ROC City Guide: Best Theatres

Want to know where the best theatres are in the city? We got 'em listed here for you. Check it out and then go an enjoy a show or five!

Auditorium Theatre

Owned and managed by the Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL) the Auditorium Theatre "is home to a full season of touring Broadway shows, the M&T Bank Broadway Season. The Auditorium Theatre also hosts a number of live concerts, comedy and dramatic events throughout the year and is used by local performing groups for recitals and other presentations."

Find it: Website, Map

Blackfriars Theatre

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

With a mission to enrich, entertain and inspire the community through exceptional theatrical arts while engaging local talent (via Blackfriars Theatre produces top-notch shows in a theatre where there are no bad seats.

Find it: Website, Map

Cinema Theatre

On the corner of Goodman & South Clinton is the Cinema Theater. Enjoy double features every night at 7pm, open captions on Wednesday nights and they even have a soundproof family room that can be reserved.

Find it: Website, Map

Downstairs Cabaret Theatre

This theatre produces "a diverse offering of musicals, comedies, dramas, new works, and music events.." (via And don't miss the Grove Place Jazz Project.

Find it: Website, Map

Eastman Theatre, Kodak Hall

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Kodak Hall located at Eastman Theatre showcases talent from Eastman School students to world-renowned musicians, not to mention our very own Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Find it: Website, Map

Geva Theatre

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Geva Theatre actually contains two stages inside this one building. The "552-seat Elaine P. Wilson Stage is home to Geva’s six-play subscription series featuring a wide variety of performances, from musicals to American and world classics... The 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Stage is home to Geva’s own series of contemporary drama, comedy and musical theatre; Geva Comedy Improv; Geva’s New Play Reading Series and the Hornets’ Nest – an innovative play reading series facilitating community-wide discussion on controversial topics" (via

Find it: Website, Map

The Little Theatre

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

The Little Theatre shows everything from Blockbusters, to Independent and Foreign Films. Enjoy music, food, drinks and art in the cafe and then catch a film. Don't miss Mondo Movies and $5 Movie Mondays.

Find it: Website, Map

Lyric Theatre

Lyric Theatre is Rochester's newest performing arts venue and home to the Rochester Lyric Opera. Be on the lookout for performances, concerts and more.

Find it: Website, Map

MuCCC: Multi-use Community Cultural Center

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

MuCCC's mission "is to provide a theater to performers who do not have a permanent space, to attract new audiences to theater, and to provide theater at a low cost to the public" (via Find out about upcoming performances on their website.

Find it: Website, Map

RAPA & Kodak Center

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

RAPA, Rochester Association of Performing Arts "is Upstate New York’s oldest and largest professional school of performing arts for all ages" (via

RAPA, along with other production companies that rent the space, take center state at Kodak Center for Performing Arts.

Find it: Website, Map

Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

Quick! 3 Reasons to Check Out the New Geva Theatre

Not that you need more reasons to check out Geva Theatre because you already go there a lot, but just in case you need a quick boost of logic this Veteran's Day weekend - after all, it was home to the NYS Militia and the Naval Reserve Center - here are 3 Reasons to Check Out the New Geva Theatre. What a way to show your Veterans support! 

1. It's Newly Renovated

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

If you haven't been to Geva yet this fall season, you are missing out on seeing the beautiful, newly renovated interior.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

The recently completed, multi-year, $11Mil face-lift brings forth expanded interior facilities, updated cozier spaces, a modern, bright lobby upon entering the building, as well as a second floor VIP lounge/event space.

2. Great Shows

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Of course there's the Holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol, which begins Thanksgiving Eve and runs thru Christmas Eve...but also keep your eyes open for the newer, one-person acts such as Mother (and me), starring Broadway star, Melinda Buckley. 

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

"A larger-than-life Hungarian 'Mama Rose,' is slowing slipping into dementia as her Broadway baby slips into de'middle age. A brilliantly funny and touching story of two women who are losing everything they’ve ever been—in very different ways—as they lose each other. Who’s it harder for? The one who can't remember? …Or the one who can't forget? A one-woman tour-de-force written and performed by Melinda Buckley."

