By Susan Jasper

Summer is the best time to be in Rockaway. We have a world class beach, many great beach activities, parks, a luxury boutique hotel and fabulous restaurants of all kinds.

Rockaway also boasts several excellent arts organizations and, foremost among these, is The Rockaway Theatre Company.

Hang around after your day at the beach and see a Broadway quality show, without the Broadway prices. The Rockaway Theatre Company is housed in the John Gilleece Theater, Bldg. T4, which is situated in a beautiful urban National Park called Fort Tilden, in the Breezy Point section of the peninsula. The theater is heated and air-conditioned and is handicapped accessible. The Q35 bus from either Brooklyn or Beach 116th Street stops at the theater’s outer gates. The shuttle from the Ferry on Beach 108th Street also comes up to our theater. The RTC was officially established in 1997 and has worked at fulfilling its mission of bringing quality live theater to the citizens of the Rockaways and surrounding areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, at nominal prices, ever since. Our company encourages diversity and inclusion in its audiences, as well as its casts. We were voted one of the “Ten Best Things to Do in Rockaway” by the Rockaway Times. In 2024, readers of the Queens Courier voted RTC the “Best Live Theatre Venue in the Borough of Queens” for the 7th consecutive year.

Our 2024 season began in April with the dark and quirky “Urinetown,The Musical.” In June, we will present the classic Tennessee Williams drama, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Summertime is the perfect time for a feel-good musical and we’ve got the perfect one. “Footloose,” the musical based on the very popular movie by the same name, will be presented on our stage during the months of July and August. September brings a hilarious comedy written by the great Ken Ludwig. “Shakespeare in Hollywood” is a laugh-filled play about what could go wrong when Hollywood tries to produce Shakespeare. The main-stage season closes in November, with the RTC presentation of the iconic Broadway blockbuster, “Rent.” You definitely won’t want to miss this one. The cast of each show is available to meet with audience members after each performance. Performers have reported hearing the words “Better than Broadway” uttered by patrons so many times over the years that this comment became the basis of the RTC motto, “Bringing Broadway to Rockaway”.

All in all, you can expect a jam-packed season with awesome live theatrical productions in the summer months as well as in the fall. Seats range between $20 and $25. You will not find a better entertainment value anywhere. Remember to reserve your seats early, as most productions sell out by the second week of performances. Come and see a show this summer. Allow us to show you the magic and joy of live theater. For more info, or to purchase tickets for any performance, visit the RTC website, www.rockawaytheatrecompany.org.

We hope to see you up at Fort Tilden during the summer and beyond!

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