As a young girl, if one would have told Vickie Quade that she would write and produce theater, she would’ve laughed.
However, she is doing just that—producing and writing theatre— except she’s not the one laughing—her audiences are.
Quade, a 1973 graduate of Moraine Valley Community College, has written and produced several shows, from comedies to magic to bluegrass musicals. Her best-known work is co-creating the one-woman show, “Late Nite Catechism.”
“I never thought I would have a career in theater,” said Quade. “I wanted to be a reporter.”
Quade spent her Moraine Valley days studying journalism and serving as the first female editor of the college’s Glacier newspaper.
“My time at Moraine Valley was excellent; I experienced a very high level of professionalism from the teachers and staff,” said Quade. “I honed my skills and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism at Northern Illinois University, but I got my start at Moraine Valley.”
After college, Quade had a successful career as a reporter, working for several Chicago-area daily newspapers, national magazines, as well as a correspondent for Newsweek. She also worked at the American Bar Association.
However, in 1993, she decided to take a leap of faith.
“I stepped out of my comfort zone, and Late Nite Catechism was born,” said Quade. “It’s the longest continually running religious show in Chicago history.”
When the show debuted, nuns weren’t sure what to think of the comedy, but once they started coming out to see the production, they loved it.
“So many people identified with the show as it brought them back to their Catholic upbringing,” said Quade. “Nuns realized we were honoring them and started coming out to our shows.”
Because Quade knew of the financial struggles of the sisters once they retired, she began collecting money for them at her shows and asked people to donate what they could afford—even if it was $1. To date, more than $4 million has been donated to various religious orders.
“It’s rewarding to give back to these ladies that have given us so much,” said Quade.
Since the success of Late Nite Catechism, Quade has created four other religious comedies, including a line of bingo shows featuring the popular Bible Bingo. She also is president of Nuns4Fun Entertainment.
“I am having an absolute amazing time traveling to cities and making people laugh while making a difference in the lives of sisters,” said Quade.
It’s not just the sisters’ lives she impacts. Quade often has audience members approach her after the show. After one show, a mom said her son smiled for the first time in six weeks since losing his dad.
“Moments like that are ‘wow’ moments,” said Quade. “Giving the gift of laughter to someone is special, but giving it to someone who really needs it is priceless.”