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.

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.