Musical company

Delaware Theater Company Artistic and Executive Director Bud Martin Announces Retirement

Delaware Theater Company Artistic and Executive Director Bud Martin has announced his intention to retire in 2023. To ease the transition, the DTC Board of Directors has appointed current General Manager Matt Silva, who works for DTC for four seasons as Executive Director. role, effective August 16, 2022. Martin will remain Artistic Director until June 30, 2023, when Silva will assume the role. Going forward, Martin will serve as a consultant for Silva and is committed to directing one show per season.

“I have been honored to lead DTC for 10 years, working with a talented staff to position the theater as one of the preeminent regional theaters in this country,” said Martin. “I am deeply grateful for the tremendous support I have received over the past 10 years from community leaders such as Jack and Carla Markell and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, as well as countless trusted members from the administration board.” He added that because of the beauty of the theater and its proximity to New York, he was able to encourage his fellow Broadway producers to choose DTC as a venue to showcase new work in an effort to achieve national exposure, while still providing great entertainment for the community. During his tenure, Martin tripled DTC’s revenue and doubled subscriptions.

Martin explained that he “brought Matt to DTC four years ago with the hope that he could be my eventual successor, and he exceeded my expectations. I will continue to provide guidance regarding artistic content and quality , but it’s time to pass the baton I look forward to spending more time with my wife Kate, on our farm, traveling and enjoying our family.

Martin enjoyed a 10-year career in theater from 1972 to 1982, then entered the world of corporate finance. He launched five successful companies from 1982 to 2008, receiving the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2006. He returned to acting in late 2007. Martin became production artistic director of Act II Playhouse in Ambler, Pennsylvania in April. 2008 after selling his business to Walgreens. He leveraged his commercial theater experience and connections for the benefit of Act II, producing the nationwide tour of Act II’s Respect: A Musical Journey of Women and the critically acclaimed New York transfer of the Bruce Graham’s award-winning Barrymore play, Any Given Monday. During his 10 highly successful seasons with the Delaware Theater Company, he directed more than 20 plays and musicals, including Outside

Martin enjoyed a 10-year career in theater from 1972 to 1982, then entered the world of corporate finance. He launched five successful companies from 1982 to 2008, receiving the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2006. He returned to acting in late 2007. Martin became production artistic director of Act II Playhouse in Ambler, Pennsylvania in April. 2008 after selling his business to Walgreens. He leveraged his commercial theater experience and connections for the benefit of Act II, producing the nationwide tour of Act II’s Respect: A Musical Journey of Women and the critically acclaimed New York transfer of the Bruce Graham’s award-winning Barrymore play, Any Given Monday. During his highly successful 10 seasons with the Delaware Theater Company, he directed over 20 plays and musicals, including Outside Mullingar, HONK!, Saint Joan, Sanctions, Dare to Be Black, Hetty Feather, White Guy on the Bus (transfer to NYC), The War of the Roses, The Explorers Club, Putting It Together (with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra), Love Letters, Rest, in Pieces, The Story of My Life, Lend Me a Tenor, Any Given Monday, South Pacific and The Outgoing Tide (moved to NYC). He has produced extensively on and off Broadway and in London’s West End. He received his master’s degree in theater from Villanova University and his bachelor’s degree from De Sales University. This season, Martin will direct Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors. The British farce will take place in February 2023.

“Bud Martin has been an invaluable mentor and friend for many years,” Silva said. “In just four short years, he has helped me build lasting relationships in our community and strong bonds in our industry. I am honored to be chosen as the next Executive Director.” Silva holds a master’s degree in theater from Villanova University and a master’s degree in directing from Florida State University. He led marketing and development efforts in addition to partnering with Martin for programming, casting, and contract negotiations. Silva also served as artistic director of the Endstation Theater Company in central Virginia. He held this position for six years, growing ticket sales by more than $100,000 a year and increasing contributed revenue by more than 200%.

Silva was also previously artistic director of Playhouse Productions, a national touring production company. He received the Spur Impact Millennial Summit 2021 award and served on the Advancement Committee of the Delaware Arts Alliance. Silva led production on Million Dollar Quartet last year and will lead Stuart Ross’ Plaid Tidings for DTC in December.

“DTC is fortunate to have been guided by Bud Martin over the past 10 years,” said Carrie Gray, DBA, Chair of the Board of Delaware Theater Company. “His experience and vision, combined with his close ties to New York and Los Angeles, have ensured the vitality of the business and established a lasting foundation for our continued success in the future.” Gray added that Silva “is fully prepared to continue Bud’s winning tradition of growing our audience, expanding our community engagement, and bringing the highest quality theater to our community. We have a faith and total confidence in Matt and the exceptional team around him, and we look forward to a bright future under his leadership.”

Photo credit: Kristin Curley