By day, Q.E.D. - A Place to Show & Tell is home to programming for adults with arts and crafts, stand-up comedy, food tastings, poetry slams, game nights, storytelling, gardening lessons and just about anything else that fits inside their coffee-shop-size space at 27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria.
By night, the venue is transformed into a performance space for comedians and poets.
“It’s just a good venue for the neighborhood to share their talents,” explained Queens comedian and promoter Liam McEneaney.
Although this is just the first week for the new performance space, McEneaney has already helped book a discussion panel with writers from “Saturday Night Live” as well as Frank Conniff’s “Cartoon Dump,” also known from his work with “Mystery Science Theater.”
McEneaney opened for Conniff this week with his own stand-up routine.
“It was really successful on opening night, so I’m very excited how things go from here,” he said.
For the last year or so, Q.E.D. founder Kambri Crews began contemplating what she would do when her book tour for, “Burn Down the Ground: A Memoir,” came to an end.
While she knew an educational performance space was the path she wanted to take, she didn’t want to leave her home of nine years in Astoria to make it happen.
“It came down to the fact that I don’t live in Brooklyn, and I have no connection there, and I can’t afford Manhattan,” Crews explained. “I didn’t think Queens could support it, but now I see and hear people talking outside the windows, and they’re like, ‘how cool,’ and ‘finally.’”
Once the café is up and running, something she estimates could be ready in a matter of weeks, Crews anticipates a flood of WiFi-seekers and a regular crowd of locals will find their way inside.
In the next couple of weeks, she expects to have a dividing curtain installed in the 1,200-square-foot space and create a distinct stage area.
“One of the downsides of a couple of venues that I’ve run is that the bar is in the performance space,” she explained. “So when one show ends, all the people that came to see the show get kicked out because there’s another show that’s about to start.”
Crews said they plan to use their large backyard space for composting and gardening classes once daytime seminars begin.
Other programs already scheduled for the remainder of the year include lessons in Twitter, calligraphy, scriptwriting, juggling and guitar.
She added that she also hopes to team up with some of the local businesses to add new classes to the list.
“I would love if Butcher Bar would come and teach a class about different cuts of meat, and bring in samples to show why a skirt steak is different from a tenderloin,” she suggested as a possibility.
Her husband of eight years, Christian Finnegan, has watched Crews spend her days and nights over the last three months launching Q.E.D.
“I’m humbled by how unbelievable driven she is,” Finnegan said. “It is nothing for her spend 12 hours a day, seven days a week, working at this place to get everything in order.”
Finnegan, also a long-time area comedian, said while he is excited to watch the venue grow and take form, he hopes it becomes a safe place for artists and upcoming comedians to showcase their work.
“We’re really psyched about it,” he said. “We also hope to feed off of all this positive energy from the neighborhood.”