East Lynne Theater Company

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Sally Bingham, Artist-in-Residence working with Wildwood students in the After-School Program, and heading up ELTC's Summer Workshop



Sally Bingham has been involved in theater as an actor, director, and playwright in Chicago and Philadelphia for 25 years. She has participated in shows ranging from full length improvisational plays to fringe festivals to children’s musical theater, and has taught acting skills and creativity to corporate executives and children. She and her husband, playwright Ken Bingham, founded the professional theater company, Edge Productions, and Over The Edge Comedy Troupe. In 2012, she started the after-school theater program at West Cape May Elementary School by directing Hamlet, and this year, she's directing 3rd-6th grade students in Macbeth.  Sally resides in Philadelphia and Cape May.

Rudy Caporaso is a professional actor and Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Rev Theater Company. He is also Co-Founder of the recently created Scranton Shakespeare Festival. He's appeared in numerous Off-Broadway, Philadelphia, regional, and London productions with roles including Hamlet in Hamlet, Iago in Othello, and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. As Rev’s Educational Director, Rudy has worked extensively in outreach theater programs with children in Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, United Neighborhood Centers, and charter and public Schools in NYC, Philadelphia, in upstate New York, and throughout Connecticut. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, is a member of Actors' Equity Association and lives in New York City.

Whitesboro students - ELTC

Students, with teaching artist Patti Chambers, participating in ELTC's workshop in Whitesboro, NJ, funded by Target


Dear Gayle,

     I wanted to write to formally thank you for your participation in our 21st Century Community Learning Centers funded after school program at the Wildwood Middle School this year. The fact that we were able to pursue our theme of visual and performing arts from the start of the program with a professional theater company that also has such skill working with young students, has been a tremendous help to getting our program off on the right foot.

     Your dedication, and that of your staff, in working with us, not just as a contractor, but as a true community partner in the achievement of our goals for the program, has been wonderful.  We know we can count on you every week to provide our students with meaningful experiences that they would not otherwise have.  Our two trips so far to see East Lynne productions at your theater have also been opportunities for our students to broaden their life experiences which can only benefit them, especially in providing them background which will help them in their academics.  You have also been a great asset in connecting us with other potential partners in the theater arts.

    We look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship with East Lynne throughout the life of this five year grant and beyond.

Josepha M. Penrose

Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction

Wildwood Public School District

Gayle Stahlhuth
Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth with a student

Dear Gayle,

     Thank you for the information that you shared with our fifth grade students during your play writing sessions in March. This made for unique and exciting educational experiences.  The event was new and outside of their comfort zone.  Their participation was highly enriching and possessed immeasurable intrinsic value.  I was very proud to see them come out of their shell and perform for their peers, teachers, and parents.  We so appreciated your visit at Glenwood Avenue Elementary School, as well as did our students.

- John Kummings, Principal Glenwood Avenue Elementary School, Wildwood


Students in Glenwood Avenue Elementary School production of


Funding by Target

Dear Gayle,
    Thank you greatly for coming to work with my class to put on Henry Sawyer and the Civil War! I learned many things while reading the script. For example, I hadn't even heard of Henry Sawyer before this play! Also I had a fantastic time performing and when I heard we were going to do another play again this year, I shouted with joy!

- Student Megan, who played Capt. Mulrooney & Mrs. Sawyer

Educational Programs - ELTC

Students participating in ELTC's Summer Workshop production of The Little Princesses

Dear Gayle,

      On behalf of the students, staff, and parents of the West Cape May School District, I would like to commend and thank you for the excellent work you do with our young people during the March Artist-in-Residence program funded by the East Lynne Theater Company and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.  It is always gratifying to watch the growing excitement of the children as they become involved with preparing and performing a play.  Having working with you in the past, I can speak from personal experience that your enthusiasm and devotion to theater arts motivates the students to present their very best.

      The Arts are an extremely important part of the education of all children, and, in these days of rapidly shrinking budgets, I am proud and thankful that we are able to continue to enhance the academics of our district with quality programming and activities such as yours.  We are indeed fortunate to be able to have you work with our students.

     Thank you and wishing you well in all that you do.

- Brenda Williams Elliott, Supervisor, West Cape May

Elementary School

Dear East Lynne Theater,
   Thank you so much for bringing your talents to the Cape May City School. What you accomplished in one week with our students was phenomenal. You took our students and transformed them into scriptwriters, actors, set designers, and costume designers to the delight of their teachers, parents, relatives, and friends. It was an entertaining performance that came alive under your direction.

- Victoria Zelanek, Superindent,

Cape May City Schools




Scroll Down for information on our Student Summer Workshop, Internships, Residencies, Adult Workshops, Playwriting Get-Aways, and even Murder Mystery Weekends!

