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: 2019-2020


Fall 2019 Performances


The Good Doctor

October 3-6, 2019 (Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 pm; Sunday 2 pm)
Cheek Theatre, Clark Arts Center
By Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov; Directed by Deborah Mogford

The Good Doctor is Neil Simon’s heartwarming and hilarious tribute to Anton Chekhov, the early twentieth-century playwright and short story writer. Simon, the popular Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright, has cleverly woven a selection of Chekhov short stories into a performance of unending fun, joy, infectious humor, and poignant sweetness. The title of the play refers to Chekhov’s profession in real life. It is the figure of Chekhov himself who introduces his wide array of characters. He brings to life an over-zealous young dentist, a madwoman with a nervous disorder, man who earns money by “drowning,” a blustering general, a “lady” of the night, a sneezing playgoer, the greatest seducer of women, a well-meaning father seeking to introduce his son to the wonders of sex, and many more. In this play, Neil Simon seeks to celebrate the folly and tenderness of what it is to be human.

35MM: A Musical Exhibition 

November 21-24, 2019 (Thursday-Saturday,  7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.)
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
By Ryan Scott Oliver, Inspired by the photography of Matthew Murphy
Directed by Timm Adams

A picture is worth 1,000 words — what about a song? Can a picture inspire a song or fifteen? In 35mm, each photo creates a unique song, moments frozen in time, a glimmer of a life unfolding, a glimpse of something happening. A stunning new multimedia musical, which explores a groundbreaking new concept in musical theatre. This intricately woven collection of stories told through song re-imagines what the modern American musical can be.

Winter Concert: Silent Night, Holy Night

Fri., Dec. 6, 2019, at 7:30 pm
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Directed and coordinated by Timm Adams and Sarah Simmons
No tickets required; free will donations accepted at the door.

Join the choirs of Rockford University and Rock Valley College in an exquisite program of songs about night, from dark and sensuous to sacred and joyous. This nocturnal program will feature holiday and non-holiday music alike, including Rheinberger’s “Abendlied” and Lauridsen’s “Sure on this Shining Night” as well as beautiful arrangements of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “Stille Nacht,” and “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Spring 2020 Performances


Orchesis & Rockford City Dance Concert

Thur. – Sat., Jan. 23 – 25, 2020, at  7:30 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Produced in collaboration with various local artists under the direction of our new Assistant Professor of Dance, Lindsay Hawkins, in honor of Jayne Poor. 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.

Triumph of Love

February 27 – March 1, 2020 (Thursday-Saturday,  7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.)
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Book by James Magruder, Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, Music by Jeffrey Stock; Directed by Jeff Hendry

A chamber musical adaption of the classic French comedy of the same name, Triumph of Love is full of delicious deception, gender confusion and comic buffoonery. As multiple romantic story lines collide, the beautiful Princess Leonide and the handsome Agis must decide which is the more powerful force: the mind or the heart.


April 23-26, 2020 (Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.)
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
By Neil Simon
Directed by Deborah Mogford

A deputy mayor of New York and his wife have invited four couples to their Long Island home to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. When the first couple arrives, they find the hostess gone and the host lying upstairs with a superficial bullet wound. He is slightly incoherent. The first couple try to hide what they fear could be a scandal from the second couple to arrive. They in turn try to hide it from the third couple, and so on, until all of the guests are caught in a mad confusion of rumors and misunderstandings. This is Neil Simon celebrating farce in a true madcap fashion.

Dance Out Loud: Music That Moves Us (concert)


Friday, May 8, 2020, at 7:30 pm
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Directed and coordinated by Timm Adams and Sarah Simmons
No tickets required; free will donations accepted at the door.

Be swept off your feet by the energy and rhythms of dance music with the choirs from Rockford University and Rock Valley College. This exciting program features Brahms’ exquisite Love-song Waltzes (selections) with dual-piano accompaniment, dance-inspired Italian madrigals, raucous Hebrew folk-dances, Copland’s foot-stomping American hoe-downs, and a rousing finale by Gilbert and Sullivan.


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