Please consider making a philanthropic gift to SpeakEasy Stage. Your donation will help us build and strengthen our community for the next 30 years.
SpeakEasy Stage is a non-profit theatre company located in the South End of Boston. Led by award-winning Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault, we produce 28 weeks of new plays and musicals each season at the Nancy and Ed Roberts Studio Theater in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.
Since our founding in 1992, we’ve produced vital, timely and entertaining productions that have helped make Boston’s South End into an artistic and cultural destination. We work with hundreds of locally-based artists, actors, directors, and technicians each year, and train early career artists through its fellowship and emerging artists programs, supporting them as they develop their potential.
SpeakEasy Stage has distinguished itself as Boston’s premiere theater, consistently winning acclaim for presenting top-quality productions of contemporary, cutting-edge plays and musicals. For three decades, our shows have sparked conversations that continue long after audiences leave the theater – challenging, connecting, and inspiring the community.
Heart, Loyalty, Excellence, Courage, Respect, and Joy
SpeakEasy produces intimate, entertaining plays and musicals that are new to Boston and compel thoughtful conversation. We champion new talent and future arts leaders, alongside a diverse community of experienced local theatre professionals who share our devotion to excellence. We treat our artists, audiences and supporters as collaborators, working with us to make Boston a city that is sustainable for artists.
SpeakEasy MainStage: We create dynamic seasons full of Boston-premiere musicals and plays.
Creating Conversations: We keep the dialogue going after the house-lights come up by providing audience discussions, post-show talkbacks, and access to our artists.
The Contemporary American Musical Initiative: We excel in presenting unique musical theatre productions that are cutting edge and relevant in both form and subject.
The Boston Project: We commission and provide dramaturgical support for Boston-based playwrights to develop new plays that explore what it means to live in our great city today.
Fellowship Program & Technical Apprenticeships: We train tomorrow’s arts leaders by providing real work experience for high school and college students, as well as recent graduates.
Emerging Artists: We cultivate the next generation of theatre artists by hiring new talent to begin their professional careers working alongside the best actors, directors, stage managers, and designers Boston has to offer.
Access Program: We strive to make our programs accessible to Boston’s diverse and vibrant population through multiple community partnerships and collaborations.
In 1992, SpeakEasy Stage was born with a simple idea. The mission was to give emerging, local artists a chance and build a thriving theater scene in Boston.
Nothing has changed.
From our humble 40-seat beginnings to our current state-of-the-art home, SpeakEasy Stage has always been about building community and defying expectations. When we were down to our last $10 in 1995, Paul Rudnick’s comedy Jeffrey proved to be the show that changed everything – our first big financial hit, first Boston Globe review and first Elliot Norton Award.
Ever since, SpeakEasy Stage has continued to produce the very best in contemporary plays and musicals. From Bat Boy in 2002 to Red in 2008 to Big Fish in 2015, we’ve been fortunate to produce a string of major hits through the years. We’ve also been lucky to forge special relationships with notable figures like Terrence McNally and George Takei.
SpeakEasy Stage has grown along the way, evolving from a small venue with no air conditioning or soundproofing to a gorgeous space with wood paneling, bar and coat check. With more seats and flexible configurations, we’ve been able to get more creative, daring and expansive with our productions — in fact, the only thing that could slow our momentum was a show-closing blizzard in 2013!
As our reputation grew, so has our commitment to equity and inclusion. That has translated to performances and plays spotlighting BIPOC (black, indigenous, and other people of color) themes as well as a clear statement on anti-racism. On stage and throughout our programming we tell stories that invite us to understand ourselves and the world around us more deeply, to uplift the voices of all races, ethnicities, gender identities and economic statuses. We believe live theatre truly can connect us to one another.
Guided by the vision of Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault, SpeakEasy Stage’s mission has remained the same since the beginning. We spark thoughtful conversation with provocative plays and entertaining musicals. We empower local, emerging artists. And we continue to be Boston’s Home for the Bold.