Rock Theatre was first conceived as a variety show, which was performed by the Drama and Music departments of the University of Southern California during the early 1980s, integrating the genres of Rock and Musical Theatre to create “live MTV-style videos” onstage before the days of MTV and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album. After graduating from USC, Rock Theatre’s director Greg Holford adapted the concept to his new position with a youth performing arts ensemble called Kids of the Century (formerly City of Los Angeles Children's Chorus) where he teamed up with, now co-producer, Muriel Stone.

The new, younger, Rock Theatre performed at many community and industrial events, and participated in vocal/dance competitions throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1992, Rock Theatre became a California non-profit educational corporation, with the stated goal of providing excellent opportunities for performing arts education to the youth of Southern California. It was also in 1992 that the group was chosen to represent the United States at the World's Expo in Seville, Spain.

Among the alumni of Rock Theatre in its various incarnations are actors Ally Sheedy (Breakfast Club), Eric Stoltz (Mask), Kevin Peter Hall (Predator, Harry and the Hendersons), Landry Allbright (Con Air, The Grinch), and Dana Daurey (of the TV series Providence). Music artists include Carmit Bachar (Pussycat Dolls), Cheri Wells (Mary Jane Girls), Ambrosia Parsley (Shivaree) and Broadway headliners Mandy Gonzalez (In The Heights, Dance of the Vampires, Aida), Chuck Wagner (Into the Woods, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast) and Valerie Wright (Elf, Damn Yankees opposite Jerry Lewis, Cats). While some alumni have gone on to perform on Broadway, TV and record albums, others have followed other career goals and passions.

Rock Theatre comprises two competition choirs in the movie “Sister Act 2 and is featured on John Tesh's album The Choirs of Christmas. Other performance highlights include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Pantages Theatre starring Sam Harris, “Children Under Siege” at the Greek Theatre with Kenny Loggins and Jon Anderson of Yes, “Disney’s 25th Anniversary” dancing with Will Smith and “Countdown to Christmas” with Gloria Estefan. In 2000, a new generation of Rock Theatre was selected to perform before an international audience with a performance tour of Australia. Performances included at the World Music Festival, Olympic Torch Relay and in concert at the Sydney Opera House.