The Rocky Hock Playhouse & Stallings Music Productions


Rocky Hock Playhouse - History


The  Rocky Hock Playhouse doors opened in Edenton, North Carolina in 2000.  However, the theatre's roots go back to 1997. In the summer of that year  Jeffrey and Gloria Emmerich were invited to Nags Head, NC to put  together a summer stock pilot theatre. They ended up taking nearly 40  students to North Carolina’s Outer Banks from North Central University  in Minneapolis, MN where they were professors of theatre, music and  communications. In Nags Head the cast performed the musical, Under His Wings.

The  Emmerichs worked out of a temporary theatre on the Outer Banks again  during the summer of 1998 but it was soon apparent that they needed to  find a more permanent location. It was their desire to stay in the  general area since NE North Carolina was so receptive to their style.  Patrons were coming regularly from the Hampton Roads area, (Chesapeake,  Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Newport News, Williamsburg, Hampton, VA, etc.),  as well as from Richmond, Raleigh, Greenville, NC, and Myrtle Beach and  Charleston, SC. They began phoning county government offices in various  small towns across NE North Carolina to see if anyone was interested in  helping them move the theatre operation to their community. It seemed  that everywhere they called people said, “Go to Edenton!”

While  visiting Edenton, which is on the Albemarle Sound in Chowan County and  about 60 miles west of Kitty Hawk, NC, the Emmerichs arranged to meet  with various government officials, school principals, Edenton and Chowan  County Chamber of Commerce representatives and local leaders. The  reception was overwhelmingly positive. It turned out that many people  from Chowan County had been to the Outer Banks to see Under His Wings and were thrilled that a theatrical production company might actually  be willing to fill the void in a community primed for a full-time  professional stock company theatre.

At  this point Jeffrey and Gloria felt confident that things were falling  into place so they could fulfill a 25-year vision and dream to own and  operate their own full-time theatre. The Emmerich Theatre Production  Company, Inc., (ETPC) was founded in 1998 and the operation was moved to  Edenton for the summer of 1999.

During that time the Emmerichs again produced Under His Wings (the Love Story of Ruth and Boaz) and Gloria Emmerich’s first full-length “Broadway Style” musical, King David (Sweet Psalmist of Israel).  Over 10,000 patrons enjoyed performances that summer at the White Oak  Theatre — a temporary location provided by Chowan County for  performances.

Jeffrey  and Gloria were still teaching at North Central University in  Minneapolis, MN. However, their pioneer spirits won out and they  resigned from the University in the spring of 2000 and moved to Edenton  permanently to begin operating the Rocky Hock Playhouse on a full-time  basis.

Between  2000 and 2019 the Emmerichs mounted nearly 100 major productions at the  Playhouse. Gloria Emmerich was the writer of nearly all the musicals.  Her two-act “Broadway Style” shows have now been performed around the  world and are available through Emmerich Publications, Inc.

Over  the years more than 300,000 patrons enjoyed Rocky Hock Playhouse  musicals and scores of fine actors from 32 different states worked in  ETPC productions. Many college students also completed their theatre  internships at the Rocky Hock Playhouse under the Emmerich’s  supervision. Jeffrey and Gloria performed in all the musicals.

From  time to time the Emmerichs took casts to perform their musicals on US  military bases in Germany, to St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) and many  times to Puerto Rico.

The  Rocky Hock Playhouse relocated to Washington, North Carolina from 2009  to 2011 but moved back to Edenton as a dinner theatre in 2012.

Between  2010 – 2019 the Emmerichs also taught at College of The Albemarle in  Elizabeth City, NC where Jeffrey was the drama director and instructor.  Gloria taught voice and worked as musical director and pianist for all  the musicals they produced. During their years at COA they directed 46  plays and musicals. The Emmerichs retired from the college and teaching  in the spring of 2019. At the same time, they also turned the Rocky Hock  Playhouse over to their friend and colleague, Darryl Stallings who  continues in the venue producing quality gospel concerts. 

Emmerich Publications, Inc. - Your PREMIER choice in quality Christian musicals and history plays.

The Broadway style, Christian musicals of Gloria Emmerich are unique in the world of Christian music and she has emerged as one of America's top writers of full-length biblical musicals. A well-rounded musician, Gloria is a composer, lyricist, orchestrator and arranger. She's also a classical pianist and has written hundreds of songs and orchestral pieces. In recent years, she has also released two gospel piano albums that include her original arrangements and orchestrations. Many of Gloria's Musicals are available online through their online publishing company. Click on the link below to be directed to the EPI website.