Richard van Schouwen
q-Staff Theatre. The corner of Lead & Broadway.
Richard van Schouwen is artistic director and cofounder of the q-Staff theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Van Schouwen graduated in 1989 from Indiana University (Bloomington) with majors in theatre and chemistry. Moving to Chicago, he performed, directed, designed and continued training in theatre. In 1993, he embarked on an open-ended road trip exploring the American southwest, culminating in his relocation to New Mexico. Joined there by a former university classmate, Sandy Timmerman, he began collaborating on local performances ultimately merging with Albuquerque's Riverside Repertory Theatre Co in 1995. In 1997, following the success of RRTC's collaboration with director Leonardo Shapiro on Chekhov's The Seagull including a tour to The Baltimore Theatre Project, van Schouwen was invited along with representatives of 9 other US ensemble theatres to Budapest for the US/Hungary Exchange Project. Resulting from that project Van Schouwen trained extensively with Theatre Gardzienice and Piesn Kozla in Poland, as well as with the Double Edge Theatre in Massachusetts.
In 1999, van Schouwen and Timmerman founded q-Staff Theatre to pursue performance work arising from discoveries made in the course of travel and training. Currently Van Schouwen is the director of q-Staff's original performances and its lead vocal and music trainer. Van Schouwen has also maintained a close collaborative relationship with the Double Edge Theatre in Massachusetts, co-directing some of their summer spectacles, providing musical training for their company and interns. He has also collaborated with Sandglass Theatere of Vermont. In the years of working with these groups he and q- Staff have brought most of them to New Meixco and produced their performances at the q-Staff theatre or in other locations as a part of a larger festival. Most recently he worked with Carpet Bag Brigade from San Francisco and Nemcatacoa Theatro from Bogata Columbia at the National Hispanic cultural Center in Albuquerque to create and perform in an original stilt performance for the Globoquerque music festival. Outside of the performance work of q-Staff, he has designed, helped to build and guided the opening of q-Staff's former performance space on Central Avenue (Rt. 66) including a performance room, office spaces and cafe/lobby. His directorship encompasses the operation of q-Staff's coffeehouse/cafe which provides a community venue for musicians, poets, artists and others, as well as q-Staff's three residences collectively called the q-Staff Homestead. He, along with other q-Staff members, has rehabilitated and remodeled almost all the apartments on the homestead and has designed and implemented the landscape architecture as well. When q-Staff founders formed GreenArtways LLC in order to purchase the warehouse at 400 Broadway, van Schouwen along with another q-Staff member formed GreenArtways construction - a licensed general contracting firm- in order to be able to have the ability to complete the work at 400 Broadway personally.