Founded in 1950 as the Catholic Theatre of Rochester. It was formed by a small group of actors as an alternative to the conventional community theatre then available. During our first twelve years of productions, we became a sort of Off-Broadway theatre in Rochester. In an effort to broaden the group's appeal it was decided to change our name.
In 1962 the group was rechristened Blackfriars, after the indoor theatre co-owned by William Shakespeare during the reign of King James I. In the summer of 1997, Blackfriars Theatre completed the renovation of a historic theatre in the East End Cultural District in Rochester.
Blackfriars moved once again in Sept., 2009 to its current location on East Main Street.