Fred Stone Theatre

While our new Theatre & Dance Complex is under construction, Pioneer Hall serves as home to our student-produced Second Stage Series, as well as the Rollins Improv Players, numerous classes, and other special projects. Pioneer Hall is located at 203 E. Lyman Avenue, just across the street from the SunTrust Parking Garage, the old Hamilton Holt Building.

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. All Second Stage Series performances are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Current Season

Grass Grows
a staged reading
Written by Amanda Grace '19
Directed by Amanda Grace '19
February 9, 2019 at 8 p.m.

Bright Half Life
Written by Tanya Barfield
Directed by Fiona Campbell '19
April 10 - 12, 2019 at 8 p.m.
April 13, 2019 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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 served the Department of Theatre and Dance until 2018. The college is currently in the process of building a new Theatre & Dance Complex with a state-of-the-art black box theatre, another iteration of our beloved Fred Stone Theatre, at its core. 

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.