Our Story

How It All Started

The Willie E. Jones III Classical Theatre Company also known as “The Jones Theatre,” was founded by and named for the founder and Founding Artistic Director. He created it in response to what he saw as a theatre industry that was becoming increasingly disingenuous, fearful, and pandering. He wanted to respond to the increasing distaste for Classical Theatre.

So, Willie went about building a theater that (1) would be run by artists (2) sought to change the relationship between theaters and audiences, and (3) would run a conservatory that trained and fostered theatre artists. The Jones Classical Theatre wants artists to feel empowered to lead, and consequently redefine the theater industry to be led by the art of theatre, and not he business of it. We want audiences to be in conversation with each other and theaters and to be challenged. We want a theater that asks more questions than it gives answers. We believe society advances when people are talking to each other; more importantly, he wants people who disagree to talk to each other. We believe that is how we learn; by exchanging thoughts and ideas.

It is important to us that audiences of all backgrounds and ideas know they are welcome at The Jones Theatre where diverse thoughts and ideas are presented, critiqued and discussed in the highest quality, in the name of truth. We have no interest in giving comfort; our primary focus and primary interest is to create a theatrical environment in which all people can gather and laugh, talk, debate, cry, and breathe together. 

That, to us, is what the theatre should be: a place that prioritizes truth over comfort.