Cast Members James Rana, Shelley McPherson, Fred Velde, and Grace Wright have a Q&A with students at Helen A. Fort Middle School in Pemberton, NJ after a performance of "The Poe Mystries"ELTC enjoys sharing the theatrical experience with all ages. Pictured right are James Rana, Shelley McPherson, Fred Velde, and Grace Wright having a Q&A with students at Helen A. Fort Middle School in Pemberton, NJ (Bergen County) after a performance of The Poe Mysteries, written by James Rana.

ELTC provides after-school programs and is now involved with Wildwood Middle School due to Josepha M. Penrose, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction for The Wildwood School District, receiving funding from the federal program, The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant.  From 2012 through 2016, for an average of two days a week, ELTC will provide exciting theater programs for 5th through 7th graders that result in productions for the community, attending live professional theater, and working with special guest theater artists like James Rana. (See sidebar for letter from Ms. Penrose to ELTC,and letters from others as well.)

Whether after-school, or in the classroom, working on plays reinforces reading and use of language, self-assurance, cooperation, and social skills. Since ELTC’s mission embraces American history and literature, the company brings its unique perspective into schools, further supporting Core Curriculum Standards in Visual and Performing Arts, Language Arts Literacy, and Social Studies.


Examples of School Residences

On March 20, 2013, forty 5th-7th graders who are part of Wildwood's After-School Program performed a play and musical they'd written, under the guidance of ELTC's artists-in-residence Sally Bingham, Rudy Caporaso, and Grace Wright. Students, parents, friends, and teachers all had a terrific time at this free perfomrance for the community, and the party afterwards - and the students are ready to put on another show. Pictured here are photos from this production. To read an article about this exciting theater program in The Press of Atlantic City, Click Here.


ELTC Henry Sawyer program

After six days of working with Gayle Stahlhuth, who also wrote the script, 5th and 6th grade students at West Cape May Elementary School performed Henry Sawyer and the Civil War, about Cape May's own Civil War hero. An enthusiastic audience attended the free performance on March 27, 2009, and the students did a great job. (Most of the cast is pictured left.) Tom Sims, Executive Director of the Cape May Film Festival and members of The Young Filmmakers Program created a terrific documentary! To see it on YouTube, CLICK HERE.  ELTC has conducted residencies in West Cape May Elementary School since 2000.  Shows students have performed include scenes they've written about the Civil War, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland, adapted by Chicago playwright Alice Gerstenberg in 1917.  Other schools in Cape May County where ELTC has conducted residencies include Ocean City Primary School, Cape May Elementary School, Glenwood Avenue Elementary School in Wildwood, Teitelman Middle School, Middle Township Middle School, and Lower Regional High School.

To read a 2012 article in The Press of Atlantic City about an ELTC residency: Click Here

To read a 2011 article in The Press of Atlantic City: Click Here


Historic Jackson Street Neighborhood Association Scholarship Fund

Started in the fall of 2006 with a $5,000 donation from HJSNA, in honor of Bob and Toni Green, who first owned The Puffin Bed and Breakfast on Jackson Street, ELTC gives this award annually to those pursuing theater. Recipients have been: 2007: Caitlin Wallace; 2008: Erin Callahan; 2009: Bobby LeMaire; 2010: Tiffany-Leigh Moskow; 2011: Grace Wright; 2012: Gabrielle Wilson; and 2013: Jacob Foster Ongsiaco; 2014: Evan Smilyk

Intern Program:
Students ages 14-22 learn about what it takes to keep a theater going, occasionally perform in productions, and may be considered for the Historic Jackson Street Neighborhood Association Scholarship Fund. Contact ELTC's Artistic Director for details.


The Dancing Princesses, based on a story by The Brothers Grimm

The last seven productions, Alice in Wonderland, The Little Princess, Hans Brinker, Connecticut Yankees in Queen Guenever's Court, Little Women, Storybook Theater, and 1,001 Arabian Nights were performed by students in front of standing-room only audiences!  This year, 12 students, ages 10-16, will once more have the opportunity to work with ELTC's professional staff: Sally Bingham, Gayle Stahlhuth, and Lee O'Connor.

