A group of performing artists are seated in a circle on the stage of Mills College's Rothwell Theater, which is available for community rentals.

Rothwell Theater

With a thrust stage and under 100 seats, this intimate space is ideal for performers who want to bring artists and audiences together.

Rothwell Theater has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a temporary performance space. Mills theater students needed a home for their productions during the renovation of Lisser Hall, so Rothwell Theater was created in a building that had previously housed the College’s bookstore. Opened in fall 2017, the theater quickly became a popular venue for student events, and soon the Oakland community got wind of this interesting new performing arts venue and all its possibilities.

Students sit in a circle on the sprung flooring of the intimate Rothwell Theater on the Mills College campus.

A view of Rothwell Theater’s 768 square-foot stage, backdrop, and fixed seating

Rothwell Theater offers a three-quarter round stage with a sprung floor. Its 92 audience seats and lighting rigs were repurposed from the original Lisser Hall Theater, giving this new space a connection to Mills College’s long performing arts history. Contemporary equipment including updated, easy-to-use theatrical lighting, audio systems, and projection capabilities, make the theater an exciting and accessible venue for new productions and events where connecting with your audience is a must.

The theater is fully ADA accessible, and its front doors open onto Rothwell Plaza, which can be used for outdoor pre- and post-event receptions. Due to its location on the Mills campus, the plaza cannot be closed to other foot traffic for events.

Rothwell Theater provides a uniquely intimate setting for events such as open mic nights, poetry readings, and theatrical rehearsals and performances. Submit your rental request today.

Venue Specifications*

Capacity 94 seats (92 fixed; 2 ADA)
Stage Dimensions 32' D x 24' W (768 sq. ft.)
ADA Compliance Fully accessible (2 ADA seats)
Lighting General Repertory plot; Strand 300 console
Audio Stereo Sound System; Mackie 1402 VLZ3 console
Video Hitachi CP-ZWX625 projector; projection screen: 7’ x 8’ 8”
Back Stage 30’ W x 20’ D

*Please note that food and beverages are not allowed inside the Rothwell Theater. 

2019 Rental Rates & Fees

Rothwell Theater Rental Rates**
Rehearsal/Non-Public $80/hr
Technical/Non-Public $100/hr
Performance/Public $170/hr (4-hour minimum)
Class/Public $100/hr
Full Day - All Uses $1,000/day (full day begins at 8 hours)
Staff and Additional Fees
Production Coordinator $30/hr (required for all performance or technical rentals)
Front of House/Technical Student Staff $20/hr (required for all community rentals)
Public Safety Officer $35/hr (required for all community rentals)
Cleaning Fee $175/event (required for all community rentals)
Additional Cleaning $75/additional event (for each additional public event—#2, #3, #4, and on)
Food Fee $175/event (required for all events with food or beverage)
Booking Requirements
Proof of Liability Insurance View detailed insurance information.
Security Deposit $1,000
Rental Agreement Signed, completed, and returned by the indicated deadline.

**In order to expand access to our Community Rental Program, Mills Performing Arts is able to extend discounts to eligible organizations and individuals. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions as well as fiscally sponsored artists are eligible for a 20 percent discount on rental rates. All Mills College students, faculty, staff, and alumnae are eligible for a 20 percent discount on rental rates.

Additionally, renters in need may request Community Partnership support for their rental. A limited number of these partnerships are granted on a case-by-case basis, making these renters eligible for an additional discount ranging from 10 percent to 30 percent on rental fees. Additional information is required for consideration of a Community Partnership discount.

If you believe that you or your organization is eligible for one of these discounts, please indicate this in the additional information field on our Rental Request Form