The mission of The Candlelight Theatre is to continue the tradition of employing and educating artists by encouraging them to explore and hone their craft through the art of live theatre. Through the unique interaction of these artists with our audiences, we share a commitment to revitalize, inspire, and enrich the community we serve.

Updated Covid-19 requirements starting November 20, 2021:
proof of vaccination required or negative Covid-19  test within 72 hours Click Here

In memoriam.

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Loretta R. Lech, October 24, 2021.

It is with heavy hearts we said goodbye to Loretta R. Lech, also known to her Candlelight family as ‘mom-mom.’ Loretta, age 81, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on October 24, 2021.

She was born and raised in Chester, PA and was the daughter of the late Edward and Frances Luszczewski. Loretta worked at Scott Paper for 10 years after high school. She then went to work for the Brandywine School District where she retired from in the early 2000’s. Her passion was the Candlelight Dinner Theatre where she worked at for 45 years.

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LENA O’TOOLE, December 27, 1927 – October 6, 2021

We are grateful to her for her contribution to the community and her love and support of Candlelight even after her retirement.

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In 1969, Lena participated in the creation of Delaware’s first dinner theater – Candlelight Music Dinner Theatre in Ardentown− with her husband and his partner, Julian Borris and wife Annabelle. Lena was Board Secretary and office manager for 31 years until Lena & John’s retirement in 2000. Actors and audience members remember her hospitality, enthusiasm, and steady hand in managing reservations, finances, as well as a few notable on-stage appearances, and even assistant directing a few productions over the years.

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Dear Subscribers and Patrons of Candlelight,

We hope this letter finds you healthy and enjoying the fall season. After much discussion between the Staff and the Board of Candlelight it has been decided to require proof of vaccinations or a recent negative Covid-19 test for all audience members starting with our production of A Christmas Carol by Candlelight opening on November 20.

The new policy, which has been in place for all staff and performers since our re-opening in April, follows in the footsteps of the requirements already in place for all Broadway productions as well as for those in other cities throughout the country including Philadelphia and Wilmington. Although we understand that this decision may involve some initial inconvenience for our theatergoers, we are determined to ensure that it be as minimal as possible. To that end we will compile a list of all patrons who have provided proof of vaccination so there will be no need for you to repeat the process a second time. 

For those who have not been fully vaccinated (14 days have passed since your second shot), or for those who have chosen to forego receiving a vaccination, we would require proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the date you are scheduled to attend. At this time a home test would not be accepted. Tests that would be accepted include the Covid-19 PCR test (within 72 hours of the attendance date) or a Covid-19 antigen test (within 6 hours of arrival); both of these tests are free and readily available at testing sites as well as at Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS locations. You have the option of showing proof of vaccination, along with a valid I.D., in a number of ways:

  • Electronic copy – scan your vaccination card and email to the theatre
  • Photocopy – make a copy of your vaccination card and mail to the theatre or bring with you
  • Photo – take a photo of your vaccination card and present upon arrival. 
  • In person – either by stopping at the theater during Box Office hours or presenting the card upon arrival.

Our goal, as always, is to provide our audience with the safest environment possible and we feel that this added step, in conjunction with the extensive measures already taken by Candlelight, will help to make your evening with us the healthiest it can be. Thank you for your understanding and we hope that you feel, as we do, that this action will not only add to a safer environment but is also the right thing to do. With each of us doing our part for the health of all of us we will reach that light at the end of the tunnel. 

Our sincere thanks for all of your support over the years and for your continued patronage. Words cannot adequately express our appreciation.


The Staff and Board of The Candlelight Theatre.

  • Testimonial

    “You get to meet, greet, and know the actors and actresses up close and personal.”

    John Callahan, Season Pass Holder since 2012

    "The end of the afternoon you leave with the great feeling you have enjoyed another theatrical production with your whole family. In a nutshell, you can't beat Candlelight and that's why Nunsense (2015) was our 48th trek down from Northeast Philly, 42 miles each afternoon with our extended family."

