East Lynne Theatre Company
When Warren Kleiwer founded ELTC as a professional Equity theater in 1980, he hoped it would 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, with The Metropolitan Playhouse in NYC being only one example of other companies who embrace the challenge and rewards of research and discovery of lost gems.
Between 1980 and 2012, ELTC has produced 150 different plays and musicals (NOT counting repetitions), including 45 world premieres and 12 New Jersey premieres, and both ELTC and Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth are in the newest edition of The Cambridge Guide to American Theatre (2008). ELTC's directors, musicians, designers, and actors work together throughout the year to create quality productions not seen anywhere else. When patrons experience ELTC’s productions, they witness the company’s engaging perspective on American theater and its unique contribution to the world of theater.
ELTC takes seriously its role in preservation as well as production, and boxes of memorabilia are yearly sent to The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at Ohio State University, who asked to house the company's archives in 1996. Warren named the company after a popular play that was first produced in Brooklyn in 1863: East Lynne, adapted from Ellen Wood's novel. At one time, there were three different productions in NYC, and when a stock company wanted sure revenue, East Lynne was the show of choice. The 1916 silent film version starred Theda Bara, and the 1931 film was nominated for Best Picture of the Year.