The show runs thru November 20th and it is well worth seeing the talents in Melinda onstage. 

3. The Kitchen & Bar

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Along with the space renovations, we are excited about the Geva Kitchen and Godot's Bar. The Kitchen is cooking up pizza, sliders, soups and more.

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Godot's has beer, wine and some fanzy desserts including a few goodies from Cheesy Eddies. Find the hours and menus online.

Grab dinner, see a show and have a great night in Downtown Rochester.

Geva Theatre Center:

Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city! 

Stefanie is Co-Founder of the Rochesteriat. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

2014 in Review: looking back


Each year brings new things. In 2013 we launched the Rochesteriat and in 2014 we celebrated ONE year. It's been an incredible journey. Let's look back at some of the posts and highlights:


EvenOdd Creative

The New Year started with a bang of creativity when we met EvenOdd Creative founders, Liza and Ashley. Their ability to repurpose bicycle inner tubes is incredible.

Posts: EvenOdd Creative | Video, EvenOdd Creative: reusing the unusable

the Rochesteriat

Creativity continued at Genesee Center for the Arts & Education. Letterpress, paper making, bookbinding, art galleries, community darkroom, classes for all ages, pottery and so much more... all in one place.

Post: Genesee Center for the Arts & Education: get creating


the Rochesteriat

In February we looked at typical Valentine's Day gifts and gave you different city options. Celebrate with more than just chocolate and roses.

Post: Valentine's and the City: friday night love

the Rochesteriat

We also talked about 5 big developments to keep your eye on during the year. Culver Road Armory continues to grow and expand, construction on Midtown and Sibley's continues, the Transit Center finished EARLIER than originally projected, and College Town is filling in. We can't wait to look at more city developments for 2015.

Post: 5 City Developments to Watch for in 2014


the Rochesteriat, Instagram

March was all about ART in our city. We watched Thievin' Stephen paint a traffic box in the Washington Square Park Neighborhood and collect hygiene products and cleaning supplies for Sample Soap.

Post: Thievin' Stephen's Spring Clean: a call for soap

the Rochesteriat

We explored the Geisel Gallery in the Bausch & Lomb building Downtown. Who knew their was an art gallery hidden inside?!

Post: The Geisel Gallery: what you're missing on the inside

Henry Avignon Slider Green

...and we teamed up with Margot Muto Contemporary Art to support local artist Henry Avignon, who had entered into the 5th Annual EXPOSURE Photography Contest in NYC. Thank you to everyone who voted for his work! And congrats again to Peter, who won a piece of Henry's art.

Post: WIN LOCAL ART: #henryavignon


the Rochesteriat

In April, Blackfriars Theatre gave us a behind the scenes tour. We learned not to judge a building by its size... step inside and you'll see there's way more than meets the eye in this creative theatre on Main Street.

Post: Blackfriars Theatre: off-broadway meets main street

the Rochesteriat

We also snuck inside the soon-to-open Pour Coffee Parlor! They became a quick favorite to MANY in the city - it's hard to believe they've been open over 8 months now.

Post: Pour Coffee: sneak peek inside


the Rochesteriat

May brought us the great outdoors. On the 3rd, the city came together for the annual Clean Sweep! We love joining the Washington Square Park Neighborhood team every year, it's a great way to invest in where you live!

Post: Clean Sweep: one day, city-wide

the Rochesteriat

And with the weather warming up we brought our lunch outside into the fresh spring air.

Post: 6 outdoor spots you may want to try out for lunch break


the Rochesteriat, Instagram

In June, many left their cars behind and set out on ROC Transit Day to discover the freedom of transit travel.

