James Valcq Adds a Wealth of Experience and Some Fresh Air to TAP

(Left to right) Robert Boles and James Valcq step into new roles at Third Avenue Playhouse as Artistic Director and Managing Director, respectively. Photo by Len Villano.

James Valcq, the new Managing Director at Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP), brings a wealth of experience from both Door County’s theaters and New York’s. Well known for his collaboration with Fred Alley on The Spitfire Grill, he has also composed scores and worked on musicals across the country. I sat down to talk with him about his ideas and goals for TAP, and the move from Broadway to Sturgeon Bay.

Brittany Jordt (BJ): So, you’ve been a presence in the Door County theatre scene since before I was born…

James Valcq (JV): I’ve been coming up here since 1983, when I was in the Heritage Ensemble – the precursor to American Folklore Theatre. I was in Guys on Ice and was in Door County working on Spitifre Grill. I’ve been working as a member of Door Shakespeare for the last three years.

BJ: Where did the idea to apply for the position at TAP originate?

JV: I was walking down 3rd Ave during the street sales last year with Bob [Robert Boles, new Artistic Director at TAP] and my family. Bob and I wandered into TAP and met [then Executive Director] Judy Drew. She toured us around the building. Afterward, I remember standing over by the Ace Hardware, looking over at TAP, thinking, “If we had that theater, what would we do with it?”

BJ: So that planted the seed.

JV: And the wheels really started turning when we found out they were doing construction work on a new black box theatre. Later, when we heard Judy was retiring, things happened pretty quickly. The synergy of it couldn’t have been more fortuitous. They were looking for someone to run the theatre and utilize the space in the back, and that’s what we were looking to do.

BJ: Wow – that sounds like a rapid change of pace for you! Are you excited to be in your new office at TAP?

JV: It’s thrilling, exciting, a little bit scary – but not too much scary. I’ve already been up and down 3rd Ave selling ads for our program book. The fun part of it is meeting everyone. It’s a great community, and we’re genuinely thrilled to be a part of it.

BJ: What are your goals for the upcoming season at TAP?

JV: We’d like to put on a mid-week concert series, featuring all local artists, this winter and early spring. Along those same lines, one of our goals is just to have the doors of this theatre open as often as possible. We hope to have a year round professional, equity theatre company here…a real true regional theater doing intimate plays in an intimate setting. We absolutely want to continue and expand the concerts, kids programming, and family friendly events.

Locals and visitors alike should look forward to some exciting changes at TAP, with a brand new season of good theatre for everyone to enjoy…all year long.

For more information visit