Theatre Mission Statement

The Rochester College theatre program combines a strong foundation in the liberal arts with a broad understanding of all facets of theatre. Students practice skills in acting, directing, writing, design, and stagecraft under close supervision by theatre faculty in an environment that encourages students to integrate their faith with their academic study. Our vision extends outward to the campus and local community in a quest to pursue truth and bring richness to life through the creative arts.


Philosophy of Theatre

The mission of the Rochester College Theatre Program serves the academic

mission of the college both in the classroom and in public performance.   An academic program is one that calls its participants to think critically about the self and the world by experiencing the theatrical piece.  We encourage students to confront difficult questions and ponder the plight of humanity in a community of Christian faith. Great dramatic works explore the gamut of human nature.  We find characters who exemplify the greatness of humanity: those who demonstrate courage and self-sacrifice; we also find characters who exemplify the worst in humanity: those who lie, steal, cheat, and kill.  By presenting these characters to the audience through a live production of a play, the Rochester College Theatre Program is neither advocating the choices made by characters depicted in our productions nor glorifying the behavior. Plots are driven by conflict as wills collide and characters are put to the test under extreme pressures.   There is nothing like a crisis to bring out the best… or the worst… in people.  


We select plays which engage truthful explorations of the human condition, are of high literary and artistic merit, and provide opportunity for performers and technicians to learn and grow their craft.With each play selection, the theatre

faculty consider the degree of potentially offensive content and how that content might impact performers and audience members.  Most plays, unless they specifically target child or family audiences, do contain some material that is potentially offensive. Our goal is not to avoid difficult material, but to present plays with worthwhile themes, values, and messages to the campus community.  The theatre faculty makes decisions about play selection and editing in conjunction with an advisory committee of Rochester College faculty, staff, and administrators.  We do not edit all materials which might offend.  First, we are often limited by copy right laws; second, we believe that it is necessary to explore the realistic truths contained  in plays as they are written.  All editing decisions are made with the utmost sensitivity to our performers, our audiences, and the playwright. In order to adequately prepare our audience for a performance, disclaimers appear in our advertising to alert patrons when a play contains potentially sensitive material. 

Theatre Program Goals

1.      Students will be able to analyze a play script using a variety of interpretive strategies.

2.      Students will be able to synthesize a script analysis into artistic expression through the visual, oral, kinesthetic, and written modes of communication found in acting, design, directing, and dramaturgy.

3.      Students will be able to describe how theatre can reflect, promote, and challenge its cultural context with special attention to its Christian heritage.

4.      Students will be able to articulate a sense of vocation in theatre that embodies their personal beliefs values, attitudes, skills, and habits.


The theatre department serves each of the five Institutional Learning Goals of Rochester College.Through the entire process, from play selection, to rehearsal, to performance, we enthusiastically engage our institutional objectives as outlined below:


Institutional Learning Goals

Information Literacy - Students will be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and ethically use information, research tools, and methods across disciplines.

Quantitative Literacy Students will be able to analyze, interpret, and apply quantitative information and methods for problem-solving.

Cultural Literacy – Students will be able to understand, appraise, and respectfully engage with their own and others’ histories, practices, artifacts, and belief systems.

Communication Literacy - Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of written, oral, and artistic forms.

Theological Literacy - Students will be able to evaluate the sources and meanings of the Christian story in order to embody their vocation of service in God’s world.

About The Program

The Rochester College Theatre produces 4 plays on campus each academic year. We choose works ranging from classical to contemporary with diversity in styles. We often take our performances into the community. We have toured
productions to schools, churches, and even museums, such as The Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington, and the Museum of African American History in Detroit. Each year we partner with the music department to produce a musical. Additionally, Rochester College sponsors the Pied Pipers, an improvisational children's theatre troupe which travels to local schools and churches performing stories and songs for young people. Auditions are open to the entire student body. Students must be in good standing with both the Academic Services and Student Development offices to be eligible to participate. Scholarships are available to those who qualify.

On occasion the Rochester College theatre department opens auditions and/or participation in campus productions to people outside of the student body. This makes it possible for Rochester College to produce large-cast plays which would not otherwise be feasible for the size of the student acting pool at a small liberal arts college. Another reason to open auditions beyond the student body would be to fill a role that is outside the age range of traditional college students, such as a young child or an older adult. At other times, the theatre department might invite a guest artist to fill a pre-cast role. Students are then invited to audition for the remaining roles. This provides students a special opportunity to work with a respected member of our community. Furthermore, the Rochester College theatre program welcomes volunteers from our campus community who wish to participate in a technical role at any time. Our mission is educational theatre, and we include all who are willing to join us in that endeavor including, faculty, staff, and members of our church and local communities. We believe that there is great educational value in involving our alumni and other members of community in productions with students. We ask anyone who participates in theatre at Rochester College to abide by the Standards of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook found at the following website: https://warriornet.rc.edu/Common/download_file.php?id=357