the Wilmington Drama League, will hold auditions Monday, September 15, 2014, 4:30–6:30pm & Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 4:30–6:30pm for this Pillow Play that will run November 1-9, 2014 at WDL. Age range is 7 to 12 years old.  Auditions are cold reading from the script. Get more information about our free Pillow Play shows by kids for kids.

Wilmington Drama League: Auditions for Big, The Musical
Auditions Sunday, September 14, 2014, 7:00–10:00pm & Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 7:00–10:00pm. Callbacks, if needed, will be on September 29, 2014, 1:00-4:00pm. 

All auditions will be at the Drama League. All roles are open, no appointments are necessary.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CheckIN’ Out the Brandywine Festival of the Arts

The full article can be found on's blog HERE...

By Tee Alexander, Wilmington INBassador
Fly Home Birdhouses
It was 85 degrees at 10:00am, but that didn’t stop thousands of visitors from attending the annual event that is the Brandywine Arts Festival. In Brandywine Park, at the bottom of Monkey Hill, over 250 artists put up tents and tables in order to showcase their unique talents. They come from different locations across the country, and so do the patrons who travel to the festival to find that perfect “one of a kind” item for their home, or that special gift for someone else.

The variety of art is impressive. There are paintings, photographic works, sculptures, metal art, hand-crafted jewelry, personalized art, clothing, woodworking, blown glass, and so much more.

Wine Barrel Designs offers one-of-a-kind furniture made from recycled wine barrels. Some items displayed were a bistro table with stools and a wine rack in the base, as well as a coffee table with a wine rack in the middle.

Fly Home Birdhouses caught my attention with their bright colors, whimsical designs, and copper roofs atop their hand-crafted creations. Artist Clark Hansberger traveled 4 hours for the festival and shared that “Wilmington is a nice little town.”