Rockford, Illinois

History of Starlight Theatre

Starlight TheatreIn the fall of 1967 a group of Rock Valley College students wanted to bring their community to the corner of Spring Brook and Mulford Roads. They hoped to encourage the public to appreciate the beauty of their college’s farm setting. With the permission of Reuben Johnson, acting Dean of Community Services, the students decided that the best way to accomplish this goal was to perform a musical nestled beside the beautiful farm pond. They chose the production Finian’s Rainbow, which explores the overcoming of racial barriers through hard work and a little bit of magic. Opening night of Finian’s Rainbow was a greater success than anyone had ever imagined. People from the community came out with their lawn chairs and watched the amazing production. It is the cast, crew and countless volunteers that truly make Starlight Theatre what it is today.

During the past 48 summers Starlight theatre has brought 140 productions to the stage – that’s a whole lot of magic. A cast and crew totaling 23,287 people, they have all given of themselves for our community’s enrichment, and in the process sharing their joy of performing for over 1,189,000 audience members!

Production History

1967: Finian's Rainbow (Dir. Donald Meisenholder)

1968: Patience & Waiting for Godot (Dir. Donald Colucci)

1969: Oklahoma! (Dir. John Pearce)

1970: Man of LaMancha (Dir. Ted Bacino)

1971: Oliver & Fiddler on the Roof (Dir. Ted Bacino)

1972: 1776 & The King & I (Dir. Ted Bacino)

1973: My Fair Lady & Promises, Promises (Dir. Ted Bacino)

1974: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying & No, No Nanette (Dir. Ted Bacino)

1975: Godspell & Jesus Christ Superstar (Dir. Ted Bacino)

1976: Of Thee I Sing, A Little Night Music (Dir. Kirk Denmark & Once Upon a Mattress Dir. Jim Smith)

1977: The Sound of Music & The Music Man (Dir. Jim Crow)

1978: Camelot & Show Boat (Dir. Jim Crow)

1979: West Side Story & Hello, Dolly! (Dir. Jim Crow)

1980: Carnival & Funny Girl (Dir. Jim Crow)

1981: Wizard of Oz & HMS Pinafore (Dir. A. Neil Thackaberry)

1982: Grease (Dir. Dominic Messimi), Jacques Brel & South Pacific (Dir. A. Neil Thackaberry)

1983: Man of LaMancha (Dir Dominic Messimi), Pirates of Penzance & Guys & Dolls (Dir. A. Neil Thackaberry)

1984: Carosel (Dir. A. Neil Thackaberry), George M Dir. Victoria Bussert & My Fair Lady (Dir. A. Neil Thackaberry)

1985: Caberet (Dir. Rod & Ginny MacDonald), Oklahoma! (Dir. Thom Sobota) & Evita (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1986: Barum (Dir. Michael P. Webb), Music Man (Dir. Leslie Robbins) & Fiddler on the Roof (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1987: Peter Pan, 1776 & Candide (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1988: Camelot, Annie Get Your Gun & 42nd Street (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1989: Oliver, Jesus Christ Superstar & Anything Goes (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1990: The King & I, Student Prince & My One and Only (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1991: West Side Story, Shenendoah & A Chorus Line (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1992: Hello, Dolly, Big River & Into the Woods (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1993: Kiss Me Kate, Rags & City of Angels (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1994: Meet Me in St. Louis, My Fair Lady & Evita (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1995: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The New Pirates of Penzance & Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1996: Bye, Bye Birdie, Pippin, Crazy For You & Joseph (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1997: Guys & Dolls, Children of Eden & Sound of Music (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1998: Secret Garden, Cinderella & Western Star (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

1999: Annie, Once on this Island & Fiddler on the Roof (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2000: Godspell, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum & Hans Christian Andersen, The Storyteller's Story (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2001: The Music Man, Grease & Rebels (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2002: South Pacific, Honk & 42nd Street (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2003: Big River, Just So & Children of Eden (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2004: Show Boat, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Hot Mikado & Seussical the Musical (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2005: Oklahoma!, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess & Disney's Beauty & the Beast (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2006: Cats!, State Fair, Miss Saigon & Joseph (Dir. Michael P. Webb)

2007: Peter Pan, Disney's Geppetto & Son, Jekyll & Hyde & Ragtime. (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2008: Jonah- An Old Testament Yarn, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors & Thoroughly Modern Millie (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2009: David the King, Evita, The King and I, The Producers (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2010: Chicago, Aida, Annie, Rent (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2011: The Phantom of the Opera, After Dark, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2012: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street!, Little Women, Into the Woods, 9 to 5: The Musical (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2013: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express, Xanadu, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Les Misérables (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2014: The Sound of Music, Tintypes, Honk!, Spamalot, Angel (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)

2015: Mary Poppins, The Last Five Years, Memphis, Young Frankenstein (Dir. by Michael P. Webb)