Post: ROC Transit Day: get your free card


Stephen S Reardon Photography

This past summer we were a part of something new, something that brought the community together in a public park under the lights of downtown, for free. This was Movies with a Downtown View. Presented by Buckingham Properties & the Rochester Area Community Foundation and situated in the park formerly known as Manhattan Square Park (now: MLK Jr. Memorial Park), this first-time event drew over 250 attendees to both movie nights, as we gave out hundreds of dollars of trivia prizes and raffles, snacks and more from the 20+ vendors that participated.

In July we paid tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman with "Almost Famous" and August in we enjoyed "The Kings of Summer". Soon, we will begin the planning for 2015. We hope to make these annual summer events!

Posts: Movies with a Downtown View: coming to center city Movies with a Downtown View: SUCCESS!

the Rochesteriat

Hart's opened in August! If you haven't made it down to Hart's Local Grocers yet, what are you waiting for? Explore locally made products, grab a coffee, your groceries, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere and customer service at Hart's.

Posts: Urban Perspective: Hart's Local Grocers Hart's Local Grocers: shop local downtown

the Rochesteriat

We also stopped to smell the roses, and the orchids, succulents and every other wonderful thing you will find at Stacy K Floral on Park Ave! Looking to spruce up your place with new decor? They have that too.

Post: Stacy K Floral: flowers with a city vibe

the Rochesteriat

Since we were slowing down for the flowers it worked out perfectly to sit with Niraj, founder of Happy Earth Tea. After sitting with Niraj for only a short time, we quickly realized there was more to learn about tea then we imagined!

Posts: Happy Earth Tea: profound simplicity in the city Happy Earth Tea: the Darjeeling of the city


My Fringe Thing Launch

September means FRINGE FEST! And once again, 2014 did not disappoint. This multi-arts fest takes over Rochester with over 380 shows across 25+ venues. Each year brings great new and unique performances.

Post: MY THING FRINGE: interactive art

the Rochesteriat

In honor of Park(ing) Day, Matthew Denker gave us a new and creative use for on-street parking spots inside the Inner Loop with a free 9-hole mini golf course, the Inner Loop Country Club!

Post: Park(ing) Day 2014: get golfing


In October, the Central Library launched Phase 1 of some big changes with the Reynolds Media Center. Why bother spending money when you can rent something for free with your library card? Movies, music, audio tapes and more.

Post: Who needs $1 Redbox when you have the Central Library's Media Center? 

Ribbon Cutting

This was also a special year for Stefanie's family. Her grandfather's welding and auto-mechanics shop, Fab-Weld, on Dewey celebrated 50 years of business! We were honored to be at the celebration. They are a big part of our inspiration of working towards our own 50+ years in the city.

Post: Fab-Weld: welding 50 years strong!


the Rochesteriat

Originally expecting to complete the new Transit Center in early 2015, RTS celebrated an early opening on 11/28. This beautiful facility offers a lot to the community and is a big part of the revival downtown.

Post: Bathrooms, Heated Floors, Free Rides (and More)!

George Eastman House

November also brings the start to the winter holiday season. We looked at many places to shop local and celebrate the holidays - one of which was the George Eastman House.

Post: Here are 6 Ways You Need to Enjoy the Holidays at the George Eastman House


the Rochesteriat

Main Street was once the place to be. Well, who's to say it won't be that way again? Sibley's and CGI Communications gave us a little glimpse into the past and the future with their festive window displays this year. We can't wait to see more development in this neighborhood!

Post: Main Street Holiday Window Displays Coming Back

the Rochesteriat

Dunkin' Donuts recently opened on East Ave. - the 1st 24 hour coffee shop downtown. Word on the street is that their Grand Opening is Monday, 1/12, from noon-2pm. Not only will there be live music and raffles, there may be a special guest coming...

Post: Dunkin' Donuts is Getting Cozy in the East End

Happy New Year!

These are only a small handful of the many many wonderful memories and people we have met this past year. 2014 will always hold a special place in our hearts as we celebrated 1 year and grew in the community. Thank you for coming along the journey with us!

