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East Lynne Theater Company

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities

Mission: East Lynne Theater Company (ELTC), celebrating the American Spirit on Stage since 1980, was named after a popular play from the 1880s. The company specializes in producing American stage classics and history-based new works that deal with the uniquely American experience. Warren Kleiwer founded ELTC as a professional Equity theater, hoping “it could become a vehicle for rediscovering the enduring values of the American heritage and for deepening our understanding of what it means to be an American.” He also hoped that others would join in this rediscovery, and, happily, this has begun to happen. In 1996, “The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute” at Ohio State University asked to house the company’s archives. ELTC and Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth are in the newest edition of The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre (2008). In October 2009, The New Jersey Theatre Alliance bestowed its Achievement of Excellence Award on ELTC, for its "30 years of celebrating America’s heritage through productions and educational programs.”

Geographic areas served: Mainstage Productions: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, NYC, and the touring shows travel throughout the country

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a theater professional who has both seen productions and worked with the company, and am always impressed by the quality of the work. First, the "hidden gems" of American theater that the company unearths and gives new life; and second, the fine performances. These have included adaptations of Mark Twain, O. Henry and Poe, revivals of George S. Kaufman and Eugene O'Neill, along with vibrant new works celebrating Paul Robeson and Louisa May Alcott. East Lynne Theater is a wonderful resource for the community, young and old, who need more exposure to the great works of our past, in Cape May NJ and on tour.


Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a Theater which has great American comedies and thought provoking plays,fun for the whole family. Some plays are 100 years old and are hilarious and still true today. You won't find this kind of theater anywhere else in the U.S. East Lynne also has an Educational Outreach program which is the equal to the mega theaters in the region.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It is rewarding to watch patrons as they leave the theater, after seeing an East Lynne Theater production. All are entertained and some are changed: An altered perception or view. We, in the business live for moments like that. Someone's life has changed forever and we did it. East Lynne Theater effects people that way on a regular basis. Plays and topics from America's theatrical past come to life again in Cape May. Our collective heritage is kept alive by Gayle Stahlhuth, Artistic Director, because of her passion and knowledge. Plays from America's past are shown to still be relevant, poignant, funny and appropriate. Gayle and this theater are national gems.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

East Lynne Theater has a unique mission. This company presents early American plays from the Twentieth century. I was amazed and delighted to discover how timely and relevant this body of work is. The plays and the voices of these playwrights speak to our humanity, to our roots, to who we are. Not only for the artistic director, technical director, the board members, directors, actors, designers, interns, crew but most important for the audience, East Lynne offers a timely opportunity by inviting us all to immerse ourselves in the world of these early American gems only to discover how universal and how applicable these stories, these voices, these hearts are to our life experience today. East Lynne Theater truly puts the American Spirit on Stage. Not only can one experience this spirit in Cape May, New Jersey but throughout the country via their educational outreach programs and their touring productions.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

East Lynne Theater Company is for theater lovers who crave the adventure of discovering classic gems and world premieres. The company has received kudos from "The Wall Street Journal" for reviving such plays as Kaufman and Connelly's "To the Ladies" and Rachel Crothers' "He and She." Consistently, shows are well-directed with terrific ensemble casts. Educational outreach focuses on in-school residencies, summer workshops for students, and playwriting and acting classes for adults - and the work is incredible.