Delaware Children's Theatre

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New Century Club
New Century Wilmington.JPG
The front of the theatre
Delaware Children's Theatre is located in Delaware
Delaware Children's Theatre
Delaware Children's Theatre is located in the US
Delaware Children's Theatre
Location 1014 Delaware Avenue, Wilmington, Delaware
Coordinates 39°45′6″N 75°33′22″W / 39.75167°N 75.55611°W / 39.75167; -75.55611Coordinates: 39°45′6″N 75°33′22″W / 39.75167°N 75.55611°W / 39.75167; -75.55611
Area Cool Springs neighborhood
Built 1893
Architect Minerva Parker Nicholas
Architectural style Colonial revival
NRHP Reference # 83001336[1]
Added to NRHP 1983-06-16

The Delaware Children's Theatre is a community theatre in Wilmington, Delaware. The theatre company occupies the historic New Century Club building.

Theatre Company[edit]

Originally named the Children's Repertory Theatre of Wilmington, the organization began in 1973 with their first production of Pinocchio.[2] The organization relies on volunteers for all acting and nearly all support positions as a community theater. To cover operating expenses, DCT sells tickets and receives state support through the Delaware Division of the Arts.[3]

Tony Award winner John Gallagher, Jr. initially played Tom Sawyer as a child actor at the theatre before going on to Broadway.[4][5]

New Century Club[edit]

The Theatre occupies the historic New Century Club building. The organization constructed the building in 1893 and occupied it until 1975. The Delaware Dinner Theatre and Delaware Ballet Company then used the building until 1982 when DCT moved in.[6]

Minerva Parker Nichols of Philadelphia, an early female architect, designed the colonial revival with Palladian windows and a Gambrel roof. While the structure served partly as a clubhouse, it also held a theatre which was used for traveling shows as well as civic speakers, including future president Woodrow Wilson and birth control advocate Margaret Sanger.[7]

The structure is listed as on the National Register of Historic places and recognized as being an active place for the women's rights movement.[8] The New Century Club was a progressive upper class women's group dedicated to social improvement and charity as well as women's suffrage.[9] Notable members of the Club included Emily P. Bissell, a Red Cross campaigner against tuberculosis who has a state hospital named after her, and Emalea Pusey Warner, who successfully campaigned for public vocational education and has a local elementary school named in her honor.[10][11] Other New Century women's clubs formed nearby in Milford and Newark, Delaware as well as in Kennett Square, West Chester, and Chester, Pennsylvania.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Century Club". National Park Service. 1983-06-16. Retrieved 2010-01-31. [dead link]
  2. ^ "History". Delaware Children's Theatre. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  3. ^ "Delaware Division of the Arts Grant Awards: FY2010" (PDF). Delaware Division of the Arts. 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  4. ^ Ruston, Muriel (2009-09-29). "Leaving the nest for ‘Birdie’". The News Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  5. ^ "John Gallagher, Jr.". Film Bug. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  6. ^ Briggs, Robert (January 1983). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  7. ^ Ruston, Muriel (1954-01-24). "New Century Club Celebrates Sixty-Fifth Anniversary". Wilmington Sunday Star. Section 3, Page 7. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Properties Associated with the Women’s Rights Movement" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2010-01-31, page 72.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ Taggart, Robert (2006). "Women's Clubs as Educative Agencies: Wilmington, Delaware New Century Club, 1889-1920". American Educational History Journal. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  10. ^ "Emily P. Bissell Hospital (EPBH)". Delaware Division of Public Health. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  11. ^ "About Warner". Red Clay Consolidated School District. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  12. ^ Wellner, Anita A. (1893–1996). "Archive of the New Century Club of Newark, Delaware". University of Delaware Library. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  13. ^ Bullock, John A. (July 1942). "New Century Club". Old Chester. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 

External links[edit]