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About Quincy Community Theatre

Our Mission

To offer and perpetuate quality theatre entertainment and education through community participation.

our vision

We aspire to cultivate a community where creativity thrives, audiences are engaged, and the transformative power of the performing arts is celebrated and accessible to all.

our values

Excellence: We uphold high standards of quality in all aspects of our productions and educational programs, striving for excellence in every endeavor.

Creativity and Innovation: We encourage and embrace creativity, nurturing innovation and pushing artistic boundaries in the performing arts.

Community Engagement: We value and prioritize active involvement and collaboration within our diverse community, fostering connections and inclusivity through a welcoming and supportive environment.

Stewardship: We are committed to responsible stewardship, conscientiously managing our resources with integrity to ensure their preservation and enduring impact. We embrace sustainable practices that safeguard the future of our organization, our community, and the arts.

barbara rowell auditorium

The Quincy Community Theatre has seating for 498 people—184 in the orchestra section and 314 in the mezzanine. The thrust-style stage is 40’ wide and 22’ tall, with a 15’ apron in front of the proscenium. Nine sections of this apron can be removed to reveal the orchestra pit. The pit has space for up to 25 musicians and their equipment.

Lighting and sound are computer-controlled from a booth at the back of the auditorium and from a soundboard located between the theatre’s orchestra section and the mezzanine. The backstage area is 80’ wide, 50’ tall, and 32’ deep. It features drive-up capability and ample storage for sets and props.

The backstage area also features an elaborate fly system used to raise and lower scenery. A large set of doors separates the backstage area of the theatre from the scene shop. Each door is 22’ high x 6’ wide and weighs approximately 3500 pounds. The size and bulk of the doors facilitates the moving of scenery from the shop to the stage and helps to soundproof the stage from the scene shop.

The Lab Theatre

A 40’ x 40’ foot soundproof Lab Theatre is used for rehearsals, auditions, meetings, cast parties, and as overflow dressing rooms for large musicals. The venue also serves as a secondary performance space, boasting a full lighting grid and sound system.

Backstage

Quincy Community Theatre also maintains spacious dressing rooms with bathrooms and showers, a Green Room with a kitchenette, and a costume shop.

Our History

Quincy Community Theatre (QCT) has been delighting audiences with musicals, mysteries, comedies, and dramas since 1923. Originally named the Quincy Community “Little” Theatre, the organizers pursued their craft by presenting two or three plays a year at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

The Little Theatre was formally organized in 1928 by Mrs. Charles Dazey (wife of the famous Broadway playwright, Charles Dazey) and by Paul Weisenborn, an attorney in Quincy. At this time, plays were being produced in Quincy at the old Empire Theatre.

In the early 1930’s smaller shows moved to the old First Baptist Church, a move that made year-round productions possible—however, major productions were still staged at the Empire Theatre. When using the church was no longer possible, the plays were staged at the Quincy Senior High School auditorium.

During WWII, the shortage of male actors forced theatre activities to cease. When the theatre finally resumed productions, in 1953, it was as an outdoor summer theatre. For the next ten years, the productions were held on the lawn of the Art Barn, located on historic Maine Street.

The theatre found its first permanent home at 13th and Payson Avenue in 1964 with the purchase of the former Trinity Parish Hall. The first full-time managing director was hired in 1973, and other staff positions were added as growth continued.

In April of 1989, the theatre joined forces with the Civic Center Authority and the Quincy Convention and Visitors Bureau and applied for a state grant to be used to build a Civic Center/Theatre complex. This $5.6 million grant was awarded on July 2, 1990.

The $1.25 million goal for matching funds was reached two years later on September 18th. Construction of the new complex was completed in the spring of 1995. In the new location, members voted to rename the organization, dropping “Little” to become Quincy Community Theatre. The 498-seat theatre was dedicated on September 8, 1995 with an inaugural performance entitled “Memories-A Musical Revue.”

We hope future generations of the Tri-state area will perpetuate our dreams and continue to preserve the vision of community theatre.

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