Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Photos courtesy of Carol Rosegg
Photos courtesy of Carol Rosegg
Five super hero characters from Queens Theatre’s original production “CHIX 6” belt out a number during a performance.

Visionary Ray Cullom, the recently-instated executive director of Queens Theatre, is preparing his new domain for a metamorphosis. Astounded by the 21-year-old theatre’s immense potential, Cullom plans to turn what previously acted solely as a performance space into a full-fledged, talent-nurturing enterprise.

“[Queens Theatre] is a unique showplace unlike anything I’ve worked in before,” said Cullom. “It’s Queens’ best-kept secret.”

Well-versed in the art of conducting both for-profit and non-profit theatres, Cullom most recently performed as the managing director at the New Haven Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. Sporting a background in archaeology and history, Cullom previously regarded theatre as merely a hobby rather than a profession. Over time, his passions traded places, and theatre took center stage.

Over Cullom’s first eight months as executive director of Queens Theatre, the institution has undergone a moniker alteration. Previously regarded as the Queens Theatre in the Park, Cullom hopes the simplified name promotes recognition among the public, as well as informs people of the company’s year-round productions.

“My goal is to have the theatre buzzing with life 365 days a year,” said Cullom.

Cullom has also devised plans on how to cultivate productions from within the venue, a previously foreign concept at Queens Theatre.

Cullom’s premier event, “CHIX 6,” centers on a young artist whose drawings of super heroes come to life and assist her along her journey to self-empowerment. “CHIX 6” ran for five weeks, accumulating the highest attendance of any show in the theatre’s history. In 2012, the production plans to move to a larger venue, on Broadway.

During the production stage of “CHIX 6,” Cullom feared the show’s indie-rock filled soundtrack and ground-breaking ideals might alienate the audience. A more traditional Gershwin production trailed “CHIX 6.”

But according to Cullom, the audience asked for more.

“Our audience wants to be challenged,” said Cullom. “They want to come along for a ride with us.”

In the wake of “CHIX 6’s” success, Cullom claims the theatre is now undergoing a period of testing, rethinking previous assumptions about its audience.

According to Cullom, Queens Theatre’s upcoming season promises to hold an innovative blend of original shows, collaborative works and previously-produced pieces.

“Ella,” debuting in February, illustrates the life of “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald. “The Jack Cole Project,” a tribute to one of the most influential choreographers and a Queens Theatre original production, opens in May.


Join The Discussion

Popular Stories
Photos by Robert Stridiron/RHS NEWS
UPDATE: Cops identify the three victims in a violent bus crash at a Flushing intersection
Photo courtesy of NYPD
Cops are looking for this man who attempted to rape a woman in Flushing
Photos by Anthony Giudice/QNS
Councilwoman Crowley beats civic rival in Queens Democratic primary - but the war isn't over

Skip to toolbar