Information and Biography:
The artistic arm of The Shawnee Institute was formed in December of 1999 as a 501-C3 organization. Our mission statement is to provide diverse, quality artistic programs to the residents of the historic village of Shawnee; it’s neighbors and visitors. As a not for profit organization, the Institute has flourished in its endeavors creating the following original programs here at Shawnee:
The history of the Shawnee Playhouse has been one that has continuously brought a diverse collection of entertainment to the historic village of Shawnee; it’s neighbors and visitors. For the last 29 years, the playhouse has provided contemporary and classical works on it’s main stage, established it’s own off-season performance company, provided numerous concerts, both in and outdoors, ranging from Shakespeare to Opera to free summer concerts. The Shawnee Playhouse also offers education in acting (S.T.A.R.S.), playwriting and Shakespeare to all ages and persuasions interested.
Our Mission is carried out through these programs:
Shawnee Playhouse: The playhouse, which is acknowledged as a historical landmark, has produced non-equity, professional theatre for nearly 30 years. Actors are auditioned in New York City for our main stage productions. Local performers are also encouraged to audition. The main stage season, consisting of musicals and non-musicals, runs from May through December
The Worthington Players: Shawnee’s troupe performers for off-season shows. The Worthington Players were established in 1999 and to date have focused on non-musical productions. The off-season runs from January to March.
Shakespeare at Shawnee: This branch of the Shawnee Institute originated in 1999. The first season consisted of one production; A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over the year’s The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew all have been produced on the great lawn at the historic Shawnee Inn. This branch was co-sponsored by the Monroe County Arts Council and Target, Inc.
Shawnee Opera Company: This unique company once produced two operas every year, one during the Spring Festival, and the other opera during the Fall Festival. Past performances included: Cosi Fan Tutti by W. A. Mozart, Puccini’s La Boheme, Mozart’s Le Nozze De Figaro and Die Fladermouse.
Shawnee Free Summer Concerts: Beginning in mid June and lasting through the Tuesday after Labor Day, Shawnee Institute sponsors free summer concerts every Tuesday evening. Everyone in the community is invited to attend these events and we now boast an audience of 250 – 500 every week. The music provided varies greatly from barbershop quartets to 40 piece orchestras.
Shawnee Free Fireside Concerts: The fireplace in the lobby of the beautiful and historic Shawnee Inn is the setting for this concert series every Tuesday evening, September through April. Modeled after the Summer Lawn series, the entire community is invited to attend these events. Our performers vary from youth bands, to rock musicians and opera singers to barbershop quartets.
Shawnee Winter Arts Series: This series is designed to offer the community a variety of artistic showings from January to March. The past nine years brought dance, a concert of three tenors, and a production of A. R. Gurney’s Love Letters.
The community we serve is just as varied as the programs we offer. We are part of the Pocono Mountain Region, serving areas as far north as Scranton and Wilkes Barre and as far south as Allentown, Easton and Bethlehem. We serve regions to our west in Central Pennsylvania and Middle New Jersey to our east. The Shawnee Institute also receives theatre lovers from New York City, and other parts of the country, that travel to see Shawnee Playhouse’s main stage productions. Persons of every age and background are encouraged to join us. The main stage productions are great for adults as well as the entire family. Our holiday shows are geared to get the entire family to experience the arts together. Every main stage production is doubled with a Children’s Theatre production that gives younger audiences a chance to see a new spin on old stories and learn to appreciate the arts at an early age. All together, the Shawnee Institute strives to provide entertainment to all members in the community by offering a large variety of programs.
Theatre serves many community needs.
The Worthington Player is the non-musical contingent of the Shawnee Playhouse. Performs January through May. This group is meant to be semi-professional. We will work with community members and our intention is to bring a quality-working atmosphere for those participating in the production and a quality performance for those attending.
Shawnee Playhouse contributes to theatre education, a classical works focus, and contemporary sensibilities. Each year, our work has grown. Our goal is to continue to present our professional performances of works of art to which the culture of Shawnee on Delaware is enriched.