MIDWEST CITY — When Rose State College Performing Arts Theatre opened its doors in 1998, it delivered a state-of-the-art facility for student performances and a 1,400-seat venue for Broadway touring companies and concerts.
But as the facility celebrates its 12th year, it is emerging as a venue offering something different in the Oklahoma City market. Because of its size and acoustics, it has become an ideal venue for comedians, chamber orchestras, rock bands and dance groups. The theater draws events from four key areas: Rose State College-sponsored performances, concert tours booked through independent promoters, events booked through the theater’s management agreement with the Civic Center Music Hall, and other area universities that book the venue for music or dance performances. As a result, the theater has played host to a wide range of acts, including comedians Jim Gaffigan and Rickey Smiley; singer-songwriter Willie Nelson; and contemporary Christian rock band Relient K, among others. In March, the center will feature the fast-rising indie-rock band the Avett Brothers. John Cain, marketing and public relations director for Rose State College, pointed to the venue’s October 2009 performance by outspoken comedian Margaret Cho as an example of how the theater offers programming with an edge.