Workshop dates are Thurs. June 19: 1:30-3:30 (read script and discuss casting), Fri. June 20: 1:30-3:30 (pass out scripts with everyone getting a role), Mon. June 23: 2:30-4:30 (begin rehearsals), Tues. June 24 through Fri. June 27: 4 days 12:30-3:30; Mon. June 31 and Tues. July 1: 12:30-3:30; with a performance on Tues. July 1 at 8:00PM.  Admission to the performance is FREE.  Fee: $200.00 per student. Location is the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street. Contact the theater for more details and to receive a Workshop Form. Workshop forms may also be retrieved by Click Here

Hans Brinker - ELTC
Students participating in ELTC's
workshop of Hans Brinker



(June 27, 2012)



"My two boys have been part of ELTC's in-school programs and also participated in East Lynne's Summer Program.  We've absolutely loved that experience as well.  The children get an excellent program at a modest fee compared to other camps.  In fact, I prefer East Lynne's program to others because Gayle holds the children to a higher standard of professionalism and conduct than I've seen elsewhere." - Cindy Smilyk

"My daughter had always wanted to try theater, and when your company started a summer workshop for students, she was thrilled. At first, she just wanted to work behind the scenes, but once she got there, and with the encouragement of Gayle and Lee, she jumped right in and did 5 different parts. She gained a great deal of confidence in being on stage. It was the highlight of her summer and she can't wait until next year."

- Joanne Klineburger

Residencies in Grade School through High School (Third-Twelfth Grades)

Educational Programs Residencies are tailored to the needs of the teachers, curriculum, and/or the community, and may be part of the classroom experience or after school. Residencies are usually 1-10 days. The artists-in-residence are creative and, given appropriate time for preparation, are capable of creating a residency with specific goals and needs. They are also accustomed to working with special populations. Picture left are students in Utah performing a play they wrote about Bingham Canyon, and right is a photo from The Wizard of Oz at West Cape May Elementary School.

Examples include:

  • Writing scenes based on historic events and people, such as: The Middle Ages, Revolutionary War, Civil War, The Progressive Era, and Famous American Women. These scripts may be taken to full production with students performing what they have written.
  • Creating plays based on site specific/oral histories, such as: The Ghosts of Bingham Canyon: now deserted, Bingham Canyon was once a thriving town near Salt Lake City, and The Lifeboat Project: the African-American and Caucasian experience in Cape May, NJ. Scripts may be taken to full production with students performing what they have written.
  • Adapting famous stories for the stage, such as: Edgar Allan Poe and O. Henry. The scripts may be taken to full production. 
  • Writing plays based on personal experience and/or the imagination. The scripts may be taken to full production. 
  • A hands-on approach to Shakespeare: moving from page to the stage. Experience with the following scripts for students: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. 
  • Acting exercises: vocal and body warm-ups, improvisations, and theater games.
  • Rehearsal and performance of already-written scripts. Examples: Aesop’s Fables, Robin Hood, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Wizard of Oz

Example of a Residency Meeting the Core Curriculum Content Standards

A 10-day residency developed between the PTA President, fifth grade teachers, and the artist-in-residence titled The Civil War: A Students’ Perspective, entailed the students creating and performing scenes from the Civil War. The Social Studies core curriculum content standards for New Jersey 6.3, 6.4 and 6.6 in which students are to acquire an historical understanding of political, economic and diplomatic ideas and social values that helped shape the United States, were met. This residency also directly supported the core curriculum content standards for the Language Arts Literacy 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4, and the Visual and Performing Arts 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.6.


Road Scholars (formerly Elderhostels), Adult Education and Classes with Special Needs
Company members conduct workshops for Road Scholars and have participated in Road Scholar programs in Wildwood and Cape May, NJ and Emma Willard School for Girls in Troy, NY. Topics include Acting, Playwriting, Shakespeare, American Literature, and American Theater History. Members of ELTC are also accustomed to teaching those with special needs i.e., the Blind Center of the Jersey Cape and the LEAD Program, both with members who are partially or totally blind.

Letter to ELTC from Donna Groome, Social Worker, Cape May County Board of Social Services:
"Thank you for working with the Blind Center of the Jersey Cape. The participants are very pleased
with the services that you are providing to them."

Murder Mystery Weekends at The Henry Sawyer Inn and Twin Gables

On the following Fridays & Saturdays in 2015: February 20 & 21; March 6 & 7; March 13 & 14;

and March 27 & 28 

These exciting weekends allows guests to try their hand at solving a murder mystery with an experienced retired Philadelphia police detective, Frank Smith, who gives just enough information to get sleuthing skills going.  Packages include Friday night appetizers at the Henry Sawyer Inn, dinner at one of Cape May’s fine restaurants, breakfasts at the inn, and a dessert reception on Saturday evening – all while guests continue to gather clues to solve the crime.  Cost is $389 plus tax for 2 people in a deluxe room; upgrade to a 2-room suite for an additional $60. Reservations are made through The Henry Sawyer Inn by calling (800) 449-5667 or going online to henrysawyerinn@verizon.net.

To reserve at The Twin Gables Inn, call 609-884-7332 or go to twgables@verizon.net.











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