Shannon Rop

Local theatre group reaches higher level

September 6, 2012 // 0 Comments

The curtain is opening on a whole new approach to community theatre in Rockford, with the debut of the Rogue River Community Theatre Company (RRCTC). “The nonprofit corporation, formed this summer, is taking local theatre to a higher level of professionalism and community engagement,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Homrich, head of an 11-member board overseeing the new group. “We’ve enjoyed tremendous support over the years and I am confident this change will improve local theatre and ensure it’s around for many years to come,” Homrich said. “We are building on a foundation of success and integrity established more than a decade ago.” The Rogue River Community Theatre Company will be led by a board of directors, including a four-member executive board consisting of Homrich, Vice President Mike Jonkman, Treasurer Stephanie Gamble and Secretary Shannon Rop. Board directors are John Bagin, Kirsten Bagin, PJ Bevelacqua, John Hogan, Tracy Strome and Brian Thomas. The 11-member board is rounded out by Director of Theatre Patricia Rose. “Having this level of the performing arts in Rockford is a real community treasure,” said Jonkman. “Everyone in the Rockford area should take advantage of this unique asset.” Rogue River Theatre started in the late 1990s as a fledging group of Rockford residents offering stage productions once or twice a year. Beyond traditional spring and fall plays, the all-volunteer cast expanded its mission to include Reader’s Theatre productions for adults and Actors del Arte’ Ensemble, which performs dinner theatres in the Grand Rapids area. The three ensembles collectively present about eight productions a year. In 2003, Rogue River Theatre launched an annual Summer Theatre Arts Camp for school-age children grades K-12. This year’s weeklong summer camp had 62 participants. The theatre group has been under the umbrella of the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and in recent years has been a key contributor to its annual income. “We don’t look at it as a defection, but a cause to celebrate,” said RAAC Chairman Jeff Lewis. “We’re ecstatic to have community members who are excited to take the helm and expand the arts one audience member or one actor at a time.” RAAC was founded in 1975 to encourage and sponsor programs and services promoting the arts and cultural activities in […]