1. Theatre is fundamentally inclusive. Nothing engages such a broad range of the community like theatre. The aged and the very young, the athletic and disabled, the talented and otherwise, every body shape every sexual orientation, every interest and every level of academic achievement. Everyone can play a part on or off stage or in the audience.
2. Few other community activities are self funding in the way theatre is. After the initial investment, the patrons pay for its running and development costs.
3. Theatre is inspirational, it can make you think, laugh, cry and giggle. It can be fun, challenging and educational. It can make people grow in ways that other media cannot.
DDC's management and artistic staff has a combined 40+ years of professional and community theatre experience and has staged many successful shows locally for and in conjunction with the Delano Schools over the past 12 years. We look forward to making our offerings accessible to the whole Delano area community, as well as serving students, under-represented groups and those with intellectual disabilities. We will continue to seek out others who might appreciate the opportunity to contribute to and attend these performances.
At left: Elvin Clark as Scrooge, Kerstin Deters-Engel as Inspector Wyndham, and Nancy Lipinski as Sergeant Hodges rehearse “Another Turn of the Scrooge”
Jack is a founding member of Delano Dramatic Company and was the artistic director and technical director for “Christmas with a Twist,”
Jack, who comes from a college theatre background, has been working with community theatres for 17 years, directing productions such as "The Addams Family," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Camelot," "The Glass Menagerie," "Of Mice and Men," "Death of a Salesman," Noel Coward’s "Private Lives," and others. He has been on staff for the Delano High School Drama Department, directing and designing multiple shows since Fall of 2018.
Jack earned his undergraduate degree in theatre from St. John’s University. He worked professionally as a designer and technician in the Twin Cities with Children’s Theatre Company, Minnesota Opera, and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Then Jack moved to the west coast to complete a master’s degree and where he served on the theatre staff at Cabrillo College and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Jack left theatrical pursuits for a time to go to law school and has practiced law in the Twin Cities since 1984 and teaches business law at local colleges.
Since his return to theatre in 2005, he has directed over 25 community productions; designed sets and lights at several theatres; acted in multiple roles onstage, beginning with“Fiddler on the Roof” in 2005, and with other groups, most recently, Theatre in the Round, Buffalo Community Theatre, Morris Park Players, Theatre 301 and most recently Fungus Amongus Players. He has served on the advisory board for 4 Community Theatre (2007-2022), Skylark Opera Company (presently), and Chain Reaction Theatre Project (2014-2018). For the past three years, he has served as a grant reviewer for the Minnesota State Arts Board grant program.
Joe will co-direct “School of Rock – the Musical” in Summer 2023.
Joe has been a full-time secondary school teacher for more than a dozen years. He directed multiple shows at Lakeville South High School and Delano High School while teaching literature and theatre classes to high schoolers. Joe and his family live in Delano, where his children attend Delano Public Schools. He currently teaches theatre arts at Westonka High School.
Joe has an extensive professional theatre background, having worked in New York and Boston as an Equity stage manager, actor, and director. In his professional theatre work, he was responsible for running rehearsals, technical aspects, and performances for dozens of adult and children's productions.
Joe has a bachelor's degree in theatre arts from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Master of Education from the University of Minnesota.
Elvin has been involved in community theatre for 40 years. He has only been in Minnesota for a little over two years, but prior to moving to Minnesota, he was heavily involved in several theatres in North and South Carolina. These include Tryon Little Theatre, The Warehouse Theatre, and the Upstate Shakespeare Company. Elvin will be an invaluable member of the advisory board of Delano Dramatic Company.
As an actor, Elvin has appeared in approximately 60 productions including “Fiddler on the Roof,” A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Camelot,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “The Rainmaker,” “Proof,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “The Fantasticks,” The Complete Works of Wm Shakespeare (Abridged),” “Harvey,” “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “The Odd Couple,” “A Thousand Clowns,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Noises Off.”
Elvin has also directed many shows including “Into the Woods,” “The Odd Couple” (female version), “Proof,” “The Glass Menagerie,” and “Lost in Yonkers.”
Elvin was a board member and vice president of Tryon Little Theatre for several years and has worked in almost every phase of production including stage management in Minnesota.
At Delano Dramatic Company we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our work and with whom we work. Everyone has a story worth telling. We value diverse life experiences and heritages, and ensure that all voices are heard whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, religion, education, or disability. Dedicated to an inclusive, nondiscriminatory environment with equitable treatment for all, DDC and its Board of Directors works to ensure that artists, staff, volunteers, and guests feel welcomed.
DDC is a Minnesota nonprofit corporation and currently has a Fiscal Agent agreement with the Delano Area Council for Arts and Culture. Our work is supported, in part, by grants from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, and the Delano Area Foundation.
The genesis of the idea for Delano Dramatic Company has its roots in Delano history. The City's own website notes this history: "In September 1890, work began to build a stage upstairs in the hall so theatrical performances could be held. The next year the village purchased stage scenery to equip the stage. A year later dressing rooms were added on each side of the stage. Also, in 1890 the Delano Dramatic Company offered to pay $100 toward $250 needed for a piano… "
The drama programs offered to students from elementary age through high school within Delano Public Schools are excellent and have strong student participation. These programs are well supported by district staff and by the community, both as audience members and as volunteers.
Joe Lawrence was the Director for a 2018 summer musical production of “Anything Goes” and Jack Neveaux was the scenic and lighting designer and technical director. Many talented adults and youth from Delano participated in this production. Based on community feedback received following the 2018 production, the idea of establishing a local theatre in Delano was raised in order to encourage people from the Delano area to get even more involved. Both Joe and Jack have strong professional experience in theatre, both prior to and as leaders of the Delano Public Schools drama department, and they have led the formation of the Delano Dramatic Company.
Many talented actors, musicians, and people with various theatre skills such as costuming call Delano home. We have reached out to several people, including leaders in the school drama department, and they have indicated an interest in being involved in this newly formed theatre company. These people have experience in music direction (vocal and instrumental), choreography, artistic direction of musicals, costuming, and set building. We are confident the community will respond enthusiastically to local opportunities provided by the Delano Dramatic Company.
Following a successful bond referendum, the community was excited to open a new state-of-the-art performing arts center (the “PAC”) which seats 656 in Fall 2018. The new facility provides an outstanding venue for performances and the community has responded through near-capacity audiences at school productions (except during covid restrictions). The PAC is not utilized much during the summer, providing a great opportunity to expand local drama options via a community theatre company producing a multi-generational summer musical.
The major factors were in place to launch a new community theatre organization based in Delano: key leaders with deep experience in theatre (see the project directors and key personnel sections), a community that has a history of supporting and being involved in theatre, and a great performing arts center that is available for use during the summer. Delano as a community – through businesses and community organizations – has a strong history of supporting a variety of arts activities. In addition, we are a growing community that attracts many new families to our outstanding schools and small-town atmosphere. A community of Delano’s size will support community theatre on its own, and with interested partners. Our talented pool of Delano area actors and musicians will have an opportunity right at home. Having a Delano-based theatre company will result in significantly increased involvement by area residents because it is a local opportunity.