Welcome to Delaware Today’s arts blog, the spot to dish on the many cultural opportunities available to Delaware audiences. We’ll cover as many genres as possible, and note cool events offered by organizations large and small, in all three counties.
Seen a show that deserves some ink? Spill.
The Delaware Shakespeare Festival does “Twelfth Night”
thru Saturday, August 1. There are a few reasons to check this out: First, it’s inexpensive: Just $12 to see a quality production. Second is location. The play is presented outdoors, at Rockwood Park. (Rockwood Mansion makes for a splendid background.) Bring dinner and a beverage, and make a night of it.
Don’t fear the Bard. Take away the brilliant prose, magnificent structure, and multiple subplots involving cross-dressing and mistaken identity, and “Twelfth Night” is basically a romantic comedy. Contact info: (302) 764-0113 or delshakes.org. Order your tickets online. It’s faster.
See “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Milton Theatre July 31 thru August 2.
Call this a precursor to the antics of lovable albeit misguided dudes like Seth Rogen, and modern plots involving confused, star-crossed lovers. Shakespeare, of course, loved to create fools and fairies, and in this case, all the confusion leads to a happy ending. Lysander loves Hermia. Helena loves Demetrius. Demetrius thinks he loves Hermia. You know how that goes.
Another deal: Just $18 for adults, and $15 for students and seniors. And the historic Milton Theatre is a good indoor venue. Contact info: (302) 684-3400 or miltontheatre.org.
Dust off the bike every Wednesday evening in July and August and do Hagley’s Bike and Hike from 5 to 8 p.m. You’ll see families, couples, solo bikers, and folks just walking a beautiful mile along the Brandywine. Picnic in the woods while you still can. Remember, school starts soon. Admission is $2 per person, and free for members.
Dollar Days at Hagley happen every Thursday in July and August. This is a good amily deal, where kids can write with quill pens. And, while experiencing life in the 19th century, may actually appreciate life in the 21st. While there, catch the exhibit “From the Orient: Souvenirs from Captain Samuel Francis Du Pont’s Voyage of 1857-1858” in the second floor gallery and release the kids for the hands-on “DuPont Science and Discovery” exhibit. We’re talking a buck–one dollar–for admission for the entire 235-acre site, and free for members.
Contact info: 658-240o or hagley.org
Page 2: Ellen Did It Her Way
On August 1, the Delaware Art Museum opens the exhibit “Illustrating Her World: Ellen B. T. Pyle,” which runs thru January 3.
Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle was one of few women to study illustration at Howard Pyle’s Chadds Ford summer school. She never really got the credit she deserved, though she did garner some fame in the 1920s, when she illustrated 40 covers for The Saturday Evening Post. This is the first overview of her work, and it’s worth seeing.
Contact info: 571-9590 or delart.org
They don’t tell the truth.
Senior communications manager Vikki Saltzman of Winterthur Museum & Country Estate treated me to a personal tour of the new exhibit “Faces of a New Nation: American Portraits of the 18th and 19th Centuries from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” Vicki doesn’t claim to be a curator, but she is a master of words, and told some juicy stories about the paintings. You’d be surprised to learn what wealthy families of the 1700s did when they had their portraits done. Look closely at their facial expressions. What are they trying to tell you?
Of course, Vicki can’t host everybody, which is why you want to do the iPod tour, narrated by the real curator, the MET’s own Carrie Rebora Barratt.
This show was created by the MET exclusively for Winterthur. It’s the only place in the world to see it. It runs thru January 24.
Contact info: winterthur.org or 888-4600
Gallery One in Ocean View is opening a new exhibition called “ At the Beach” starting August 4, and running thru September 2. Pop by if you need a cool respite–literally and figuratively–from the heat.
We all have beach memories, most of them good, I hope. So to create this exhibit, 16 local artists were asked to contemplate beach memories, then create work to reflect it. Some artists recalled being gently introduced to the ocean by a loving parent. Another captured the frenzied boardwalk. (No mention of Thrasher’s fries, however.)
Contact info: (302) 537-5055 or galleryonede.com