StageQ’s mission is to celebrate queer diversity through quality theater written by and about LGBTQ people, building an inclusive community and effecting positive social change.
YOUR STORIES TOLD HERE
StageQ was founded in 2001 by Thomas McClurg in order to provide a stable home for gay and lesbian-themed plays within the broader Madison theater community. A familiar face in the Madison theater community at the time, Tom's stage roles included Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Freddie in Arsenic and Old Lace, Uncle Freddie in Bent, and, most notably, Sterling in Jeffrey. Tom also produced the Madison presentations of Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. As StageQ's Artistic Director from its inception through 2005, Tom selected the plays it mounted and served as the point of contact between the shows' producers and the StageQ board. Tom's vision and early leadership helped to establish StageQ's mission and direction.
Tara Ayres took over as StageQ's Artistic Director in 2005. For the next eight years, Tara's activist vision and values powered her efforts to produce high-quality queer theater, while at the same time building community. For Tara, the community building was always as important as the artistic production. In her personal reflection Why Queer Community Theater? (2008), she elaborated: choose projects that will appeal to a variety of people; invite people to join you in a real and meaningful way; provide them with support and training to succeed; treat them well and demand that they treat each other well; [and] make quality and fun equally important. Tara produced, directed, and acted in a long list of StageQ productions over the years of her tenure. She also cultivated artistic, political, and fiscal partnerships with a wide array of like-minded organizations and individuals, thus weaving StageQ into the fabric of the greater Madison community.
Audrey Lauren Wax became StageQ's Artistic Director in July of 2013 and served in the position through September of 2014. Under Audrey's guidance, StageQ broke new artistic ground by mounting its first full-length Shakespeare production (Much Ado About Nothing) and expanded its commitment to transgender works with Tobias Davis's Standards of Care.
Currently, StageQ's artistic and administrative operations are completely overseen by the StageQ Board of Directors.