Publications, Inc., is the exclusively publisher of Gloria Emmerich’s
musicals. EPI is a web based company dedicated to serving the needs of
churches, church music programs, Christian schools, and community and
professional theatres around the world.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
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 such musicals as Under His Wings, The Fantasticks, and Anne of Green Gables.
The Emmerich's 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 the location was good. Patrons were coming
regularly from the Hampton Roads area, (Chesapeake, Virginia Beach,
Suffolk, Newport News, Williamsburg, Hampton, VA, etc.), as well as
from as far away as Richmond, VA (near Washington D.C.), Raleigh and
Greenville, NC, and Myrtle Beach and Charleston, SC. They began phoning
county government offices in various small towns across NE North
Carolina to get an idea of who might be interested in helping them move
the theatre operation to their community. It seemed that everywhere
they called people were saying, “Go to Edenton!”
While visiting Edenton, which is on the Albemarle Sound in Chowan County and about 60 miles due west of Kitty Hawk, NC, the Emmerich's arranged to meet with various government officials, assistants, 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 stage the proverbial “writing was on the wall.” Jeff and Gloria
felt confident that things were falling into place so that they could
fulfill a 25 year vision and dream to own and operate a full time
Christian theatre of their own. The Emmerich Theatre Production
Company, Inc., (ETPC) was established in 1998 and the operation was
moved to Edenton for the summer of 1999.
During the three months of summer (1999) the Emmerich's again produced Under His Wings (the Love Story of Ruth and Boaz) and Gloria Emmerich’s first full length “Broadway Style” Christian 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.
During this period Jeff and Gloria Emmerich were still teaching at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. But, 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.
After moving to Edenton the Emmerichs mounted over 40 major productions at the Playhouse. Gloria Emmerich is the writer of nearly all the musicals. Her two-act “Broadway Style” musicals have been performed around the world and are available through Emmerich Publications, Inc., based in Minneapolis, MN.
Nearly 184,000 patrons enjoyed Rocky Hock Playhouse musicals in Edenton. In January of 2009 the theatre relocated to a much larger facility in nearby Washington, NC. Scores of fine Christian actors from 26 different states have worked in ETPC productions in NE North Carolina over the past 12 years. Many college students have done theatre internships at the Rocky Hock Playhouse under the Emmerich’s supervision. Jeffrey and Gloria also perform in all the musicals.
With only a handful of full time professional Christian theatres in the United States, Jeffrey and Gloria are keenly aware of the responsibility they have to train theatre interns and to continue giving professional Christian actors and singers an opportunity to work in a wholesome theatre atmosphere. In the years since the theatre opened the Emmerichs have taken casts to perform their musicals on US military bases in Germany, to venues in St. Croix (US Virgin Islands), and many times to Puerto Rico.
Over the years the Rocky Hock Playhouse has succeeded in maintaining the reputation of being unique, wholesome, and family oriented.
The Rocky Hock Playhouse in Washington, North Carolina opened in March of 2009. The Playhouse seats 950 people and was remodeled in 2009 to accommodate the musicals of Gloria Emmerich. The Emmerich Theatre Production Company, Inc. is owned and operated by the Emmerich's. All of Gloria’s musicals are produced first here in this facility. The Rocky Hock Playhouse is a unique professional Christian theatre — dedicated to the glory of God.
Gloria and her husband Jeff have been in full time Christian music and drama ministry for nearly 36 years. They began a traveling ministry in 1975 and have shared their two person musicals in nearly every state in the US and in dozens of foreign countries on four continents. In addition to performing at their theatre (the Rocky Hock Playhouse) in Washington, NC they also make about 50 personal appearances across the US each year. The Emmerich's two person musicals include Together Forever, The Gift of Love, We’re in This Together,and Love Makes the World Go Round. They also work extensively with children and often include them in their musical Noah’s Incredible Cruise.
Gloria Emmerich is the Rocky Hock Playhouse resident musical director, playwright, lyricist, composer and arranger. She and her husband Jeffrey own and operate the Playhouse which is located in NE North Carolina. It is one of only a few full time professional Christian theatres on the East Coast of the United States. Gloria was born and raised in Newport, Oregon. She has written over 45 musicals that have been performed at the Playhouse and around the world. Major works include King David, Simon Peter [Fisher of Men], Noah’s Incredible Cruise, Paul, [Fearless Lion of God], Out of the Darkness, Heaven Came Down, and Jacob, Prince of God.
Gloria earned both a Bachelor of Music Degree and a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from
San Diego State University. She has starred in dozens of musicals and
in the early 1990s served as accompanist and musical director for
several young artists’ theatre companies in San Diego, California.
Gloria was professor of theatre and music at North Central University
in Minneapolis for seven years before moving to Edenton in May of 2000
to found the Rocky Hock Playhouse. Gloria and her husband Jeffrey have
two adult children. Their daughter Holly is a college student and often
appears in RHP productions. Son Ben, and his wife Angie, have two
children, Alex and Olivia. Ben and Angie have been deeply involved in
the growth and success of the theatre since 1997. Jeffrey and Gloria
were married in 1971. They perform about 150 times per year in their
theatre and regularly across the US, in Europe, and throughout the
Jeffrey Emmerich is co-owner and artistic director at the Rocky Hock Playhouse in Washington, NC. He was born in Bend, Oregon and grew up on a cattle ranch in the high desert near the beautiful Cascade Mountains. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. He has had leading roles in dozens of musicals and has directed over 80 major works including one Canadian premiere and over 45 American premiere productions. Jeffrey was a full professor and head of the theatre department at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1993 to 2000. Over the past 36 years Jeffrey and his wife Gloria have worked as evangelists, staff pastors at a local church, professors, and have ministered through music and drama in nearly every state in the US (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, Australia, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Israel, Great Britain, New Zealand, Fiji, and throughout the Caribbean. Jeffrey is an ordained minister and a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. (His paternal grandmother was a Cherokee born in Oklahoma (then known as “Indian Territory”) in 1905. (“Indian Territory” became the state of Oklahoma in 1907.) He began his professional career as an actor and singer while performing in the classical opera Pagliacci with famed American tenor Richard Tucker at the World’s Fair and Expo in Washington State in 1974. Jeffrey and his wife Gloria have performed for over 220,000 people at the Rocky Hock Playhouse since it opened in 2000.