Each academic year, our Performing Arts department produces a collection of theater productions open to our campus community and the general public.  In addition, Artists’ Ensemble, Rockford’s only professional theater company, is in residence on our campus and performs in our theatres in the Clark Arts Center.

The following list includes this year’s Rockford University productions. Single ticket admission for adults $12, seniors age 55 and up, and students is $9 unless otherwise noted. Group rates are available. Dates and locations are subject to change.

Rockford University Performing Arts Season: 2017-2018

October 5-8, 2017 (Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 pm; Sunday 2 pm)
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar
Based on the Universal Pictures film screenplay by Richard Danus and Marc Rubel

Directed by Professor Timm Adams
Don’t miss the disco party that ensues when a beautiful Greek muse and her sisters come back to earth to help a struggling chalk artist fulfill his wildest dreams. Roller skates, leg warmers, Venice Beach, and 80s pop-rock hits will permeate Maddox Theatre in this laugh-out-loud parody of the cult movie classic of the same name.

Rockford City Dance Festival

October 13-14, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

November 16-19, 2017 (Thursday-Saturday,  7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.)
Cheek Theatre, Clark Arts Center

By Ira Levin
Directed by Professor Angelo O’Dierno

The famous and profligate playwright Sidney Bruhl is having a tough time coming up with a successful work. He is desperate for a new play, but then an admiring young fan sends him a masterpiece. With the help of his wife, Sidney plans to kill the man and steal his script. Will it work? This comic and yet highly suspenseful plot will keep you on the edge of your seat. Levin is no stranger to suspense having written A Kiss Before Dying, Rosemary’s Baby, The Boy’s From Brazil, and The Stepford Wives to mention a few.

Winter Concert
Wed., Dec.6, 2017, at 7:30 pm
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
tickets are free but required
815.226.4100 to reserve
free will donations accepted at the door

Our choral/vocal concerts in December and May each year highlight the impressive work of our choral groups: Regent Singers, Vocal Collective, Women’s Ensemble, and Gospel Choir. These compelling programs feature a broad variety of music from classical choral repertoire and contemporary a cappella to jazz and musical theater works. This December, students from the Musical Theater, Dance, and Acting/Directing programs will join the choirs in a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, featuring selections from Chichester Psalms, Mass, West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town, and others.

Orchesis Dance Concert

Thur. – Sat., January 25-27, 2018, at  7:30 p.m. 
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Rockford University Dance Company, Orchesis was originally founded by the late Professor Jayne Poor, who is remembered
for her passionate dedication to dance as an artist and educator at our institution and in the Rockford community. Under the direction of Professor Amy Wright, students and guest artists perform selected original sets.

Richard III

February 22-25, 2018 (Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.)
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Professor Deborah Mogford

King Edward is on the throne, England is at peace, and all is well. But don’t worry – it won’t be that way for long because Richard is “discontented.” Gripping and outrageous, Shakespeare’s Richard III is the tale of a ruthless, powercrazed Machiavellian who lies and cheats his way to the highest seat in the land through charm, deception, and force of presence. If House of Cards or Game of Thrones enthralls you, then the evil “doings” of Richard are for you.


April 19-22, 2018 (Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.)
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Richard Wilbur with additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and John La Touche
Directed by Professor Jeff Hendry

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the renowned American Composer Leonard Bernstein, the Performing Arts Department and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra will partner to present the musical Candide. The satirical novella was written by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment, and tells a comic tale of a young man’s journey from idealism to wisdom. Come join us for “the best of all possible worlds.” This special production featuring an RSO pit orchestra is part of the “Leonard Bernstein at 100” festival. Mr. Bernstein had a special connection to Rockford University, speaking at its commencement ceremony in 1966. His beloved piano teacher and long-time secretary, Helen Coates, was a native of Rockford and 1916 graduate from then Rockford College.

The festival is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and Illinois Arts Council Agency. 

Spring Concert
Friday, May 4, 2018, at 7:30 pm
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
tickets are free but required
815.226.4100 to reserve
free will donations accepted at the door

Music for the season featuring: Rockford University’ s Regent Singers, Women’ s Ensemble, and Vocal Collective.

Box Office
Clark Arts Center
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
fax: 815-394-5167

Fall/Spring Hours:
Mon-Fri - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Summer Hours:
Mon-Thu - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm