‘A Night of Glory’ ends Saturday

Published 12:21 pm Thursday, December 16, 2010

Staff Writer

People have been known to come in droves to Washington to see plays and musicals at the Rocky Hock Playhouse, with the playhouse bringing in more than 14,000 patrons last year.
Jeff Emmerich, who owns and operates the production company with his wife, Gloria, relocated to Washington from the original playhouse site in Edenton.
Often referred to as the old P.S. Jones Middle School or the former Washington High School, the playhouse has brought in the crowds for dozens of musicals. Emmerich said he does not know the patron count for 2010 yet, but he knows it is high.
“I would say the average person comes from at least 50 miles away,” Emmerich said. “Loads of them come from Richmond, Va., and Raleigh. We get busloads of people and very often we have five or six buses of people come at one time.”
Emmerich said he and his wife rent the theater space from Tim and Angie Hardison and have completely remodeled the theater during the past 12 months.
“We came here from Edenton (moving the production company to Washington), and this will be the ending of our second year,” Emmerich said.
The playhouse also has a restaurant located on site for dessert plays, during which dessert and coffee are served at intermission.
According to Emmerich, 800 yards of purple, velvet material was donated to the theater company to use for decorating the theater while remodeling it.
The playhouse has been refurbished with new seating, new drapes, lighting brought in from the Edenton playhouse and other improvements such as additional heating and more seating, enough to seat 1,000 people per performance.
“My wife writes all the shows as well as the music for them as well, except for ‘Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Silent Night,’” Emmerich said. “They’re all musicals, biblically based.”
Currently, the playhouse is presenting the musical “A Night of Glory,” which is the story of Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus.
Emmerich builds all the sets and paints them. His wife writes all the musicals, having written more than 50 musicals that are performed all over the world.
“Our actors come to us from all over the country,” he said. “We’ve had them from 30 different states, as well as lots of college interns.”
The Emmerichs are former drama professors, each with a master’s degree in fine arts in his or her respective field. He has an MFA in performance. He teaches drama classes at the College of the Albemarle, classes such as voice for the stage, lighting and other technical courses.
“A Night of Glory” makes it final runs Saturday, with the first showing beginning at 10:30 a.m., then 2 p.m. and again 6 p.m.
Carolina Valentine Dessert Theater makes its appearance in February.
For more information, contact the Rocky Hock Playhouse at 252-482-4621 or log on to its website at www.rockyhockplayhouse.com.