Determining the Future of Upper Darby’s Summer Stage

The Upper Darby Shooting Stars perform holiday songs on stage.
Image via the Daily Times.
The Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars from 2014.

There’s a discussion going on over Upper Darby Township’s popular theater program, Summer Stage, writes Pete Bannan for the Daily Times.

Its former director, Harry Dietzler, has suggested the nonprofit Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation take over the program.   

The township and the school district have run the program through a joint Department of Recreation since Dietzler got approval in 1975 to put on its first show.

Now the joint Recreation Department has been disbanded.  

Dealing with two separate entities has made it impossible to run the program successfully, according to Dietzler.

Dietzler said he was asked in 2020 to “disentangle” the township’s and district’s relationship with Summer Stage.

Since then, the Foundation has raised more than $500,000 to support the program.

Township and school district officials released a joint reply to Dietzler saying they were “thoroughly committed to the program.”

 “Upper Darby Summer Stage is and has always been fully funded and operated by Upper Darby Township in strong partnership with the Upper Darby School District,” said Upper Darby School District Superintendent Dan McGarry and township Chief Administrative Officer Vincent Rongione.

Township and school district officials say they are continuing talks about the future of the program.

Read more at the Daily Times about Upper Darby Summer Stage.

NBC 10 covered an Upper Darby School Board meeting Monday night attended by Summer Stage supporters and has the latest information on the situation.

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