Whether it be a play, a set design or even our name, Bootless spins interpretation in a different direction.


BOOTLESS  –  Adjective
Origin – Old English (bōtlēas)
Definition –  Useless; Unprofitable; Not able to be compensated for by payment

It was said a new theater company was useless.  We indeed operate without a profit.  Payment for what we do is made by your applause and smiling face after you’ve experienced a Bootless production.



Bootless Stageworks (“Bootless”) is a Delaware non-profit arts organization providing high-quality theatrical performance offerings. Governed and managed entirely by devoted volunteers, Bootless is a unique, small professional (non-Equity) theater company employing emerging theater artists and designers from throughout the Delaware Valley.

Originally known as Arden Club Theatre and operating under the auspice of Arden Club, Inc., a new theater company was formed in 2004 by a group of friends looking for a vehicle in which to entertain while having young emerging performers stage new and unusual works for Delaware audiences. Bootless became its own 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization in March, 2009. In doing so, we could no longer be housed by Arden Club and became homeless. Performance venues are secured as needed and wherever possible, including The Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew, Reach Academy for Girls, Bellanca Air Service Hangar, empty stores at Shipyard Center, warehouses in Newport, and The Black Box at OperaDelaware. The Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance provided Bootless with rehearsal space for several years.

In February 2012, Bootless’ Board of Directors streamlined the company’s Mission, Vision and Values. The Board also heeded the advice of marketing consultants and began a rebranding which included changing the company’s name from Bootless Artworks to Bootless Stageworks.

After years of being homeless, Bootless signed a long-term lease with St. Stephen’s Church in the Trolley Square area of Wilmington in May, 2014. The seldom used social hall and other rooms of the church’s lower level are being renovated to created an intimate 75 seat theater and flex space. Bootless began providing year round theater and other great events in the new space in September, 2014.

Bootless’ operating budget is mainly funded by tickets sales. Patron donations and program advertisements make up a small portion. Grant funding is very minimal (less than $6,000 per year). Bootless continuously rises to the challenge of offering top-notch theater experiences at affordable prices while working on shoestring budgets.

Come and check us out.  See a show.  You won’t be disappointed.

Consider becoming a Bootless volunteers.  Email us at volunteer@bootless.org