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Our History


Founded in the spring of 2011, Compass Rose Theater is a small non-profit professional theater, which produces productions of the highest caliber. Driven by our passion to produce plays which leave the audience moved, and even transformed by the experience of the show, we hire actors and theater artists who are accomplished professionals to produce plays that range from classic to contemporary. Discovering the truth of each script, and striving to achieve excellence in each production, we hold ourselves to the highest artistic standards.

In April 2013, we relocated from our first home, a renovated storefront, moving to a former rug cleaners, which we rehabbed into a lobby, classroom, and 80 seat theater. By the fall of 2018, we were bursting at the seams with plays, classes and workshops and were approached by a local developer who invited us to be part of a housing project for seniors where our theater building would be a cornerstone. Due to zoning problems, that project was abandoned after we had relocated to a temporary space on Forest Drive close to our previous location. We were gypsies performing at various locations around Annapolis until the winter of 2020 when the pandemic forced us to cease live productions. We subsisted on grants and donations and held several shows on Zoom until the fall of 2022 when we were invited to relocate to a new intimate space within the walls of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the center for visual and performing arts in Annapolis. We look forward to growing our productions and classes again with this new partnership.

We offer classes and workshops to students of all ages, and keep our teaching mission at the core of all our work. Two of our productions every season offer roles to student actors. These students work alongside the professionals and are fully compensated with the other actors. This creates a strong bond among the cast, where the students are mentored and the professionals are inspired by the passion which the students bring to the process. We also offer Young Actor’s Studio to talented students from the ages of 12-17 who are selected by audition to participate in master classes and student productions throughout the year. 

All of the Compass Rose Theater faculty are teaching artists with a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in theater from an accredited institution. Some have Masters Degrees in theater as well. All of our faculty have teaching experience with a range of student populations and a depth of knowledge of how to challenge and stimulate the creative process within students individually and as an acting ensemble.

Our approach to theater education is process based, meaning that any performance is the result of hard work and in depth study of technique, not the goal. We do not seek to present a polished product until the basics of theater knowledge have been learned. The result of this building work is that when the performances happen, they are the consequences of the rich and rewarding work of becoming an actor. And they are excellent, surprising audiences at the quality which can be achieved by student actors.

We hope you will visit our theater soon.