Fred Stone Theatre

The Fred Stone Theatre is home to our student-produced Second Stage Series, as well as the Rollins Improv Players, numerous classes, and other special projects.

Second Stage Series

Our Second Stage Series is student-produced, student-directed, free, and open to the public.

Second Stage Series

The Second Stage Series is produced by Rollins Players, and completely directed, designed, marketed, and performed by students. The mission of the Second Stage is to expose our community to titles not often produced in Central Florida. All Second Stage Series performances are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Current Season

Eleemosynary
Written by Lee Blessing
Directed by Kaitlyn Harrington ‘18
October 25 – 27, 2017 at 8pm
October 28, 2017 at 2pm and 8p

el·ee·mos·y·nar·y (adjective) - of or pertaining to alms; charitable

Lee Blessing’s eloquent full length drama follows three generations of extraordinary women over several decades. The Westbrook women: grandmother, Dorothea, who is eccentric and believes people can fly; mother, Artemis, who is a brilliant scientist with an eidetic memory; and daughter, Echo, who is an exceptional speller trying to care for her grandmother while also mending her relationship with her mother, tell the audience their stories in the year 1985 with flashbacks to earlier years throughout. The women begin to truly understand what it means to be eleemosynary.

The Flick
Written by Annie Baker 
Directed by Nicholas D'Alessandro ‘18
February 7 – 9, 2018 at 8pm
February 10, 2018 at 2pm and 8pm

In a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35 millimeter film projectors in the state. A hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.

On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning
Written by Eric Overmyer
Directed by Nicole Colangelo ‘18
April 11 – 13, 2018 at 8pm
April 14, 2018 at 2pm and 8pm

Three intrepid “sister sojourners” from the Victorian era, Mary, Alex and Fanny, set off to explore Terra Incognita. Soon, the women find themselves exploring not only a new land, but a new time. With dialogue as pithy as their helmets, the women “bushwhack” their way through a jungle of future foreign objects and places. With a yearning for the future, the women jaunt through a continuum of space, time, feminism and fashion.

History

Fred Stone (1873-1959) lived a life characterized by a love for performing and a passion for taking risks. By the age of ten, he was working with the circus and soon moved up the entertainment ladder to medicine shows, minstrel shows, variety acts, and musical comedy. His outstanding career in theatre and film spanned more than fifty years and included many memorable performances, among them the original Scarecrow in the 1903 stage production of The Wizard of Oz and Katherine Hepburn's father in the 1935 film Alice Adams.

For many years he was the most consistent box-office attraction in the American theatre. Along the way he developed a range of useful talents: he was a dancer, acrobat, ice-skater, lariat thrower, and tight-rope walker. Another significant quality that distinguished Fred Stone was the intense loyalty of his lifelong friends, including legendary humorist Will Rogers and well-known novelist Rex Beach, who remarked, "To my way of thinking, the biggest thing about Fred is not his genius as an entertainer and his hold upon the affections of the American public, nor is it the fact that he made good with but few advantages; it is the fact that in spite of his enormous success he has remained a simple, honest, and charitable man. He is the Peter Pan of our day."

In 1939, Fred Stone received an honorary degree from Rollins College. It was then that a small theatre space near the Annie Russell Theatre was dedicated in his honor. The original building was a small wooden bungalow.  In the 1970s, a brick and wooden church was rededicated as the 90-seat black box theatre that we have today.  However, it has been moved several times around the Rollins Campus.  It now sits – somehow still in one piece! – on the corner of Chase Avenue and Fairbanks. In 2007, the college performed extensive structural and cosmetic renovations to the building, but preserved the unique “church-like” quality of the exterior. 

Fred Stone was a lifelong actor and risk-taker. It is fitting that a theatre space devoted to challenge, growth, and experimentation bears his name.