Our History: In 1951, a dedicated group of non-professional actors decided to meet and, just like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, put on a show. Thus, the history of the Rochester Civic Theatre (RCT) began with the first meeting to form the Theatre on July 23, 1951. The performers, known as the Log Cabin Players because of their use of the Izaak Walton League Cabin as their venue, each chipped in ten dollars of their own money to produce their first play. It was Moss Hart’s Light Up The Sky and ran for one week-end in September. It was a rousing success, netting a profit of $175, and on November 7, the Theatre was formally incorporated. Blithe Spirit opened one month later and the now officially known Rochester Civic Theatre began its three show season with a budget of $300. A successful capital campaign ten years later provided the community with a new 300 seat theatre in a prime downtown location. The following decades saw ups and downs, but the Theatre was able ultimately to ride the current successfully to its present year-round schedule of eight main stage and family orientated productions, and its schedule of educational and outreach programs. Much is owed to that original group of theater enthusiasts, for dedicated to the concept of community involvement, the founders brought to the Rochester area the ability for all to participate in the dramatic arts, be it through volunteerism or attending a performance.
Rochester, Minnesota is 1200 miles from New York City and the bright lights of Broadway. The Rochester Civic Theatre is just one block from the bright lights of Broadway, too, albeit the Broadway also known as Route 63. From the initial brainstorm and vision of its founders, RCT has evolved into one of the largest community theatres in Minnesota. And just as Rochester has grown over the past fifty-some years into Minnesota’s third largest city, so has the Theatre to keep pace with the demands of its position as the “crown jewel” of the Rochester theater scene.
Today the Civic Theatre is staffed by professional personnel and boasts over four hundred volunteers who are your friends and neighbors. These dedicated individuals include the actors and musicians whom you see on stage, the folks who handle the “behind the scene” roles and also fill many, many other important roles at the Theatre.
Rochester Civic Theatre is a non-profit, community organization that educates and enriches the adults and young people of Rochester and southeastern Minnesota through the production and performance of live theatre.
Our Access Statement: The Rochester Civic Theatre is committed to providing equal access to employment, programming, educational and outreach programming, and volunteer opportunities regardless of race, national origin, color, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, and disability. The Rochester Civic Theatre encourages people of all races, creeds, and cultures to audition.