Community Theatre

The Arts Center’s community theatre has been a part of the Rocky Mount community for more than 50 years. The Theatre offers a wide variety of productions, including comedies, dramas, musicals, and children’s theatre, and relies on volunteers to continue its tradition of success.

Volunteers are needed for all aspects of production including acting, set construction and painting, sewing and altering of costumes, props acquisition, stage management, and technical operations. Ushers, house managers, and concessionaires are needed for every performance throughout the year.

For information on how you can be part of the theatre please visit Get Involved! or call 252-972-1266.

For our current season please check out our Upcoming Shows & Events


The Rocky Mount Arts Center developed from the initial efforts of area individuals who, in 1957, felt that the community needed a place to learn, practice, and exhibit art forms. This group attracted sufficient support to appoint a board of advisers to assist in the operation of a fledgling arts center. The project grew and attracted enough public attention that the City of Rocky Mount Director of Recreation offered her department’s assistance in the form of modest financial aid and later, a permanent home for the Arts Center.

The City purchased an abandoned Atlantic Coast Line Railroad water tank and pump house and an ingenious renovation program was begun. The water tank was converted to three floors housing a gallery, offices, theatre, and classroom space. The pump house was used as a studio for classes. Planned as a three-stage construction, the first floor was completed in 1963 and on May 25 of that year, the “tank” opened as a permanent home of the Rocky Mount Arts Center.

On a single day in September of 1999, the Arts Center’s four buildings were destroyed when the flood following Hurricane Floyd inundated 25% of Rocky Mount. After a temporary stay in other locations, these facilities are now located in the new Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences.

Up Next

Local Playwrights Staged Reading Series

First Friday Events October 4th & November 1st
Directed by Brooke Edwards
Location: The Theatre at the Imperial Centre
Time: 7:00 PM both evenings
Free to the public

The Imperial Centre Theatre will present the 2nd Annual Local Playwrights Staged Reading Series this fall. Local playwrights in the Eastern North Carolina region were asked to submit their original works, i.e. Full Length or One-Act Plays, to be read and judged by a committee. The selected works to be given staged readings and performed by local actors are as follows:

Friday, October 4th:
C-4 by Marilynn Barner Anselmi
Birds on the Edge by Marilynn Barner Anselmi
Lady M by Nicole Bellamy

Friday November 1st:
The Tower or Homes for Humans by Andrew Beal
The Outskirts by Jim Lee
Old Things by Lela Chesson

Twelfth Night or What You Will by William Shakespeare

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, October 10th, 11th, and 12th at 7:30 PM
& Sunday, October 13th at 2 PM
Ages: All Ages

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy about a cross-dressing, ship-wreck surviving, poetry-loving girl who finds herself at the center of a not-so-average love triangle. “Twelfth Night” is a reference to the twelfth night after Christmas Day, called the Eve of the Feast of Epiphany. It was originally a Catholic holiday and therefore, like other Christian feast days, an occasion for revelry. Servants often dressed up as their masters, men as women and so forth. Shakespeare has written a comedy of mistaken identity and love for the ages, based on this superstitious tradition.

Directed by Brooke Edwards
Location: The Theatre at the Imperial Centre
$11 General Admission/$9 Senior and Students/$7 Children 12 and under

Please call 252-972-1266 for more information or visit Upcoming Shows & Events.


Auditions for Community Theatre productions take place throughout the year, approximately 6 to 8 weeks before performance dates. Audition information may be obtained by calling the theatre office at 252-972-1156.

To check for upcoming auditions, please visit Get Involved!


Call or come by between 10 am and 5 pm, Tuesday – Friday. The box office is located in the main lobby at the Imperial Centre. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover accepted.

  • Tickets are $11.00 for Adults, $9.00 for Seniors and Students (with ID), and $7.00 for children 12 and under
  • Season Tickets for the Theater are $45.00 for adults, and $35 for Seniors & Students

Phone: 252-972-1266
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