MADISON, WI; StageQ brought down the curtain for the final time on a 14 year Madison tradition on Saturday, June 29, to a sold out audience. Attendance for the last production of Queer Shorts is still being tallied but it already has surpassed last year's crowds with several sold out performances.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising--and consequently the start of the queer rights movement--this season's offering of short plays explored the history of the queer community and looking forward into the next 50 years of progress.
StageQ President, Zak Stowe, said, "I can't think of a better way to say goodbye to a production that has meant so much to so many people; whether it be actors, directors, crews, or audience members. I definitely had a tear in my eye during the curtain call. We are so proud of everyone in this show and for what this show stands for." About the future of this production he added, "I think of it as a pause button on [Queer Shorts]; we have a very exciting queer theatre festival in the works for next May that is full of potential, but that doesn't mean Shorts can never come back. Who knows, somewhere down the road a reunion show might be in order."
The closing of Queer Shorts: Spirit of Stonewall also concludes StageQ's 2018-2019 season. StageQ wishes to thank each and every person who helped make this season the most successful season ever--actors, designers, directors, stage managers, ushers and box office help, run crews, and of course our amazing sponsors and patrons. This season was marked by record attendance, record box office numbers, and record reviews from audiences and participants alike. More importantly, the stories we told on stage were some of the most impactful and important ones we have told to date. Southern Baptist Sissies took a hard--and often tear-filled--look at hardline religion and young, queer people trying to find their place in the world. A Lady and a Woman--while examining race relations post-Civil War--was also a beautiful story of love that left audiences smiling while simultaneously reaching for the tissues. Cabaret was the largest single production StageQ has ever undertaken and, based on audience's speechless and spellbound reactions, one of its most effective. We were also honored to host a presentation by the Simon family who discussed their family's tragic history in the Holocaust. RAID! Attack on Stonewall was a beautiful and intimate piece written by a Madison-native that brought audiences inside the Stonewall Inn on the night of the infamous raid. Not a single audience member left without goosebumps. And then finally, Queer Shorts. Need we say more?
Community theatre is a collaborative effort of artists and communities that come together to tell stories. This is all the more vital in the queer community in making sure we keep queer representation on stage and that we continue to improve on diversifying that representation. With your support, StageQ will continue to bring impactful stories to you and grow in our ability to represent the entire rainbow of our community.
We look forward to seeing everyone in October for Dog Sees God!