Stefanie is co-Founder and Editor of the Rochesteriat. She has loved every minute of this journey so far. Find her with a camera & phone in hand, taking photos for @theRochesteriat on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter.

RAPA: encouraging the arts in ROC



Located on East Main Street, on "Theatre Row", you'll find RAPA: Rochester Association of Performing Arts. RAPA is "Upstate New York’s oldest and largest professional school of performing arts for all ages having served our Greater Rochester Area since 1978" (via RAPA Website).

RAPA Entrance Inside you'll see the hustle and bustle of a performing arts school, as they primarily train students in theater, dance, and music. Here, students young and old, have opportunities to learn and put that learning into action on stage.

On our tour we were lucky enough to sit in on a rehearsal for In the Heights, an upcoming production.

In the Heights poster These are definitely passionate and talented students...

RAPA Student Rehearsal RehearsalRehearsal 2 RAPA holds spring break camps, summer camps, college prep workshops, and even private lessons for voice, drums, piano, and acting.

RAPA Studio Space From the outside you may not realize how big this building is. Inside you'll find three rehearsal and studio spaces along with RAPA's East End Theatre (with dressing rooms), and all of these are even available to rent.

RAPA Studio Space 2 RAPA also partners with many area community organizations, all promoting the arts in Rochester. They love being a part of the city and being a place where diverse and different students can come together to learn from each other. Whether you're taking a class or taking in one of many amazing performances (they're also a big venue for the Fringe Fest each year!) we hope you're able to enjoy all RAPA has to offer.

Details: RAPA Website

Related Posts: Blackfriars Theatre Genesee Center for the Arts & Education

[mappress mapid="65"]

Blackfriars Theatre: off-broadway meets main street



If you love off-broadway, unique theatrical productions - Blackfriars Theatre is the place for you.

Blackfriars Theatre Spring (Photo courtesy Blackfriars Theatre)

This building that once held a car wash for buses, has now been home to Blackfriars for the last 4 years. But don't think that this is a new theatre... Blackfriars is going into its 65th season this Fall - one of the longest running of its kind in Rochester.

Enter Blackfriars Theatre Most recently before moving into this spot on Main Street they occupied rehearsal space in Christ Church and performed in the Xerox Auditorium Theatre. And yes, since day one Blackfriars has been located in the city - and we love this! They love being in the city as well, "the cultural center of Rochester".

Once you step inside, you'll quickly notice that even in the last row... you're never more than a few feet from the performance. Every seat is a great seat.

Inside the Theatre And just like most theatres, a lot happens backstage to make each performance the best it can be.

Behind the Scenes Dressing Room - Wigs This theatre and its performances are truly a product of passion - not only do the staff members run the theatre, a lot of them perform as well. Blackfriars Theatre is made up by members of the Rochester arts community. They are truly Rochester's premier theatre for local talent. With 6 plays each year (5 per season with 1 special summer show), there's bound to be a play - if not all of them - that you'd enjoy!

It's amazing to watch this stage transform for so many different productions. Here's a glimpse of some previous production sets:

Boeing Boeing:

Boeing Boeing (Photo courtesy Blackfriars Theatre)

Steel Magnolias:

Steel Magnolias Set (Photo courtesy Blackfriars Theatre)

The HOT L Baltimore:

The HOT L Baltimore (Photo courtesy Blackfriars Theatre)

Tuesdays with Morrie:

Tuesdays with Morrie (Photo courtesy Blackfriars Theatre)

Already know you'll love every show? We recommend going the route of a subscription. Not only will you save over 20% on the the price of the individual tickets, you get the chance to reserve your seats for every show of the season! They offer several different packages, so contact Blackfriars for more information.

There are 2 shows left to go for this season, don't miss out - enjoy the art, talent, and passion of Blackfriars Theatre.

Blackfriars Theatre at night

Blackfriars Theatre: Website: Box Office: 585-454-1260 Facebook Page

[mappress mapid="58"]