  • Testimonial

    “From divas to fiddlers on the roof”

    Visited January 2015, Reviewed July 9, 2015 via mobile

    "I have been to several shows here from a drag show to a classic play. The food has always been wonderful and the buffet gives everyone something to enjoy. As for views, given this is a small theater there is not a bad seat. So for a cost effective local show you can not beat this venu!"

  • Testimonial

    “Local talent does very professional job of putting on top notch shows”

    Visited April 2015,

    Actors serve as waiters. Fresh Salad bar. Peel yourself shrimp. Varied hot dinner buffet. Great desserts!

  • Testimonial

    “Top rate performance and fun for the whole family”

    Reviewed May 2013,

    We have seen Annie and Bye bye Birdie and we had a wonderful experience both times. Our kids (7&9) loved it as much as we did. The performances are impressive and having your waiter be in the show is a fun feature. It is worth every penny.

If you are donating in memory of Loretta “mom-mom” Lech or Lena O’Toole, please send your donations to the theatre with a notation of who you are honoring. 2208 Millers Rd. Wilmington DE 19810


The Board and staff would like to express how thankful we are for all
the support you have shown to Candlelight over the years and are looking forward to
welcoming you back to “the barn” when you are ready.



CASTArtistic Staff

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    HARPER S. CHRISTOPHER-SAWYER (Belinda Cratchit/Ensemble) is THRILLED to be making her theater debut in A Christmas Carol by Candlelight! She is in kindergarten and loves math. Her favorite color is pink, and she loves to sing, dance, and color! Harper is so excited to be performing with her Mom. Thank you, Mommy and Daddy, for supporting me! I love you both!

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    HEATHER HEALY (Mrs Cratchit/Ensemble) is thrilled to be returning to performing in her very favorite show, A Christmas by Candlelight. This is her fifth time in this production, and her third time playing Mrs. Cratchit. You may have also seen her backstage and working in the restaurant since the reopening. When not at Candlelight, she directs and choreographs children’s productions with Waterglass Arts and is a tap dance teacher. Favorite performing credits include Petra (A Little Night Music), Grace (Honk), Cinderella’s Mother (Into the Woods), and Bird Girl (Seussical). She gives many thanks to her supportive family and is delighted to be performing and dancing with her wonderful husband once again!

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    KENNETH JOHNSON, JR “KJ” (Tiny Tim/Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his Candlelight debut with this amazing cast. He is a Delaware resident and second- generation actor and singer. He lives for the stage! You may have seen him in Wilmington Drama League’s productions of Shrek Jr., the Wonderful World of Oz, and Seussical Jr. He has been acting, singing, and dancing since the age of 6. He aspires to act on the Disney Channel one day and has been through various training programs to prepare for his dream. KJ was also featured on Good Day Philadelphia for his best-selling children’s book, 3 Little Piggy Banks which teaches basic financial literacy to children ( He currently attends Lorewood Grove elementary school. In his free time, he enjoys writing scripts or books, filming, editing, playing video games, reading, dancing, watching TV, playing with friends, going to plays, and enjoying family time with dad, mom, and his little sister.

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    Tito Merelli


    PAUL MCELWEE (Ebeneezer Scrooge/Ensemble) is so happy to be back making merry with his Candlelight family. He was last seen on this stage as Frank Abagnale, Sr. in Catch Me If You Can and previously as Tito Morelli in Lend Me a Tenor, Maraczek in She Loves Me, Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl, and Arthur in Camelot. This show is for Mom & Dad; bless us everyone!

The Candlelight Theatre is nestled in the village of Ardentown Delaware, a picturesque artistic community established in 1900

Thanks to our dedicated staff and board, our hard-working volunteers, and our loyal patrons, we will KEEP CANDLELIGHT GLOWING!
Coming soon: Our 2021 Season »
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