Vicki Quade, a 1973 Moraine Valley graduate, has blazed her way to success, and done so by sticking to who she is and doing what she loves. Quade is a playwright, a dreamer, a comedian, a natural writer, a proud mother, and an example of what success and determination look like.
Quade helped pen the smash hit “Late Nite Catechism,” which has the distinction of being the longest running religious comedy in Chicago. What makes her an example of success, however, is what happens off of the stage. Quade knew from a young age she wanted to work in the field of English, and so did her peers. She worked a summer job at the U.S. Post Office and had a boss who knew that she was destined for greater things. He told her he did not expect her to return next summer because he wanted her to pursue a writing career. Others seemed to notice the talent that Quade had and began to encourage her path in life.
While at Moraine Valley, her determination showed through as she worked three jobs. Along with those three jobs, Quade babysat, wrote for the school newspaper and acted as the co-chief editor, and was a full-time student. Despite limited time, she didn’t stop doing what she was most passionate about and wrote her first script—a fan-made script for an episode of “Star Trek,” which she actually submitted for consideration. She got a rejection letter, but that didn’t hamper her spirits. When “Late Nite Catechism” became a hit, Quade donated proceeds from the show to retirement funds for nuns, which has so far raised more than $2 million for the cause.
Even with all the successes she has had with her many theater productions that include comedies, bluegrass musicals, improv and magic, and her assistance in the creation of a talk show parody, Quade is still humble, attributing her triumphs to “a lot of hard work and just dumb luck.” She still meticulously labors over her past writing, updating and improving it as she can, and creating new shows and performing them on stage.
Quade said she knew she had something when her show was moved to the main time slot. She modified the participatory one-woman show to be a two-act show with an intermission. What really made her feel the success was when she worked the ticket booth and noticed her show was the top selling, longest one-person show seen anywhere. “That moment was both gratifying and humbling,” she said.
When asked what she does to stop herself from burning out creatively, she replied, “Burn out? Never. I’ve got so many ideas still, I will never have free time to do anything else,” Quade said.
This spotlight featuring Moraine Valley 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Vicki Quade was prepared and written by communications students Cesar Barajas, Anallely Fernandez and Alec Koppers.